Aymee and her husband Adam had just moved all the way from Canada down to Tyler, Texas. Adam had taken a job with the salt industry and Aymee was a stay-at-home mom with three children. She was looking to connect and make friends in the area and that’s when she came across our Facebook post offering our new session for Mornings with Mommy.
Originally, our congregation used this program as a way to get to know the moms with the hopes that they would eventually check us out on Sundays and hear more about Jesus, but none of the ladies had taken that next step. So, we decided to become more proactive and give the moms and their children the opportunity to learn about Jesus the same day that we offered the program. We have a puppet show for the kids based on a Bible passage and a song that points them to Jesus. After the class, we invite all the mothers to stay for a fifteen-minute devotion. Some of our volunteers watch the children while the moms, another volunteer, and I gather in a classroom.
In our context, a lot of the moms are already very active in their own churches. So what I say at the end of every session is, “Ladies, we offer Mornings with Mommies because we want to pour into you and your children emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We know that many of you have your own church home and that’s great! Our goal is not to steal you away from your church but to supplement what you’re already hearing and give you a spiritual shot in the arm. So please join us for a 15-minute devotion where you can ask any questions you’d like and hear what God has to say to you in his word.”
That little introduction has proved to be very disarming and what we’ve found is that many of the moms tend to stick around. When the churched moms start coming to the classroom, some of the unchurched ones feel more comfortable to check it out.
The first time Aymee came to Mornings with Mommy, she saw a large group of ladies heading to the classroom and she decided to follow along. At that time, we were doing a series based on a book called “The Lies We Believe”. We identified different lies that we all tell ourselves and then we replaced them with God’s Truth. The Holy Spirit did his thing. Aymee was hooked. God’s word came alive and she kept coming back. Later, Aymee told me that she had grown up attending Catholic school and that she had learned more in our fifteen-minute devotions than she had in all of those years in parochial school. Ever since, she and her family have been making Sunday morning worship a regular part of their week.
Aymee reminded us that if people are coming to what we’re offering, we might as well give them the gospel while they’re there.
My encouragement to those that are offering any kind of program hoping to make a connection with their community is to remember what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”
Pastor Daniel Schmidt serves Faith Lutheran Church in Tyler, Tex.