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MomLife’s COVID Challenge Forges Deeper Connections

MomLife’s COVID Challenge Forges Deeper Connections

For moms, life can simultaneously feel like a roller coaster and a slow walk through the park. MomLife was launched nearly ten years ago to support moms through the overwhelming toddler years.

For years, MomLife met once a month at the church on Wednesday mornings. Nearly 100 young moms and mentor moms would meet in the sanctuary while their little ones were in childcare. They enjoyed eating, fellowship, and crafts as well as teaching time and discussions at tables.

Then came COVID. Like so many other ministries at Faith Bible Church, MomLife had to be restructured to fit the parameters of smaller groups. But MomLife coordinator Susan Webley says the restructuring also gave the elders and leaders a chance to revisit the vision for the ministry. As a result, it’s grown even stronger and led to deeper connections among the moms.

How COVID Changed MomLife

Even before the COVID challenge, the elders and pastors desired to refocus MomLife on Titus 2:3–5:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

This meant that with the new structure of MomLife, there would be more of an emphasis on the older women—or, as Susan says, “seasoned” women—providing instruction and accountability to the younger women. And due to the small group requirements of COVID, this looked like meeting in mentor moms’ homes with a group of 5 to 12 women once a month for teaching and discussion.

One benefit of this format was the flexibility of each group choosing their time to meet. Some met on Saturday mornings while others met on Tuesday nights when dads could watch little ones and working moms could attend.

The meeting itself also looked a little different for each group of women. “Every group got to tailor it to their own gals in the group,” Susan says. “There were all kinds of different needs and wants and desires for learning and coming alongside.” Some groups still wanted to keep crafts as part of their time together, but Susan said the women in her group chose to eliminate it and spend more time socializing and talking through the challenges they were facing.

To keep the teaching consistent, Linda Jarms and Kelli Dionne recorded teaching videos that each group watched and then discussed. This year, the teaching was from the Psalms. The women were encouraged to read the Psalm of the month daily, even if only a few minutes were spent on it. This was a way to get the Word into their hearts on a consistent basis and to continually process the Psalm that was the focus of the month.

Susan says the studies were encouraging, refreshing, and easily digestible with the busyness of raising toddlers.

This time to spend together without kids to worry about and time to talk without a timer ticking led to deeper relationships. The smaller group setting allowed women to get to know one another better, to know how to pray for one another, and to share real life together.

By the end of the year, Susan says, “an overwhelming majority” of the women involved said they loved the new format.

“Every group got to tailor it to their own gals in the group. There were all kinds of different needs and wants and desires for learning and coming alongside.”Susan Webley

A New Look for the Coming Year

Because of the positive response, the in-home format of MomLife will continue in the upcoming year, with a twist. A whole-group kick-off meeting will be on September 29, a Wednesday morning at the church. Linda and Kelli will give the vision for the upcoming year as they continue to teach out of Psalms. This will be an opportunity for all the moms to socialize with one another as groups are unified under a common goal.

After the kick-off meeting, the smaller groups will arrange their own monthly meetings for the rest of the school year with a break in December for the traditional Women’s Christmas Dessert. The goal is to keep the time commitment low enough to allow for other ministries and family life, but still carve out intentional mentoring times with seasoned moms.

There’s no “homework” involved, other than the encouragement to daily be in the Word, aided by songs that Kelli and Linda found putting those Psalms to music. “[The songs] were fantastic to help remind us of what the words were saying,” Susan says.

The goal is for groups to add in activities or other ways that moms can incorporate those Psalms into daily life with their kids.

All Moms Can Get Involved

While MomLife has been primarily targeted toward moms with younger children, Susan says leaders want moms with kids aged elementary to high school to join as well. These moms are just a little further ahead than those with young kids and have a wealth of wisdom to share, having been in the toddler years not long ago.

To any mom who might be thinking of joining—either as a young mom or one who is more seasoned—Susan highly encourages them to do so. “There is so much benefit to sharing your wisdom and experiences with each other,” she says.

Whether moms are struggling with the potty-training years or the crying-over-homework years, they can find strength in partnering with moms who’ve been there or are currently there. Knowing they’re not alone and being encouraged through God’s Word can make all the difference in a mom’s life.

Registration for MomLife will be available online by the end of August. Those who are interested in being a mentor mom should email Susan at swebley@fbchurch.org. She’s happy to answer questions and get moms connected with the right groups.

“There’s plenty of you out there that want a ministry opportunity,” Susan says. “We have so many new people in our church. We’re happy to share this ministry with you as well.”

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