‘Exponential Evangelism’: Study Shows Engaging Christian Moms Can Grow the Church

A new Barna survey reveals that the global Church is overlooking a key group of people when it comes to evangelism–Moms.

In a study conducted in partnership with MOPS International, Barna found that moms influence their children’s decisions for Christ and their communities, but they first must know that they are supported in sharing the load of motherhood.

“I want to look at the untapped potential that is sitting regularly in your church,” said Mandy Arioto, President and CEO of MOPS International. “Moms are evangelists, and if you want the fastest, smartest, and most efficient message for spreading a message. You start with the moms.”

Only 34% of respondents in the study felt that their community supported them and 20% felt that they could trust their community with their faults or weaknesses.

The group also reported that many moms say their church does not provide discipleship opportunities and resources to serve them in their season of motherhood.

“If you can’t be honest with your community because you fear judgment, you won’t trust the people around you, leading to isolation and loneliness,” reads the study. “This is the opposite of what God has called us to be and do in our community. If the women who need us most—not to mention women who are supposedly already part of our Christ-following community—feel like they can’t trust us, where does that leave them? Where does that leave [the Church]?”

As CBN News reported, most Americans who identify as Christians say that their mother’s faith played a major part in their decision to follow Jesus Christ, according to a new survey by the American Bible Society.

According to the group, 77% of respondents are following their mother’s faith, and nearly a third (32%) of those who had atheist, agnostic, or “no faith” mothers at age 10 now identify as Christian.

Although moms are essentially community influencers, they are often left feeling like they don’t have a community.

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“Having little human lives depending on you can be overwhelming. It becomes even more unbearable when we don’t have a community that we truly trust not to judge us or condemn us for not having it right every single time. Be the voice that encourages and the body that responds in action for someone in need,” reads the Barna study.

According to the report, mothers who have a confidant in their lives are more likely – than those who don’t – to say:

  •  “I am satisfied with being a mother.” (73% vs. 61%)
  •  “I am satisfied with my marriage.” (60% vs. 47%)
  •  “Someone cares for me on a regular basis.” (53% vs. 26%)
  •  “I practice self-care daily.” (33% vs. 16%)

Barna suggests that the Church can fill the gap to provide support for these women.

Barna and MOPS hosted a webinar earlier this month titled “Engaging Moms: The Evangelism Strategy No One Is Talking About But Should Be” to encourage pastors and leaders to support moms, so they can be light in their communities.

“Before I ask a mom to serve again, I want to ask how the Church can serve that mom,” said Amy Seiffert, pastor of Brookside Church.

“If you want kids to show up to church you start with the mom,” Arioto shared. “You want to alleviate poverty, reach teens or influence how dollars get spent, or most importantly if you want to create an exponential movement of people who are recommending Jesus–you start with the moms.”

“When we reach moms it is exponential evangelism,” she added.

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