Last week a leader in our Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook Group asked for advice on throwing a baby shower for their local pregnancy care center.
Leaders were quick to share their tips and ideas. Several were inspired to do something similar in their own community.
God’s timing never fails to amaze me. This special guest post was already in the works!
I want to introduce you to my friend, Tammy Carr. Tammy and I met about eight years ago at a LifeWay Beta Conference for Women’s Ministry Leaders. We’ve stayed connected through social media and email over the years. She has some great advice to share with you as you consider how you can support and encourage the work of your local pregnancy center. I pray her words will be a blessing and encouragement to you!
As the Client Services Director for Door of Hope Pregnancy Care Center, I receive frequent inquiries from women leaders in the church about ways they can help their local pregnancy care center.
Ironically, I can say “the shoe used to be on the other foot.” For years, I was a Minister to Women in a local church calling the Door of Hope Pregnancy Care Center to ask the very same question.
In response to this question, I was usually told about the material needs for the Blessing Closet. The Blessing Closet is a cute baby boutique where moms in our “Earn While You Learn” Mentor Program can shop for items (diapers, wipes, clothing, etc.) they need that week.
Now, as the Client Services Director, I find myself repeating the same “easy” response to this question. Don’t get me wrong sweet Sister in Christ, it’s not that this response is untruthful or wrong! However, I want to take this opportunity to go deeper and to be brutally honest with you. Trust me, there is much more to be requested from you than diaper donations.
I have worked with and ministered to women in the church setting for years, but I’ve never served women in a place quite like this one. There is so much pain but also joy under the same roof at one time.
So here we go, I want you to know how you can truly minister with your local pregnancy care center.
Your prayers are needed not only for the families impacted by the ministry of a pregnancy care center but also for the staff and volunteers! We are working on the frontlines of a very serious spiritual battle for the hearts of women in vulnerable pregnancy situations and their unborn children. The battle is intense, and it’s exhausting. We count on the prayers of faithful prayer warriors to sustain us through the week.
How can you pray for us?
Teach the women in your church to write our names on their hearts, in their prayer journals, and on the walls of their prayer closets. Lift us up in prayer at your team meetings and your ministry events. Make sure your church does not forget us on their prayer lists or in their prayer meetings.
Teach women to lift us up in prayer when they drive past our center. I call these “popcorn prayers.” Children and grandchildren in the car will want to pray too! This is the perfect opportunity to teach them about the importance of their local pregnancy care center.
There are some pregnancy care centers that have multiple satellite locations or mobile units. However, the reality is most pregnancy care centers will have only one centrally located pregnancy care center. Staff and volunteers are busy at their location fulfilling the mission. This means we can’t be everywhere connecting to everyone who may need our services. This is where pregnancy care centers need your help.
How can you connect women to us?
Women Coming through Your Doors
You must be intentional in how you will minister to women who come through the doors of your church seeking help. Do your research and know the resources available to them in your community. This includes contacting your local pregnancy care center to find out about their services. Your women’s ministry team should have a plan in place for connecting them to other established ministries in the community who can assist them.
Women Sitting in Your Pews
You must be intentional in how you will minister to women in your church who sit in your pews every Sunday who need help. Be particularly sensitive on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and Mother’s Day. Some women face these days with great grief, pain, and shame.
Think about the woman sitting in the pew who has always wanted to be a Mom, but her arms remain empty because she has miscarried three times.
Think about the woman whose eight-week-old baby died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Her loss happened five years ago, but she remains stuck in her grief with a family depending on her to move on with life.
Think about the woman who chose to end her teenage pregnancy in abortion. She keeps her story hidden for fear of being judged by others in the church.
On these special days, your women’s ministry needs to pray and ask for God’s leading on how to compassionately minister to those who are hurting. Actively seek ways to connect them to the services offered at your local pregnancy care center.
Your local pregnancy care center needs you to encourage them. We minister to women in unplanned pregnancies daily. We rejoice when a woman chooses life for her unborn child, but we grieve when a woman decides to end her pregnancy in abortion.
How can you encourage us?
Ask the women in your church to mail cards of encouragement to the staff and volunteers. Deliver a bright bouquet of flowers for everyone to enjoy. Order a pizza to be delivered to the staff and volunteers. The possibilities are endless, but I’m trusting you get the idea, sweet Sisters!
Your local pregnancy care center needs your support. We need your financial support. We need your volunteer support.
How can you support us?
Remember, we are working with limited budgets and limited staff and often face unexpected expenses. Your help is vital to us meeting our financial goals. Your women’s ministry can lead by participating in annual fundraisers. You can also encourage your church to add to the annual church budget a donation to the ministry.
We understand that everyone is not available to volunteer on a weekly basis. However, this support could be as simple as communicating one-time serve opportunities or planning to serve together as a group for a specific project at your local pregnancy care center.
I hope my perspective has challenged you to think outside the box of how your women’s ministry can minister with your local pregnancy care center.
Greetings sweet Sisters, my name is Tammy Carr! I have been a minister to women for over 15 years and currently serve as the Client Services Director at a Pregnancy Care Center in Kentucky. My travel preaching husband Dan and I love pointing others to Jesus while sharing about our small town life with our rescue cat Skit.
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