Ministry and the Mom

In the evangelical church world, we regard “The Ministry” as a wonderful thing…..and it is. I’m thankful for those that preach and teach and lead us in growing our spiritual lives.

However, sometimes I think we moms forget that to minister means to be a servant. Ministry is not our opportunity to show off our talents. It’s not a way to be appreciated. It’s not “something more fulfilling to do”. Ministry is the call to serve those entrusted to our care.

Sometimes feminism puts on dress clothes and sits down in our church pew. Not the showy, brazenly rebellious feminism we are all trained to watch out for. No, she sits next to us and whispers, “Look what she is doing for God! And you are doing good just to get to church with everyone wearing shoes.” It’s the age-old voice that taunted Eve and makes us wish to have more, to be more, to do more.

I love the story author Nancy Wilson tells about a time when she was the mother of three little ones. She was cleaning up after dinner and began to pray. “Lord, what do you want me to do for You?” She had begun to feel like she should be evangelizing more people, leading Bible studies and discipling more women. God made it clear to her that He wanted her to just do the dishes. She kept on scrubbing food off plates, but wondered if there was something more. In her own words from her book, The Fruit of Her Hands, she relates, “And I realized that, yes, there was something else. He wanted me to do them cheerfully.”

You see, Mama, we have abundant ministry opportunities within our own homes. Discipling? Oh yes. As you walk by the way and as you sit down and rise. Bible study? What a blessing to lead your little ones to the Throne and to the Word! As for evangelizing, what better mission field that those little ones clamoring for attention and hugs and discipline?

There may be time for other ministry. You may even be able to involve your children. But if God calls me to Africa and I keep hopping a plane to China, both mission fields will suffer. There are others who can do the work in your church and your community, but you are the only one who can mother your children.

Jesus ministered by getting down on his knees and scrubbing filth from his disciples’ feet. Another time he cooked a fish dinner on the shore for the same disciples, exhausted from their toil. He kept prayer vigil while they slept.

Was He appreciated? I think not. In one weekend, His cheek felt the sting of a follower’s betrayal kiss and a Roman soldier’s slap. His ears picked up the curses of a friend and the jeers of His enemies. Pain. Rejection. Humiliation. Dirty. Disfigured. Bloodied. Murdered.

Because, just as you are the only mother your child has, He is the only One Who can save the world.