Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Motherhood as Ministry

A few of the buzzwords you'll hear in Christian circles these days are Christian service, ministry, servant leader, washing feet.... They come from our Model of how to live and serve others - Jesus. We encourage our leaders to not just be the "boss," but to serve joyfully. We challenge our leaders to find ways to (figuratively) wash the feet of those whom they lead.

Once you establish the mindset of a servant leader, it isn't all that difficult to think of ways to serve those around you. A big part of it is to simply pay attention to their needs and try to meet them. For example, if a woman on my team was ill, I could bring her family dinner one evening; when another ministry is vying for space in the church, our ministry can freely give up some of our space; if I know my husband is tired, I can take care of a job that is normally his....

I can wrap my head around the concept of figurative foot washing when it comes to church ministry, the people I run into day-to-day, events I attend, my husband, friends, even enemies.

Here is a wild and crazy thought, though, that I just cannot wrap my head around. How can I wash the feet of my children? As a mother, these children are my primary ministry. My job is not simply to tend to them, but to minister to them in love and show them God's love. I think one of the reasons I can't "get it" is because my job with them is already serve, serve, serve. I cook for them, clean up after them and with them, bathe them, teach them, discipline them, cuddle them, and on it goes.

But do I do all these things out of the love of my heart to serve them and bless them, or are they merely things I do because it's my job to do them? Am I a servant leader to my children, or a dictator?

To be honest, I have never before considered my children my ministry. Raising them is my job - being a mother is my role. So I do what I have to do, often begrudgingly, with irritability and impatience. But if I led my children the way I lead my ministry, with passion and purpose and a vision, it would become God's work. That would be ministry. That would be servant leadership. That would be foot washing.

I think Jesus and I need to spend our time together tomorrow morning talking about how to wash the feet of my children. We'll probably make a list. Jesus and I LOVE lists!

What are some things that you do (or could do) to figuratively wash the feet of your children?

* a re-post from the archives

holy experience


  1. Great reminder that as leaders, we're to minister unto, not be ministered to. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:28. Wow! Striving to be such a leader! Thanks for this post! :)

  2. I was thinking about this alot today as I prepare my children to start a new school year. I'm trying to look for new ways everyday. Today my focus was on being calm and patient and administering discipline/instruction as needed. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

  3. Oh wow! Very powerful words! Now I need to go and pray over them...thank you for making me think about this. I need to go over what I am doing with God...He loves making lists of things for me to work on too. LOL

    This is my first visit to your blog...it is wonderful! What a blessing your ministry is!! I am becoming a follower!


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