A Note from Chris Adams: Sometimes God asks us to minister to moms in hard places. Consider what it would be like for you as a mom to be homeless? I can’t even imagine the difficulties these women face. Learn some practical ways we can embrace and help women in situations like these as you read today’s post by Deb Douglas.
Sometimes a lesson from the Lord slams into us. Usually, it is one of those lessons we don’t want to learn—something that is good for us, but we are resistant to the difficulty of the learning. That happened to me today. I was challenged in how far I would go to accept moms as they are, so I can help them see Jesus.
It started with a hug. The smell of homelessness clung to my clothing. I have worked with the homeless for the last 10 years, but it’s a smell that I have never gotten used to. Today, as I began stripping off my scarf and clothes, the smell lingered, and I was slapped with a reality. Ministry doesn’t stop when I leave the shelter, or walk away from a homeless mom on the street. It is a lingering ministry, not a 9:00-5:00 kind of ministry. It’s not just something we do; it is how we live our lives.
First, let’s look at some of the needs of a mom currently in a difficult place in her life:
- She needs Jesus. A relationship with Him is her number one need. He will change her life more than we ever could.
- She needs someone she can trust. Trust is a rare commodity in the life of a mom in a difficult place. When a trustworthy person comes into her life, she begins to understand how she can trust Jesus.
- She needs someone who accepts her. Moms are not bad moms just because they are homeless or going through another difficult experience. They are struggling and need help.
- She needs a glimpse of what her life could be. She also needs support to help her get there.
- She needs a listening ear. Listening to someone helps her feel valued and loved.
- She needs practical help. Moms often need help getting into local programs for long-term changes in their lives. Provide free wifi, temporary shelter, school supplies, school uniforms, kid-friendly snacks and portable foods, transportation to appointments, or help understanding and navigating the legal system. These are simple things to supply that make a big impact!
So, how do we as leaders prepare to step out and minister to these moms in hard places?
- Seek God’s guidance. Ask Him how to minister to the moms in the area.
- Enlist others to pray. Share the desire to minister to all moms, no matter their circumstances.
- Communicate with your pastor. Share the vision and heart for this ministry. Seek the pastor’s approval and wisdom.
- Invite others to join you. Begin talking with other women who will serve alongside you in this ministry.
- Research local ministries and resources available to moms. The more information accumulated, the more effective the ministry will be.
- Get started. Begin reaching out with a heart of compassion and care for moms living in hard places.
Ministry gets messy. When we open our eyes and lives to the world beyond the church doors, we will get dirty at times. But isn’t that exactly what Jesus calls us to do?
“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” —Matthew 25:40
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. 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. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.