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The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  892 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Because Motherhood Isn’t Just a Job. It’s a Calling.

A mother’s day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child’ s physical, emotional, and social needs, v
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published (first published January 20th 2004)
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Sara H
Jun 30, 2011 Sara H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Christian moms
If you're looking for a step-by-step approach to parenting, this isn't the book you are looking for. Sally Clarkson's "The Ministry of Motherhood" is a book of encouragement for mother's designed to show them ways to reach their children's hearts. There are plenty of Christian books out there giving us specifics on how to dole out the discipline and keep our kids in line, but far too often, imo, these books focus mainly on outward behavior, and pay only lip service to the core of the matter, nam ...more
Jessica Snell
"The Ministry of Motherhood", by Sally Clarkson, is a gift. A pure gift. I'm so grateful for this book.

Now here, full disclosure, before I go on with the gushing, let me tell you what I didn't like about this book. Each section starts with an imaginative retelling of part of the gospels, and I disliked that part. But I think it's primarily a stylistic preference. I only mention it in case someone else like me picks this up and also dislikes that feature. Don't worry about it. Skip it if you like
Aug 25, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clarkson writes about motherhood as a season of life where the mother intentionally plans out how to train and disciple her children. She writes about giving children a foundation of a biblical world-view, proper understanding of the real Christ, showing them what real faith looks like and giving them a pattern to follow. She describes her personal experience raising four children in the Lord outlining the acronym GIFT, in the book as: Gift of Grace, Gift of Inspiration, Gift of Faith, Gift of T ...more
Kimberly Rasberry
May 13, 2015 Kimberly Rasberry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was thoroughly encouraging to me in regards to motherhood. There are so many factors to parenting and I believe Sally has given me a lot to consider. My children are young but its never to soon to began training them in the ways of ministry. Thank you for challenging me to be a more hands on parent...because lets face it its exactly what the Lord has designed me to be. God Bless You!
Oct 18, 2012 Tami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I read this via an online book club and found it wasn't what I was looking for. This book is geared toward mothers of young children and not for mothers of teens and adult children. I abandoned the book at the midway point as it did not meet my needs in this stage of my life. This would be beneficial to mothers of young children who are interested in homeschooling.
Mar 15, 2012 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book with reminders and tips of how to encourage the gifts of: grace, inspiration, faith, training, and service in our children. As another reviewer stated "the narrative licence of the scriptural retellings" at the beginning of each section bothered me.
Feb 10, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really gave me a vision for what I wanted for my family.
Kenzie Swanson
Feb 07, 2017 Kenzie Swanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a "get inspired" book than a practical how-to, but good all the same.
Keren Threlfall
In The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children, Sally Clarkson looks at Jesus’ pattern of teaching and training of the disciples and makes application to the discipling of our children through the ministry of motherhood.

Sally divides the main portion of her book into five parts–five “gifts”–each comprised of four chapters and then a study and discussion section at the end of each part.

Part One: The Gift of Grace
1. Out of a Boat–a Model for Grace
I really enjoyed reading this book, and was encouraged as well as challenged through it. While I didn't necessarily agree with everything in this book, not necessarily in the parenting realm but more in thinking about some of the spiritual truths as I understand them, I still think it will prove useful in my own life. I think it's a great place to start, for those moms who need a starting place (or a starting over kind of place), to create an idea of how they want to go about their motherhood st ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Apr 12, 2016 Catherine Gillespie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, parenting
Sally Clarkson recently joined my shelf of visionaries. In the past I think I misunderstood her platform and thought she was in the motherhood-is-woman’s-only-calling camp so I didn’t really connect with her. However, what I have found after several months of reading Sally’s books and listening to her podcasts is more of a vision for wholehearted living–of being all in as a mother even if you also do other things (she started and ran a business, wrote books, and homeschooled, for example). I lov ...more
Amanda Tranmer
Jul 08, 2014 Amanda Tranmer rated it it was amazing
Full of great advice, life examples and modeled behaviors, verses, example prayers and workbook style application summaries at the end of each section. The application workbook questions are vital. I finished reading the book before finishing all the workbook area because I found them challenging, requiring self-examination and thoughtful meditation. That's a good thing, just also time-consuming and at night, in bed, when I have time to read, I don't always want a pen and paper in my hands. Work ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sally Clarkson is so inspirational. The Ministry of Motherhood is the first book of her's I have read but it is not the first I have heard of her. I follow her on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog I Take Joy. So when I had the opportunity to read this book I jumped on it. I had been wanting too but hadn't had a chance.

