I received an email yesterday from a friend asking my thoughts on Mother’s Day Out. How would I respond to my leadership if asked to start an MDO ministry.
Great question. Here was my response…
First, I’d want to know what the objective is. The request for such a ministry is in response to a ‘felt need’. Maybe to provide a much needed break to the mom’s attending our church… or to reach out to families in the community that do not have a church home… or to generate some revenue in order to subsidize other ministry endeavors… or simply b/c this is what churches do… whatever it is, the request is made because someone believes MDO to be a means to an end. What is that end?
With the end in mind, then I’d want to structure a plan so that the ministry actually meets the defined objectives. Just like any other area of ministry, it must be evaluated on an annual basis to determine whether or not it is advancing the vision for which it was set in place. In other words, is the MDO program doing what we want it to do?
- If we started it to bring in unchurched families, what percentage of our new families that year directly resulted from the MDO program?
- If we started it to provide a break for mom’s in our church, what ministry are we partnering with to maximize that time for mom?
- If we started it to subsidize other ministry endeavors, how much dollars are we generating (less the cost of running MDO… facilities use, resources, staffing, training, etc)?
- If we started it because it’s what churches do… then I’d want to know why that’s a solid reason for such a costly endeavor.
I’m not opposed to Mother’s Day Out. In some contexts I think it’s an outstanding ministry to host. For example, consider an MDO program where participating parents are…
- offered professional training that better equips them to provide for their family (great for inner-city ministry)
- are given opportunity to serve in their community in ways they cannot with a young child
- mentored in a next-gen ministry where godly parents from the previous generation pour into them as Christ-followers and parents
I believe Mother’s Day Out can be a great ministry if you view as that exactly… a ministry that requires financial and spiritual investment.
So there you go. Those are my thoughts based upon my experience with MDO. Yours?Learn More