If you are a mom who happens to also be in full or part-time ministry, then you know the tug-of-war that happens on your time, energy, and even your heart. There are so many women in ministry today—and particularly in children’s ministry. Because of this, I felt it was timely to address the dynamic of doing mothering and ministering well and in conjunction with God’s plan. Here are three things to remember about motherhood and ministry:
- Know that you are called to both. Chances are, if you have been in ministry for any number of years, then you have truly been called. If you aren’t truly called, sadly, you will not last long. Ministry is a calling and when we remember that God Himself called us, then we can rest knowing that He does not call us without equipping us. Hebrews 13:21 says that He will “equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” Though there will be times when we do not feel equipped, we can hold true to the promise that He will provide what we need to accomplish His will.
If you have children of your own, then you know that you are called to motherhood. This is an instinctive passion that drives almost everything we do—generally speaking. We wake our kids up, fix a meal, pack a lunch, dress them, drive them to school, check their homework, enroll them in lessons and leagues, and tuck them in at night. Of course, this list is much longer. Let’s not forget that we also discipline them, teach them, and most importantly—disciple them. We cling to the verses in Deuteronomy as a daily reminder: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:5-6
- Be warned that the enemy tries to lie to you in both ears. You probably recognize some of these whispers: “Why are you spending all this time with other people’s kids and not your own?” “You should be doing more at work instead of spending time with your kids.” Sound familiar? Remember, “your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He would love to steal any kind of joy you have in ministry—and motherhood. Resist the temptation to listen to the lies and instead, be fully present and open to the gifts that both roles offer.
- Seek to find synergy in the two roles. If your kids are actually part of the ministry you lead, let them help lead songs, help you plan fun events, or prepare activity supplies. If your kids are teens, give them more responsibility such as helping you with AV equipment, leading worship, and co-teaching with other leaders. Serving together may be the biggest benefit of being a mom in ministry.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.