In The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children Sally (I feel like we could be on a first name basis) walks us through a life of mo
Katherine Salinas
Sep 18, 2012 Katherine Salinas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were many great lessons for parents to learn throughout this book. I appreciate books that remind me of the big picture and to not get caught up in the little, mundane tasks that so often dominate our time as mothers. This book gave you lots of good "perspective" shots and the "why" of why we mother.
However, I did wish I had had an opportunity to discuss this is a small group setting. Because philosophy is important to remember the "why", I still need to come back to the details and know t
Lori Porten
Jul 04, 2011 Lori Porten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very encouraging. In the last chapter, the author wrote, "In the end, the measure of my success as a mother will not be how well I have taught my kids or cared for them but whether I have been faithful in helping them respond to God's call on their lives. ...... Jesus isn't limited by the personalities of our children or by our own personalities or by our education or life skills or lack of the same. He is only limited by our trying to do his will our way, in our flesh. ... If we ...more
Sarah Joseph
A good book, but I have reservations. I am a LCMS mother, and see my highest calling in this life as one of bearing and raising children for the glory of God. I do not believe that I need another "ministry", or need to be constantly at an organized church event to be a good mother, or even a disciple of Christ. While this book (especially the last chapter) explored the idea of vocation, Clarkson constantly frames motherhood in terms of a "ministry", thereby implying that if you do NOT have time ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fabulous! I *loved* it. It gives great examples of how to direct your kids to live a Christ-centered life. I love her examples and her GIFTS (Grace, Inspiration, Faith, Training, Service)outline. She even gives homework at the end of the chapter -- points to ponder and questions to ask yourself. It inspired me to do things a little differently with my children to make sure they feel God's love and grow their testimony of our Saviour.

Upon completing the book, I felt motivated to do l
Michaela Jaros
This is a thoughtful and inspirational book for mother's looking to learn more about how to lovingly communicate with their children, fostering maturity and encouraging a relationship with Christ. Like other reviewers, "the narrative license of the scriptural retellings" bothered me. Things similar to "It was a hot day and the wind was blowing in Peter's hair as he walked on the dusty road." I imagine some find this helpful, but I found myself noting the Scripture reference and then skipping (so ...more
Alicia Wood
I enjoyed this book about motherhood. It didn't fill me with mommy guilt but it did give me some high goals to seek for in mothering my own children. Clarkson talks about how the word GIFTS can be a guide for mothers to teach their children about grace, inspiration, faith, training and service. I did not particularly love the parts where she told Bible stories in her own words because they seemed a little embellished but I felt like the questions to ponder at the end of each section were fantast ...more
Kimberly Bidwell
Nov 15, 2013 Kimberly Bidwell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I read this book as part of a women's Bible study group. There were times when it was hard for me to read due to Clarkson's writing style, of which I am not really a fan. I did not particularly enjoy her retelling of various parts of Jesus' life and ministry. I understand why she did it but that doesn't make the writing any better. However, I did feel that she made some good points as far as how to apply Jesus' ministry to motherhood. I think this book really helped me see how motherhood is a mi ...more
May 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not quite what I expected. It was a bit too spiritual for my taste and not at all practical, in my opinion, which is something I look for in parenting materials-practical application. I didn't give this book a mere one star for the reason that the author has good points and good intentions, but the book itself isn't written particularly well and the way she presents her points truly annoyed me- she presented her family in such an idealistic way, it seemed almost fake. It's hard to imagi ...more
Vicki Riddiough
Dec 01, 2012 Vicki Riddiough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-book-list
This book took me much to long to get through, but not because it was boring or anything. It offers up so much good stuff to "chew" on; life got in the way; etc. I picked it up again this fall & I plan to revisit a few chapters again after the holidays are over. I recommend this book for any mom who desires to teach Biblical principles their children. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I'm surprised at how much does not come naturally in regards to passing on Biblical values & pr ...more
Renée Parks
Mar 10, 2013 Renée Parks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sally Clarkson has blessed me through every one of her books and The Ministry of Motherhood was no exception. I love how Sally encourages moms to see that everything they do in motherhood (even the endless mundane chores) are important and can be used to teach our children wonderful characteristics such as a servant like heart. I read this book at a time when I had just had my fourth child and I was just plain weary. I was having a hard time seeing past the sink full of dirty dishes and the pile ...more
May 12, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's not that I want to complain about this book, because there's certainly nothing worthy of that. It just wasn't my cup of tea. There were some very encouraging thoughts, and a few real gems, but the narrative license in the Scriptural retellings made me a little uncomfortable, and much of the book was episodes of the author's family. No doubt many of the vignettes from the Clarkson home were more illustrative of the author's intended point than just a theoretical/practical explanation would h ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I started reading this book I was encouraged to take my role as mom more seriously. However, something happened and the book sat on my shelf for a few years. My mom's group decided to read it over the summer and this time I finished.

