Leah F's Local Church Involvement

Posted by  | Tuesday, November 9, 2010  at 9:35 PM  
This week on Prayer of Hannah we are discussing our “outside of the home” ministries, specifically focusing on our involvement in our local church.

Let me first say that if you are a wife and mother, your primary ministry responsibility is in your home. God has created you to be a helpmate to your spouse, and mother to your children. It is a job that you alone can do, and God has developed special gifts and abilities in your life for you to serve in your home. As a mother of small children, God has given me this time to train them and teach them and point them to Christ. It is my biggest ministry! For further development of this idea, please see this article (I linked to it before, but it fits so perfectly with this discussion I had to link it again).

However, as believers in Christ, we are also called to be a part of a church body, and to exercise our part in that body to the best of our ability. With small children, it is hard to be greatly involved in the daily life of your church without your home life suffering. However, there are still many ministries that are perfectly suited to wives and mothers, and it is our hope that by sharing what we do, you will find inspiration for ministry opportunities in your life and your church body.

Nathan and I are members of First Baptist Church, Durham, NC. It is my personal opinion that my pastor is the best expositional preacher around, but of course if I didn’t think that, we probably wouldn’t be attending there! We have been members for over five years now, and have had many different areas of service. I currently have three main areas of ministry opportunities in my church.

1--substitute teacher for the one year old Bible For Life class (our Sunday School equivalent)--I am the permanent sub for the one year old BFL class. That means if any one of the teachers is out of town or sick, I am the person they call first. There are three teachers in this classroom, and I spend about one third of my time Sunday mornings in the one year old class, and two thirds of my time in my adult BFL class. This responsibility requires no preparation--this class does not have regular lessons, so I do not have to review anything before working in the class. It is just an hour and a half of playing with kids, one of whom is my son, so it is a great job!

2--coordinator of the new baby meals for the church body. Several weeks ago we discussed ministry to new moms, and I talked about MealBaby.com and how I use it at my church. I have a list of ladies who are willing and available to make meals for families in need, and I simply pull together a MealBaby calendar and send the link out to my email list. This is something I am easily able to do from home in less than an hour. The glories of the internet and MealBaby.com allow me to work on it even if I am away from home traveling. Secretly, I am actually looking forward to planning my own MealBaby calendar in a few short weeks--there is no reason I cannot set it up and email it out once I know my schedule after Finnling #3 arrives.

3--hosting a small group (called Home Fellowships at FBCD) in our home once a week. This task is both the easiest and hardest one that I do. It is easy because the small group meets in my home, on my turf, under my terms and conditions. I can put my kids in their pajamas before people come over if I want, or I slip away to put them to bed if needed. I love opening my home to others and sharing our family life with people. However, that means that I need to keep my house clean and ready for company. That is not always easy to do! Quite frankly, I just don’t enjoy cleaning (never have), but I don’t like for people to see my house dirty either. Usually what happens is that once a week my downstairs living area gets a good cleaning or at least a surface pick up, and my upstairs bedrooms/bathrooms are neglected for weeks on end. I am not recommending that route, just sharing what happens around here! This third ministry is the area in which my children are most involved. By opening our home to church members each week, we are modeling hospitality, grace and unconditional love to our children. We are inviting our brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with us, to see us at our best and worst, and to become real family members to my kids. We are attempting to teach our children to love others, to display good manners, and to be gracious hosts (they need a lot of work in these areas--but don’t we all?).

There are a few other things that I occasionally do to serve my church body (such as taking the roll in my husband’s Bible for Life class and serving in extended session nursery), but the above three things are what I consider my ministry at FBCD. Note that one thing I DO NOT do is teach any kind of class. I am not opposed to doing that at some point, but this season in my life is not the right time for that. I have served as a children’s teacher before, but with two small children and another on the way, preparing a weekly lesson is not the best commitment for me.

Please take the time to share with us how you are involved in your local church, and how you balance your ministry at home and at church. We would love to hear from you!


ChezDeshotels said...

thank you so much for sharing and yes I totally agree with everything you said as being a wife and a mother but I also love the ministries I am in as well. Currently my husband and I work 5 times a year in our baby nursery durng morning worship. I am also co teach 5-6th grade VBS each summer but I lead clinics on how to teach this age group at other times. I am also on a list to prepare food for families in need or for church funeral dinners but my most important job is the Women's Ministry Coordinator. Women's Ministry is my heart and I spent years internationally in women's minsitry and I have served in different churches but no I handle all women's ministry in our church. Which right now is visiting, card writing, and a once a month timeof learning, fellowship and prayer. I bring in speakers, we work on mission action type project ie... we work with the crisis pregnancy center in a sister church etc... I love this ministry and supprisingly I can incorperate my two girls in thi often. they help make bread and go visit the women they help with cards and mailing and they go and help me set up for monthly meetings or make snacks. I think it is a great opportunity for them to see Godly women in thier lives and to see how to serve others because they are both in the stage of "ME" It is truly my favorite ministry and it doesn't seem like work because it truly is how God has called me to serve in my church. Thanks for sharing

dysons said...

My husband and I served a lot in the church before our son was born, and now we're finding it hard to cut back. We really enjoy serving, but it's an added (and usually unnecessary) strain on our son.
After reading the article about ministry, guilt, and seasons of life, I have decided for this season of time where I have young children that need extra attention or an early bedtime, I'm just not going to be able to volunteer and serve as much as I'd like. This doesn't mean that I'll never do it again, but it means for now, I need to say no to some things that I enjoy doing so that I can provide my son with what he needs.
So for now, I'm not renewing any of my current commitments when they come to an end, but I like the idea of being a substitute, so I think I will volunteer for that :)

Leah F said...

Thanks for your comments! I personally love being a substitute, as I fill like I am filling a genuine need without making a big time commitment :-) Each season of life is different, though, and I look forward to being involved in my church through each and every season.

Jackie said...

I'm a pastor's wife, so the ministry is what most of our days revolve around. I currently am an Awana Director of T & T (3rd-4th grade), help makes meals as needed, serve in the nursery once a quarter, and am singing in the choir Christmas cantata.

Beyond this, I've been learning a lot about how my attitude can be a form of worship and a big help for my husband. We have two small boys. My husband leaves before us on Sun morning and evening and just stays through on Wed night so getting us out of the house on time is always up to me. During service on Sun morning I am the one responsible for our 3 year old that sits with me for part of time. After the service he often has to talk with people so picking up the boys and keeping track of both of them is my responsibility. And if anyone is sick, it's automatically me who stays home.

Each of these has been met with a poor attitude on my part, but thankfully the Lord is showing me that doing these things with joy and not feeling sorry for myself is a form of worship and obviously a much better example for my boys!

I used to hate Sundays and just changing my attitude is helping to improve my perspective on the day!

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