We’ve all been shaped, in some way or another, by the love of a strong woman. Maybe it was a mother who, knowing us better than ourselves, made tough choices to help us become the best version of ourselves. Or, maybe it was a teacher who saw through the ruse of laziness and helped us learn things we thought were impossible. Perhaps it’s a friend who has a knack for speaking the truth into our circumstances in strong, but loving ways. Or is it a wife who, with quiet strength, knows just how to make us feel loved and valued when we doubt ourselves the most?
As inspiring author Shauna Niequist so perfectly states in her book, Bittersweet, “Mother’s Day is… about looking through our lives and recognizing the act of mothering everywhere we see it, and more than that, recognizing that when any of us mother– when we listen, nurture, nourish, protect–we’re doing sacred work.”
This Mother’s Day, use our newest release, Strong Women, to recognize that sacred work within your church community. In this video, four women talk candidly about how their lives have been shaped by the love of their mothers. Watch this heartwarming collaboration of women now, and then click here to purchase:
The women in our lives have long reflected the heart of God in both quiet and tangible ways. With this collection of candid stories about a mother’s influence, celebrate the strength and love of these women as your community honors them this Mother’s Day.
Here are a few easy ideas for including this video in your weekend services:
Strong Women Photo Tribute
In an easily-accessible area (maybe a foyer or unused classroom?), take photos of people celebrating the strength of women in their lives. You can make this as easy or complicated as you want! Have them hold a sign that says, “Your strength taught me…” with a blank area for finishing the statement. (You could use a dry-erase board, a chalkboard, or individual sheets of paper with the prompt pre-printed.) After the picture of their finished statement, snap a quick pic of them holding either the dry-erase/chalkboard or the other side of their paper with an email address or phone number where you can email/send copies of the photos for them to share with the strong women in their lives. Or, if time allows, take the pictures with a smartphone and send them immediately after taking them!
If you have tech-savvy people who can make this happen easily, ask them to put together a super quick slideshow of the photos and show it at the end of your service as a great follow-up to the Strong Women video. Even if the slideshow won’t work, the pictures will be a special way to help folks celebrate Mother’s Day.
Strong Women Name Collage and Prayer
Before service starts, place a small piece of paper or cardstock in each seat. After showing Strong Women, ask everyone to write the name of a strong woman they know and want to honor. Then, invite the congregation to come forward with their paper and attach it to a larger poster you’ve prepared ahead of time (note: depending on your church’s setup and size, it might be easier to have two or three posters along the front of your church). Once all of the names are on the board, take a moment to pray for women in your church, as well as those who influence folks in your church. During this prayer, read names from the poster(s) (as many as time allows) and ask God’s blessings on the lives of these influential women.
Stories of Strong Women
Before showing Strong Women, feature personal stories from your community.
There are two approaches you can take for this activity:
First, you could ask a couple of people in your church ahead of time if they would share for a minute or two about a strong woman who has influenced their lives.
Or, you could have an open mic and invite people to come forward and finish a prompted sentence (such as, “Because of a strong woman in my life, ________.”). We’ve found it helpful in the past to give a head’s up to a few people and ask them to be prepared to share first, to encourage others to participate. You might suggest that they use concise statements to establish brevity (and avoid the need to interrupt someone who goes off script- ha!).
After a few moments, show Strong Women, and then take a moment to pray for the women in your community.
However you choose to honor women in your church this weekend, we hope you’ll include Strong Women as a way to celebrate the strength of those who reflect the heart of God in our lives.