The book lays a foundation upon which to build relationships with our children and stresses the importance of discipleship. She uses illustrations from her own life and imaginings of what Jesus's disciples may have thought to make her points.

I was enco
Amber O'Bryant
While I agreed with most all of her philosophy on motherhood and how we, as mothers, are uniquely designed to minister to our children, I found myself wishing Clarkson had incorporated more applications in the book. Each chapter came with a narrative from her family experience but often with her teenage children. I would have liked to have been equipped with more practical ways to instill these values and habits in my tiny toddlers. But overall it was a good read and helped reinforce ideas in my ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I read with a book club. We started in April and are just finishing this week. That was hard for me to take so long to get through a book. I enjoyed the questions at the end of every fourth chapter and liked to discuss them and put some of the suggestions to use. I did think she had some great ideas on raising children and doing things God's way. I think this is a great book for all the moms out there that are looking for hands on ways to raise children God's way. It also helps t ...more
Feb 19, 2011 Carah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, thought-provoking stuff, for the most part. We read this in my St. Mark's Mom's Group, and it sparked some good discussions. She does give some concrete examples of how to teach your children to follow Christ in their own lives; she does not underestimate our power of leading by example, and also encourages us to follow Jesus more closely in our own lives. I might pick up some of her other books too. Easy to read and digest, but leaves you thinking about her concepts long after you've clos ...more
Jan 10, 2013 Nicola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Another good book from Sally Clarkson discussing how we can impart the gifts of grace, inspiration, faith, training and service to our children. I enjoyed reading the ways in which she had done this with her own children and the many descriptive passages about her own life. My only criticism of the book was that it wasn't as engaging as her other book "The Mission of Motherhood" and her retelling and adaptation of the bible stories were not always done well and didn't come across as interesting. ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I felt like it was such an encouragement to mothers - a reminder that motherhood is hard and exhausting, but Clarkson's reaching the other end and can testify that it's worth it. I appreciated Clarkson continually pointing the reader back to the Word as her source of strength and wisdom. She also places a huge emphasis on taking time to have a relationship with her child - enjoying the small things of the day and listening to what's important to them.
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From working on college campuses, to sharing the Gospel behind the Iron Curtain as a missionary, traveling around the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia to speak on discipleship, Sally Clarkson has tenaciously sought after God's kingdom, and has used her ministry to encourage others to do the same. From her best-selling books such as Own Your Life, Desperate (with
More about Sally Clarkson...

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“—A MOTHER’S PRAYER— Father of Encouragement Thank you for taking the time to show love to your disciples by affirming and encouraging them. Help us remember that our well-aimed words will carry life to the hearts of our children. Teach us to extol their positive characteristics whenever we can and to resist the temptation to use words only for correction. Give us lips that speak grace and that show the heart of your love through the things we say. Amen” 1 likes
“Jesus’ example of servant leadership sets him apart from so many historical religious leaders. He was not a God who lorded it over his followers and demanded they follow him or coerced their obedience through authoritarianism and fear. Instead, he called them to the excellence of holiness and yet lovingly served them in order to win their hearts and show them the means of reaching others’ hearts as well.” 0 likes
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