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Moms, Parents

Why Moms Matter

One of the best parts of serving in girls' ministry is that we get to constantly encourage girls. We encourage girls to read their Bibles, we encourage girls to pursue godly friendships, we encourage girls to share their faith, and occasionally, but inevitably, we encourage girls to consider if the boy they are "talking" to pushes them closer to God or further away from Him.

Yet, there is another group of women who we are called to encourage in girls' ministry that can easily go unnoticed. They are often found behind the steering wheel in the drop-off line, making a last-minute T-shirt so their daughter can try to win the costume contest at Youth that night (even though they spent more money on the supplies than the amount they are competing for), or as the one in charge of bringing snacks for the small group that week. They are the unsung heroes of student ministry: Moms.

Moms deserve to be celebrated, and our job in girls' ministry isn’t just to support girls, but to encourage, uplift, and celebrate moms. Yet, it can be hard to know how to communicate our gratitude to the moms of our students. So where do we start? How do we celebrate moms in a way that speaks to them?

Three ways we can celebrate moms:

1. Get to know the moms of your students

The moms in your ministry are more than just the people who drop off your girls to Youth and sign the waiver for girls to go to Youth camp – they are women who have personalities, perspectives, and most likely spend more time around teenage girls than you do. Just like our girls, they are people who want to be known, seen, and valued.An impactful way to celebrate moms is to spend intentional effort getting to know them. A few ways to do this are:

Take a mom out to lunch and ask her questions to get to know her.Take several moms out for coffee and connect them with other moms who are committed to raising their daughters to know and love Jesus.Start a group message with all the moms in your small group and regularly update them on information about student ministry schedules, what topics their daughters are discussing in groups, and ask how you can be praying for them.

2. Acknowledge and encourage a mom’s impact on their daughter’s discipleship journey

A mom’s impact on her daughter’s discipleship to Jesus is massive. Our girls will spend at most 5 hours a week with us (depending on your church’s student ministry rhythms), they will spend 35 hours at school, and for the rest of the 128 hours in the week, they will be under the care of mom. From getting to church early or staying late so their daughter can hang out with her small group, to making decisions to prioritize church over other activities in their kids' lives, it takes a lot of intentionality and work to show a girl what it looks like to follow Jesus more than the things of this world.There are a lot of sacrifices that moms make, especially when it comes to raising up their children to follow after God, and I believe that God wants to use our eyes to see moms and our voices to encourage moms. Here are several ways you can encourage moms in their efforts to disciple their daughters:

Share something you admire about her relationship with her daughter.Write a handwritten note acknowledging the sacrifices she makes and thanking her for how she has raised her daughter to follow Jesus.Text a mom and share with them when their daughter talks about the positive impact their mom has on them.

3. Celebrate wins with moms

One of the best parts about serving in student ministry is that we get to watch our students have powerful encounters with God. We get to be on the frontlines when a girl gives her life to Jesus, prays out loud for the first time, invests in younger girls, etc. It is a privilege to watch God move in our girls’ lives in a way that most people do not get to witness, including moms. Here are a few wins to celebrate with moms:

When a girl worships passionately.When a girl invites a new student to hang out with her.When a girl shares something that God is teaching her.

I will often text a mom when I see this, and text something along the lines of “I saw [student] do [something incredible]! It’s such a joy to watch her pursue God, and I am thankful that she is a part of [Church name].”This is not only a great way to build relational equity with a mom but also gets to show her a little of what God is doing in her daughter’s life– and a little encouragement can go a long way while they are trying to navigate the journey of parenting a teenage girl as best as they can.

Let’s celebrate!

There is power when we use our words to celebrate, and moms are worthy of celebration. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body” (CSB). So let’s lift up and celebrate our student ministry moms and encourage them with our words and with our actions!