A Note from Chris Adams: We posted an earlier article by this same title and had such a huge response to it that we decided to include a follow up. So if you didn’t read part one, do that here, then read this continuation to that discussion by guest writer, Dr. Deb Douglas, Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA who has been our primary writer for this mom’s ministry category.
After the recent post about moms and women’s ministry, I have heard from young moms from across the country. Some have been thankful for the voice and understanding, while others have asked for more. Moms want to feel there is a place for them in church and in women’s ministry but they do not want their mom’s women’s ministry.
Moms are looking for a women’s ministry that is based on needs. One that gives real solutions to real problems. One that encourages in the midst of a discouraging world. One that fits naturally with a mom’s lifestyle.
What barriers keep moms from feeling they have a place in church and women’s ministry?
- Unfriendly scheduling. Events that are too long, too frequent, or during homework times do not work for moms.
- Lack of adequate, accessible childcare. Can’t stress this one enough. Make childcare easily accessible and with a purpose! If childcare is at one location while the small group or event is at another, an exhausted mom is going to feel that it’s too complicated to be worth the effort.
- Unfulfilled expectations. If a mom has to bring a dish, run by the store to pick up mission project items, and drop off the kids at another location, she is going to arrive exhausted and overwhelmed. For all this to be worth it, the event has got to be incredible!
- Unrealistic expectations. This one is hard to explain. If we as women’s ministers come across as “Miss Super Spiritual, Holier than Thou,” we will be seen as “Miss Judgmental Women’s Minister”! And we will unknowingly set daunting spiritual expectations for moms who barely have time to read a verse a day while battling a life of temptations, challenges in their marriage, drama, and trauma. We need to keep it real—be honest about struggles and how we have depended on God to get through life.
What do young moms need?
- Acceptance. Not for who they think they should be. Not compared to their moms. Not compared to a mom on television. But for themselves.
- A safe place. A place to be heard and still loved. A place of confidentiality but not secrets.
- Freedom from judgment. “I’m not like other moms,” is the comment I hear. All moms are unique women facing unique problems.
- New ideas and new methods of women’s ministry. Between ball schedules, school demands, errands, and chores, a weekend retreat is a low priority for most moms. What’s the solution?
- Make retreats shorter. Include moms in the planning.
- Make retreats affordable.
- Leave silly games at home. Instead include time for relaxing and chatting.
- Instead of forcing people to do activities that are not their thing, have options like crafts, sports, hiking, or just relaxing. Provide workshops on how to coupon, how to organize closets, or prepare meals for a week in one afternoon are desirable and helpful.
- Practical tips from cooking to parenting
- To know how to study the Bible on their own
- To know how to love their husbands when marriage gets hard
- To know how to love their children when they stray
- A break. Maybe it’s just for 5 blessed minutes, but a break can change attitudes, perspectives, and give hope to the hopeless.
Moms need a women’s ministry leader who cares—truly cares. Not just with lip service, but a women’s ministry leader who will take time to listen, to pray, and to encourage. Are we willing to be that kind of women’s minister?
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.