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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
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The "Mom" Phenomenon
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.
4) They are lovingly direct.
- They are not afraid of sharing their opinions in a direct but caring way. Never probing or seeking a way to subvert the agenda or ministry, they are comfortable with who they are.
- They also are comfortable with being honest about what they think--and in a compassionate and supportive way. They will tell you when they think you are wrong. They will also tell you when you are right. They will also be direct as they respond to evaluative suggestions.
6) They are confidential.
Though any sharing of ministry struggles must be done with great care, over the years ministers can gain a great sense of trust and confidentiality in these special servants of God. They know your ups, your downs, your ins and outs, your frustrations and your joys. But, most important, they keep it to themselves.
As long as "Mom" is around, there's plenty of appreciation and support. Moms pray for their "sons" and "daughters" even as they pray for their own. Their love and respect for their "sons" or "daughters" is often shown by random acts of kindness and Christian love.
It may seem like a small price to pay for such great rewards. For Moms the most valuable thing is that occasional hug. This hug affirms the friendship, the trust and all the joy that this special relationship gives.
Whether preaching, teaching, shaking hands, or just carrying on the work of ministry, they always smile back. It's their special way of affirming ministry. Sometimes, when they're feeling really good, they may even share a joke or two. To have a source of never-ending smiles is a wonderful antidote for the "ups and downs" of ministry. But the smile is much more than just an antidote. It's the smile of faithful friendship offered, and received, to the glory of God.
Over the years they've talked to God so much sometimes it seems they've learned to listen like God, too! Though not God, sometimes Moms can be the next best thing, especially when the family is also overwhelmed by the cares and anxieties of parsonage life.
Often pastors become rightly suspicious when they hear individuals deride other pastors. After all, people are consistent. If they will despise one pastor, they'll despise another. That "another" might become you. Moms, on the other hand, have a rich history of positive experiences with consecutive pastors.
The reason they "idolize" you is because they have done the same for their many, many pastors over the years. Indeed, Moms have a virtually uninterrupted history of befriending, supporting and aiding pastors. Though mature seniors, these individuals have always had "mom" in them. Their wisdom and experience--and freedom from marriage and child-rearing responsibilities--enables them to be a ready help and faithful friend to those in God's service.
They have a lifelong history of faithfulness to God. As health permits, their faithfulness is demonstrated by attendance at every worship service, Bible class, personal Bible reading and devotions, and a generous heart of service and sacrifice for their Lord and others.
Though not necessarily rich, they demonstrate the wealth of their faith by giving the "widow's mite." Though the amount may be relatively small, the Lord sees in their gift what they are really giving: their entire heart, soul and mind in love to their Lord.
1) Send you a card for every occasion.
2) Give a personal gift to their pastor just because the pastor is "special."
3) Regularly do 'behind the scenes" activity at church without being noticed.
4) Do not hang around to talk with the church cliques.
5) Have no need to impress anyone in the church.
- 6) They have a quiet confidence in themselves.
7) Have very few, if any, enemies in the church.
- 8) Are very discreet about how they talk about naysayers, antagonists, and others.
9) Are not emotionally "needy," insecure, or otherwise not having a strong sense of self. Indeed, they may have a preference for solitude.
10) Are generally respected by others as having a deep sense of Christian character.
11) Are responsive to the experiences of ministry and able to share and uplift by their conversation, prayers and constant support.
12) Are always appreciative of the simple things of ministry and the simple working in God.
Help us, O Lord, to concentrate on them, and not the naysayers.
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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:24 PM