Mailbag: Three Recent Questions Related to Ministry and Mothering
Here are answers to three questions that I recently received from a few different friends and readers. I thought I’d share the answers here, in hopes that they serve others too.
Some readers have started women’s Bible studies in their homes and Mormons from their neighborhoods are attending. The leaders are wondering in what ways Mormon doctrines are different from orthodox Christianity and how they might learn more.
There are indeed significant differences between the Mormon faith and the Christian faith, though many Mormons are unaware of that and would also have you believe otherwise. It’s important for you, as the Bible study leader, to know the differences. The foundational teachings of the Mormon church differ greatly from Christian orthodoxy including the nature of God, the nature of the Trinity, the person of Jesus, the way to be saved, and eternal life.
Rather than describing the details myself, I urge you to read the articles and websites linked by Randy Alcorn’s ministry here. Another great website for learning more about cults and worldviews is the Christian Research Institute.
One friend asked me about the mechanics of a Bible study that I co-facilitate that consists of both moms and teenage daughters. She wondered especially about whether or not the moms talk too much, if the girls willingly participate, and other issues. Here is my response to her:
We moms and daughters are going through None Like Him and we all read the same chapter before each gathering. We get together every few weeks to discuss the latest chapter. There are questions at the end of each chapter, which helps. At first we were all together--moms and daughters. We had a daughter lead the discussion each time. That really meant that she used the book's questions, but prepared by looking inside the chapter, highlighting, and bringing things out to help with discussion.
We found that we moms talked a lot and that the girls stayed pretty quiet. It seemed like the girls were really hesitant to answer with the moms there. I think that maybe they were afraid to look dumb or to give the wrong answer. Additionally, we moms weren't great with long, awkward silences, so we just kept chiming in. We ended up still meeting at the same time, but had the moms sit in one place and the girls sit in another. Each group discussed the chapter amongst themselves.
With this new way, we found that the girls opened up much more without the moms there. We could see them from a distance chatting and sharing. We also saw them serious and praying. We then were able to discuss the content of the meeting time with our own daughters as we drove home or at home before the next meeting. It seemed like this way was much more beneficial to the girls. Obviously it requires the moms to relinquish a lot of control, but with the questions available, plus the accountability of talking about it with each mom after the meeting, the girls really did seem to dig in. They did a good job. I could see their notebooks full of notes and they seemed to bond well and pray for one another more than before.
I’m often asked for a good podcast recommendation for young or new or busy moms. Here it is:
Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope For Moms -- I mean, you cannot have a better title or purpose for a podcast ministering to mommas, young or old, new or seasoned.