Biblical Support for Mom Heart Groups | Tip #16

Why do you lead or attend a Mom Heart group?Many small groups for moms probably start with the vision of getting out of the house and getting together for mutual support and fellowship. That very natural impetus has created “Mom’s Day Out” ministries everywhere you turn. And in the thick of raising young children at home, that is understandably a very appealing idea. However, moms need more than an MDO to keep role as a group leader is about much more than just facilitating fellowship; it is also about preserving and passing on God’s truth to other moms that can change lives and affect eternity. The same conviction that drives you to teach your children the truths they need for life should also drive you to take your role as a Mom Heart group leader and teacher just as seriously. It’s the same conviction that drove the apostles as they started the church after Jesus left them. It’s the same conviction, driven by the same scriptures, that continues to grow the church today. The biblical methods for expressing those convictions have remained the same since Jesus gave us our marching orders as His disciples.Some moms are ready and eager to enter the battle for moms’ hearts and minds. Others are cautiously confident and willing to consider giving it a go. Others are emotionally resistant, thinking they are neither qualified nor gifted to actually teach. Whichever mom you are, here’s the reality for everyone: Being a Mom Heart group leader and teacher is not just about what you think you can or should do for God; it is about what God says he can and will do through you. If you are a woman of God who is faithful and available, He can and will use you.

There are a few key passages of Scripture that have shaped the growth of the church for two thousand years. They have shaped our own Clarkson family commitment to personal ministry for four decades, and now feed our vision for a movement of Mom Heart groups. This post does not allow for an in-depth study of each passage, but you can glean from them the larger principles what God wants you to know about the biblical methods that shape this ministry, and can shape yours, too. God wants to use you to make a difference in the lives of other moms. These passages are speaking to you, not to “someone else.” You can gain confidence from His Word to be the teacher that He has prepared you to be.

God Wants You to Make Disciples – Matthew 28:18-20 (Acts 1:7-8)

All ministry in Christ’s name—in every place to everyone of any time—begins with the final words of Jesus that end Matthew’s gospel:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

For forty days after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers and instructed His apostles about the kingdom of God (see Acts 1:1-9). At the end of that time, He gathered His apostles together to let them know that they would soon “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (1:9) and that they would become His “witnesses” not just in Israel but in all the earth. In His final words before ascending into heaven Jesus commanded them to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), assuring them that He would be with them “always” through His Spirit (see John 14:16-17f).photo-1457408994065-3c1586bd86d0Jesus’ one simple command to “make disciples,” carried forward by His Spirit-empowered followers, has fueled and fired the growth of Christianity for two thousand years, and will continue to do so until “the end of the age.”As a Mom Heart group leader, you are part of that wildfire of faith. You’re adding fuel to that fire when you respond to the “Great Commission” of Jesus by going to your world—your neighborhood, your church, your community, your city— to make disciples. Just like the apostles who spread Christ’s teaching of the kingdom of God in their place and time, you are empowered by the Spirit of Christ within you to be a witness and worker for Jesus in your place and time. You “Go” because Jesus is with you, in you, empowering you by His Holy Spirit to be His witness in your little corner of the “remotest part of earth.” No matter who you are, God wants to use you to make disciples.Ask yourself the following questions about your ministry for Christ from the passages in Matthew and Acts:• How does Christ’s last command to “make disciples” apply to me, right here and right now? How can I be a disciple of Christ ready to make disciples?• Where and when can I “go” to make disciples? Am I standing still, or moving forward for Jesus and His kingdom? What part of the world can I reach?• How am I “teaching” disciples about Jesus and the things that He and His followers taught? How am I teaching them to guard all that Christ and His Word teach?• Is Christ with me? Do I believe He is “always” with me, all the time and in every place? How does that make a difference in my life?• Is the Holy Spirit within me? Do I believe that I receive “power” from Him? How does that make a difference in my life?• Am I a witness for Christ? Do I believe that Jesus will use me to witness for Him right here and right now? How does that make a difference in my life?

God Wants You to Teach Others What You Know – 2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:1-2

The apostles knew what they were being sent out to do, but how did Christianity grow so rapidly and spread so widely to become the largest religion in the world? The spiritual engine of growth for Christianity was in an uncomplicated principle of disciple-making that Jesus taught His disciples—teach others to teach others.The growth of Christianity, though, is about more than just a methodology. Before anything else, it is about the message that inspires the method. Without the message of truth in God’s Word, the method would be just religious activity. Listen to what Paul wanted Timothy to understand:

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. ... You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:1-2)

photo-1437954820769-76094033b90fPaul packs a lot into those few verses, exhorting Timothy to “retain” (hold onto) the truths he had heard, “guard” them as a “treasure,” stay “strong” in Christ, and “entrust” the message to others he could trust. This was long before the new Scriptures that were still being written would become what we now know as the New Testament. In that first generation of Christianity, it all had to be truth invested in hearts and minds by faith.In delivering his exhortations to Timothy, Paul touches on key words of the Christian message—faith (1:13), love (1:13), Christ Jesus (1:13, 2:1), Holy Spirit (1:14), grace (2:1), witnesses (2:2), faithful (2:2), teach (2:2), and others. These were not just “God words” in a final pep talk to Timothy; they were the life-changing language of hope and truth that opened hearts to the message of the gospel in all its fullness. They are powerful words that have changed the world, and should change you as a person, and as a Mom Heart group leader. It is a “treasure ... entrusted to you.”The incomparable message you have to teach and to share as a Mom Heart group leader is unlike any message ever shared in all of human history. It is the one true message that explains all other messages. You have the opportunity to open the pages of God’s Word to the women in your group and draw them into the depths of His story and glory.Timothy was one of the first links in the chain of “faithful men” (NASB) who would preserve the “treasure” of truth in the Bible that you now read, study, and teach. You are carrying on Paul’s admonition to “entrust [what you have learned] to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” And just to clarify, Paul was not excluding you as a woman in his charge to Timothy. A better translation is: “entrust [what you have learned] to faithful people [anthropois ] who will be competent to teach others as well” (NET).That’s you. You are one of the “faithful people” that Paul envisioned teaching others to teach others. As a Mom Heart group leader and teacher, you have a message of inestimable value to give to the women in your group. If you feel inadequate for that task, just know Paul felt the same way: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:5-7). As a fellow “earthen vessel,” ask yourself the following questions to ponder your place in the process of passing on the truth of Scripture to other faithful followers, the same truth that Paul passed on to Timothy:• How can I respond to Paul’s admonitions to “retain,” “guard,” “be strong,” and “entrust”? How am I, as one entrusted with the truths of God, preserving, promoting, and passing on that “treasure” to other faithful people?• What can I do to make sure that I can “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”? What am I doing to strengthen my spirit with the grace of God? How am I opening my spirit to receive God’s grace through the Word, prayer, and fellowship?• How am I deliberately entrusting to other trustworthy women the truths that I know and am learning? How do I do that actively, and not just passively? How can I be strategic?• How am I growing in my knowledge of the deep truths of Scripture revealed in Paul’s words to Timothy? What other treasured words are doors into deeper understanding of all that God has done for us in Christ? What can I do to study these words?God has given you a great privilege and responsibility to lead the women around you.  You can do it!