By Erin, Contributing Writer

As the mom of three very young children, I’ve often struggled with how outside ministry has taken a backseat during this very busy season of motherhood.

Before  becoming a mother, I truly had no clue how demanding (albeit fulfilling) of a job raising young children is. And simply put, my children are my ministry, and I believe that is how it should be.

I am thankful for a mentor who admonished me when I was expecting our first: Your children are the most important disciples you will ever have.

Yet, there is a whole world out there in need of my Savior. And part of discipling my little ones is demonstrating outreach to others–together.

So what are some tangible, feasible ways in which busy homemakers can minister from home? Check out these 5:

Image by Hope 4 Women International

1. Adopt a widow.

This can be a local widow who merely needs a respite from her loneliness or it can be a widow a world away who needs rescue from a life of poverty.

Because my family was blessed with some extra funds through The Healthy Living eBook Bundle Sale (which I am sure many of you purchased!), we have been able to adopt a widow through Hope 4 Women International this year!

For $432 per year or $36 per month, your family, Sunday school class, Bible study group, MOPS group, etc. can adopt a widow in Uganda or India. My favorite part about this ministry is that after the one year of sponsorship, the widow becomes completely self-sufficient!

During the year, with your support, the widow goes through a training where she learns a skill that will enable her to work to support her family for the rest of her life.

To be honest, we’ve always been reticent about sponsoring a child because of our income level. We did not want to commit to a ministry we could not continue to support.

This ministry, however, is only a one-year commitment. And if you enlist a group or several families to go in with you, you can easily help a widow attain a new life.

If you are curious about how widow sponsorship works, you can join this Facebook group.

2. Host a bake sale…and raise money for kids with cancer.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a national non-profit that raises money for childhood cancer research through local bake sales. New Jersey residents Larry and Gretchen Witt started the organization in December 2007, after their then-2-year-old son, Liam, was diagnosed with cancer. Liam died in 2011.

Anyone, anywhere can organize a bake sale. The cookies don’t have to be anything fancy. Are you a busy mom who can only provide slice and bake cookies? That’s OK! Anything is allowed!

If you’re wanting to bake and sell healthier cookies, here are some recipes to get you started:

3. Sew pillowcase dresses for impoverished girls.

Dress a Girl Around the World is an organization that envisions a world where every girl owns at least one dress. The ministry collects hand-sewn pillowcase dresses and distributes them internationally.

Pillowcase dresses are simple enough for even the most novice seamstress to make, and those who do not sew can help by donating materials, such as gently-used pillowcases and ribbon.

Dresses not only provide warmth from the elements but also give girls dignity–and help protect them from sexual predators!

A friend of mine is the North Carolina state representative for the organization. You can check this list to see if your state has a representative, and, if not, perhaps you can become one!

If you’d like to pick the NC rep’s brain, she has offered to answer your questions via email at

Image by Compassion International

4.Feed a family–or a village.

Both Samaritan’s Purse and Compassion International issue gift catalogs every year that include very tangible ways families can serve others around the world.

Stephanie and her husband Ryan enjoy gathering their children together to pick something out of the Compassion catalog each Christmas. Our family was so inspired by this that we did the same thing this year! Our little girls picked out a flock of chickens. I hope this can become a new tradition.

Yes, it does cost money, but most items cost far less than the widow’s ministry mentioned above, yet they still make a big impact. Even just a $4 gift can feed a child for a week; $79 can give the gift of water to an entire family for life; or, a gift of $6,000 can provide discipleship to an entire village!

And, if you choose something in January, your family could work toward the goal of funding the gift all year long! (Crystal’s post on what our children teach us about giving includes some great inspiration for this.)

5. Give money to your favorite charity….without spending a penny!

Pure Charity is an organization I first learned about while attending the Allume Social Christian blogging conference. The ministry connects givers and charities.

Givers create an account on the Pure Charity website and shop their regular stores, like Target, Walmart, etc. A percentage of your purchase is deposited into your account, and the charity of your choice receives the funds!

Other Ideas for Ministry as a Homemaker

Three Easy Ways to Give Back @ Authentic Simplicity

7 Ideas for an “At-Home” Mission Trip @ Passionate Homemaking

What Does Home and Family-Centered Ministry Look Like? @ Keeper of the Home

‘Tis the Season to Serve…With Little Ones @ The Humbled Homemaker

Is Compassion International a Good Investment? {A Husband’s Perspective} @ Keeper of the Home

Almost all of these ministries involve little or no time outside of the home, allowing homemakers who have very young children to still get involved. One thing I always try to remember about this season of serving from home is that it will not last forever.

One day my little girls will be older, and hopefully, through God’s grace, the example I set now in our home will propel them to come alongside me and my husband later on in even more ministry together.

What are your ideas for some unique ministries homemakers can support?