Posted by  | Saturday, November 15, 2008  at 8:54 PM  
Leah and Krista hit the nail on the head. Loved your outreach ideas! Most of what I was going to mention has already been mentioned, but I can add a few things that apply to my days.

I'm assuming people's first impression upon reading "Outreach as Mom" is how to reach Mothers for Christ. This is my lifelong goal and has always been the undercurrent in relationships I have and make. Leah and Krista shed some light on wonderful avenues for living out such a desire. I'm all too guilty of being so busy in my little bubble that I neglect my "outreach" time. Thanks for doing all the hard work ladies of mustering up ways to "get out!"
With that said, allow me to tweek the title a bit. Let me expound on a few ways you can reach out in fellowship to those who are not believers in Christ AND with those who are like minded for fellowship and support, as we all need this.
Every Tuesday, my friend Gi and I have established a system where we trade off taking care of our girls for three hours. Usually it falls between 9:00 and 12:00, give or take thirty minutes. And although, I'm not hanging out with my friend face to face, I am caring for her child, as she were my own. This frees us up to do anything we want for 2.5 hours (I took away 30 minutes of driving time). I could sleep, clean my whole house, bake, exercise, take my precious time shopping, talk on the phone, write a POH post (hee-hee), sew, pray and read the Word (Bible), clean out our cars, get my hair cut, go grocery shopping, make my menu for the week, watch a movie and paint my nails, write letters, lay out in the sun, paint a room in my house or a piece of furniture (just did this a month ago), redecorate, go to a dentist or doctor's appointment, clean out our garage...etc... All that to say, I'm learning how to serve my sister in Christ, care for another child, provide opportunities for my daughter to socialize and receive guidance as to how to share, be kind, gentle, love, hug and kiss...etc.. You can do this with someone you trust, and maybe that person could even be a lost person and use this as a way to serve your friend. I am doing life with my friend weekly, as I'm investing in her child and in their family, and she is doing the same for me. I love it! Carving out that time and knowing every Tuesday this is what goes down, has been wonderful! I see her child grow mentally and physically and can rejoice with her or sympathize with her in the good and bad with raising their child because I know her child full well. Here are the girls playing outside.

After the holidays, we are going to start sending a meal home with the mother who has the morning off. For example, if Gi drops off her daughter K at our house, when she comes to pick her up, I will send home dinner for her family to eat that night. It will need to be a crock pot meal made the day/night before, since the kids will be coming to the house that day. Just think: I would drop off my daughter at her house, have three hours to myself, return to pick her up (belly full from lunch), grab dinner that my friend made, get home and spend some time winding down. She sleeps for two-three hours while I continue my wonderful day, never having to lift a finger, even for dinner. We eat a delicious meal prepared by my friend and enjoy my two days of heaven a month. This is a great ministry, outreach and fellowship to your friends.

Another avenue for outreach in my life is attending our Small Group every week. This is a time where people from our church find a group that is fitting for them, and DO LIFE together! Usually, we discuss the sermon as a whole group and then split up into accountability groups where we attack the sin patterns in our lives and pray for one another. Not everyone who attends church is a believer; Thus, not everyone who attends small group is a believer either. In fact, people who are hesitant to go to church would be more inclined to go a small group. What an incredible outreach!

These are two definite things that I do every week as a means for outreach/fellowship. Three if you count half a day at church, but on Sunday, I'm soaking up the Word from what is being preached, instead of pouring out. However, I serve in the children's ministry the opposite hour I attend worship service, and I have met so many families this way. This is a great way to meet new people or put a face with a name you've heard over and over! I also do some of the things Leah and Krista have mentioned: going on walks in the neighborhood, making play dates with other Mommies/kids, going to parks, etc..

Also, let me metion that almost everyone loves either Football here in the States or Soccer if you are in another country. In the Fall, have Football parties weekly and invite everyone you know to come! We have friends, George and Catherine, who have done a fantastic job of opening their home for fellowship. Here's a picture of Laney and her little buddy C on a Football Saturday. (Go Bulldogs!) (pic to be added soon)

Lastly, invite people over from work to have a Friday night cookout. How often we tend divide up our work friends from our life-long friends. Try to combine the two. My husband and his buddy planned and invited three other families, whose husbands work with our husbands, over to our house for a cookout. They brought their wives and their kids one Friday evening, and what a joy it was to meet my husband's friends at work, put a face with a name from all the fun stories I was hearing, and meet the wives and children. It was an incredible outreach, and I could tell the other families were having a blast as well. We grilled out, let the kids play in the driveway/cul-de-sac, while the guys played a few games of basketball in the cul-de-sac. We had a great time and hope to have another get together soon.

We would love to hear some of the ways you reach out to other moms, so please share if anything comes to mind. Thanks for stopping by!


Mark'sMeg said...

I LOVE the idea of finding a friend to trade playdates with! Karis would do so well to interact with a friend on a regular basis like that and I know I would benefit from a little time off, too:) Plus, I think I would learn a lot from the other mother. I've had a hard time letting anyone take care of my little girl other than grandparents, so it would probably be good for me in that regard as well :)

Christina said...

That is a great idea Hollie! I wonder how possible this would be with more than one kid each? Anyone kept multiple children? For example - I have two and my friend has two...would we kill ourselves? I guess probably not. I already keep three during the day...

Leah said...

I second Christina's question--how well does swapping work with more than one child? And how do fit in relationship time with the friend that you are swapping with? I tried swapping with one of my friends, but "things" kept coming up, and then we both got pregnant, and now there are more kids...etc. Thanks for the encouragement to minister to other believers, Hollie!

Leah said...

Okay, ya'll - I think maybe Hollie & Gi's idea of swapping came from some mutual friends of ours. They swap FOUR BOYS every week! Beth and Denise are each mothers of FOUR boys and swap kids and make meals for each other every week. That means someone has EIGHT BOYS at a time!! Now, I will say that the youngest ones are around 4/5 up to the oldest being around 11, so it's not like they are watching a bunch of babies. BUT, they are awesome to harang eight crazy boys! AND make a meal at the same time. And these are natural mamas we're talking about - homemade bread, soakin' grains kind of meals! :)

Christina said...

EIGHT boys. OH MY WORD. But you're right...4 to 11 is a very different age range than I'm currently used. I picture 8 little Will's (my 2.5 year old) running around and it is not pretty. :)

Anyone up for doing this in Wake Forest? :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...