It’s a sight that’s familiar in churches across the globe: Moms, with children in tow, fill the pews on a Sunday morning. They are the ones who shepherd their families to church, instill the values of faith, and foster a sense of community. In many ways, moms are the backbone of the church, and honoring them can play a significant role in church growth.
Moms: The Pillars of Faith
From a young age, it is often our mothers who introduce us to the concept of faith. They hold our hands as we say our first prayers, guide us through our first Bible stories, and teach us about love, compassion, and kindness. They are our first teachers, shaping our understanding of faith and God.
In Proverbs 31:26-28, it is said, ”She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” This passage beautifully encapsulates the critical role mothers play in nurturing spiritual growth within their families.
The Power of a Mother’s Influence
Mothers have a profound influence on their children’s lives, including their spiritual journey. According to a study by the Barna Group, a mother’s role is influential in shaping a child’s religious beliefs and practices. The study found that mothers are more likely than fathers to be responsible for their children’s religious experiences.
This influence extends beyond childhood. As children grow into adults, they carry their mother’s teachings with them. They are more likely to attend church regularly, engage in religious activities, and pass down their faith to the next generation. As it’s said in Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
What the Bible Says About the Role of a Mother
The power of a mother’s influence isn’t just scientific but biblical. In the Bible, mothers hold a special place, and their role is seen as significant. Here are a few scriptural references to support this:
2 Timothy 1:5
In this passage, Paul acknowledges the role of Timothy’s mother and grandmother in shaping his faith, saying, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This shows the influential role a mother plays in nurturing faith in her children.
In this passage, the story of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, demonstrates the sacrificial love and courage of a mother. Despite the decree to kill all Hebrew boys, Jochebed hid Moses for three months and then placed him in a basket in the Nile, where he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her own. Jochebed’s actions saved Moses, who would grow up to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
In this verse, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is highlighted as another powerful example of a mother’s faith. When the angel Gabriel told her that she would conceive the Son of God, Mary responded, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Her willingness to accept God’s plan shows a mother’s faith and obedience.
Growing the Church by Honoring Moms
If mothers are such vital players in fostering faith and filling the churches, it stands to reason that honoring them can significantly contribute to church growth.
Honoring moms goes beyond celebrating them on Mother’s Day. It means acknowledging their efforts year-round, supporting them in their spiritual journey, and creating an environment where they feel valued and loved.
Churches can honor moms by providing resources and support for their parenting journeys, such as parenting classes or support groups. Churches can also create programs that cater to children and youth, making it easier for mothers to bring their families to church.
Moreover, churches can acknowledge the hard work of mothers in their congregation by giving them roles in church leadership. By seeing mothers in positions of authority, others in the church are reminded of the essential role that women play in spiritual growth and community building.
The Strength of the Church Rests with Mothers
Honoring moms is more than a nice sentiment; it’s a strategic move for church growth. Moms are often the ones who bring their families to church, influence their children’s spiritual growth, and foster a sense of community. By recognizing their contributions and supporting them in their spiritual journey, churches can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment. This, in turn, can attract more families, leading to church growth.
As we move forward, let us remember the words from Proverbs 31:28, “Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Let us ensure that our churches echo this sentiment, honoring the mothers among us, acknowledging their impact, and, in doing so, growing our congregations in faith and numbers.