I’m a mum with three children (7, 6, and 3) and, like most mums I know, I’m bogged down with the minutiae of life and suffering from constant tiredness. Since having children, my prayer life and quiet times have been whittled down to a minimum, so the thought of evangelism hasn’t been high on my agenda. Getting through each day without a trip to the doctor or to Accident and Emergency has taken priority!
This all changed eight months ago when a new friend of mine began to get interested (or maybe just concerned) about what the Christian school our children attended was teaching them about Jesus. She openly admitted that she was pretty ignorant in this area, and didn’t have the answers when her son asked her questions about God and Jesus. I knew this friend of mine would be unlikely to be able to make it to church on a Sunday, or even to an evening event. She’s plagued by the usual stuff we all have—family commitments and a husband who works long hours.
For women just like her, I began to have a vision to run a Christianity Explored course primarily aimed at school mums. The idea developed to meet in another mum’s home after the school run, drink coffee, eat yummy cakes, and then follow this by looking into who Jesus was and why he came. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and that right from the beginning I had to totally rely on God—on my own I didn’t have the time and the strength to get it under way. So I and a few others prayed as if it all depended on God, and got working as if it all depended on us. God was faithful and provided other Christian mums (and a brave dad!) to help, the backing of four local churches and the school, an ideal venue, and finances to pay for the resources.
Inviting people was one of the biggest challenges, but I was amazed at the responses and the conversations that opened up. Don’t get me wrong: lots of people were not interested at all. Between us we must have personally invited well over 50 people (about a quarter of the school), and out of that we had 20 positive responses from women who wanted to come along. Some mums wanted to do the course but couldn’t make it on the arranged day, so we’ve also done the course one-to-one with them instead, adapting the material as we’ve gone along. While running the course, we were clearly being attacked: we had terrible weather, ice, fog, traffic jams, neighbouring houses crashed into, sick children, and even a power cut just before we were about to show the DVD! However, God is more powerful and graciously overruled.
During the course it was amazing to see the lives of these women being transformed right in front of our eyes. It was fantastic seeing the expression on a couple of mums’ faces when they understood for the first time what grace was and that they could receive it! Towards the end of the course, we saw signs of new life and a real hunger for the gospel, which is now beginning to bear fruit in them. The course also served to unite and encourage the Christians who came along, giving us all a greater sense of purpose and God’s purposes for us in our situations. Each of the mums who came along have committed to do the follow-up Discipleship Explored course, and we’re planning to run another Christianity Explored next year.
As parents of school-aged children, I’ve come to realize we inadvertently share our lives with fellow mums whilst dropping the children off, at the school gate, over coffee, and so on. Let’s not miss this opportunity to get alongside them, build relationships, and tell them the great news of Jesus. As Paul would say, “being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess 2:8). Be bold and go for it: what have you got to lose? Nothing—but someone might gain their life!