A Note from Chris Adams: Today’s article by Deb Douglas addresses something many of our churches face—families welcoming new babies! These practical tips will give you some parameters for how to minister to new moms as you celebrate with them.
The church is growing, and it’s through the birth of babies! How sweet and fun it is to welcome a new baby into the church family! However, with the birth of new babies comes the reality of baby showers. For a women’s minister, baby showers can leave you broke and walking a tight rope of emotions as you care for pregnant women’s feelings.
How can we minister to expectant moms without hurting feelings or spending all our time planning, shopping, and paying for baby showers?
- Decide what your boundaries are in advance and stick to those boundaries. In a large church, the boundary may be that you do not host any showers. In a smaller church, the boundary may be that you provide the same thing for all showers.
- Minister to expectant moms with your time. Meet with them one-on-one and encourage them. Invite moms to ask questions and help them find answers if you don’t have a ready answer.
- To prevent hurt feelings, minister to all expectant moms equally. Create a set rule for who gets a baby shower, and follow that rule. For example, decide that the mom must be a member of a small group or the church. Or, determine that showers are given by the small group with the invitation list open to all women in the church.
- Work with the preschool minister or director to minister to moms as a team. You might even consider buying one gift on behalf of both ministries.
- Consider having a quarterly baby shower for every expectant mom. A shared shower means less expense, but it doesn’t have to be less special and meaningful for those being celebrated!
- Give the same gift to all expectant moms. This prevents jealousy or hurt feelings. Suggestions: a Bible, a book on motherhood, a cross to hang in the baby’s room, or a blanket for baby’s first Sunday in church. Buying in bulk can also reduce the impact on your budget.
- Advertise all showers through the same methods. Most larger churches do not allow showers to be promoted in the bulletin or church-wide publications. E-invites or mailed invitations are a great way to get the word out.
- Offer classes and Bible studies for new moms. Provide opportunities for moms to learn together about topics like “how to be a godly mom.” Supporting and encouraging moms in this way will be a gift to them!
With a little thought and intentionality, baby showers can be fun again! Taking the stress out of showers will bring back the joy that new babies bring to the church.
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.