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The Moms’ Survey

What struggles do 21st-century moms face? How are they different from those of previous generations? And what can ecclesias and organizations do to help?
Read Time: 8 minutes

These are some of the questions that prompted the Tidings 2024 “Christadelphian Moms’ Survey.” Over 200 sisters currently raising children in Christadelphian ecclesias responded to the survey, which concluded on February 15, 2024. This article will highlight key findings from the survey, who responded, what they are experiencing, and how they feel, and outline some steps that the Tidings hopes to take in response. 

Who Responded

Of the 200+ respondents to the survey, approximately 94% were from North America, Australia, or the UK. This result is unsurprising, as we wrote the survey in English and publicized it on English-speaking social media accounts. Thus, the data mainly reflects the concerns of mothers in developed Western countries. Perhaps we could examine the needs of non-western moms in another effort.

We have also discussed gathering data from fathers on common parenting challenges, though this survey focused exclusively on women. Several respondents did note concerns about their husbands’ ecclesial service, indicating that fathers’ struggles could also be a topic for future exploration. 

Of the surveyed Christadelphian moms, approximately 87% reported being married to a Christadelphian husband, with 7% married to non-Christadelphians and 6% not currently married. These numbers perhaps indicate the typical ratio in Western ecclesias, though we do not have data in the broader community. Both single moms and sisters raising children without a Christadelphian husband face significant additional challenges, as noted below.

One data set that may surprise older brothers and sisters is the number of mothers with outside jobs. Among the respondents to our survey, 40% identified as full-time homemakers, 36% have a part-time job, and 24% have full-time paid employment. These data seem in line with more significant trends but may represent a change from what previous generations expected regarding stay-at-home moms in the ecclesia.

40% are full-time homemakers
36% have a part-time job
24% have full-time paid employment


A few other demographic measures gave us a general picture of the moms who responded. First, a good balance of ages was represented: 34% have pre-school-aged children, 57% have school-aged kids, and 46% have teens or young adults (respondents could choose more than one category).

Of the moms with kids in school, 65% have children in public school, 8% in private school, 14% in Christadelphian schools, and 31% homeschool (again, note that some are in multiple categories). The percentage in Christadelphian schools seems high relative to the small number of such schools, perhaps indicating that this group is somewhat over-represented.

In reported ecclesia size, 24% of moms were members of small ecclesias (less than 30 members), 28% in mid-sized ecclesias (30-60 members), and 45% in ecclesias with more than 60 members (approximately 3% had no local ecclesia). This split suggests that the data might be skewed toward the concerns of moms in larger ecclesias, though it is difficult to be certain. 

What They Experience

After the demographic information, we asked moms to agree or disagree with a series of statements about their lives. Some data indicated positive experiences for Christadelphian moms, others less so. 

One rather pleasant surprise was the number of respondents who agreed (or somewhat agreed) with the statement: “I believe that my marriage is successful/thriving.” We chose not to define these terms in detail, but 79% self-reported a successful, thriving marriage, and only 11% disagreed with the statement. (“Neither agree nor disagree” was also an option).

This information was encouraging, as the child-raising years can be rough on a marriage. Of course, this could also indicate we did not reach sisters in difficult marriages in our survey. Ecclesias should be especially aware of the 13% (or more) of couples struggling in their marriages and look for ways to provide support before difficult situations worsen.

Another encouraging finding was in response to the statement, “I feel that I have supportive people around me (people that I can talk to about my challenges as a mom).” A full 81% of moms agreed (or somewhat agreed) with this statement, with only 12% disagreeing and 7% unsure. If our ecclesias are fostering relationships where moms feel supported, that can go a long way toward obeying the command to “feed my sheep.” But, again, helping the minority who are not experiencing this is vital.

Related to this was the response to “I have at least one close mom-friend in my ecclesia.” An impressive 70% agreed with this statement, and 22% disagreed. Interestingly, 17% of respondents disagreed strongly (5% disagreed “somewhat”).

Ecclesias should pay attention to the fact that sisters who lack these relationships seem to feel it deeply.


We also asked moms to consider the statement, “I have at least one mentor figure in my ecclesia.” Here only 59% agreed, 30% disagreed and 11% were unsure. This area seems to be one where older sisters could help fill a need. Please see “Leading Our Flock” included in this issue.

As the survey’s authors, we were especially curious about responses to two statements concerning ecclesial responsibilities. First, “I wish my ecclesia provided MORE opportunities for me, as a mom, to contribute.” Compare that with, “I wish my ecclesia expected LESS of me in terms of contributions right now.”

However, the data around this issue was somewhat ambiguous (see table below). Some moms feel unfulfilled or unneeded in their ecclesias and want to participate more. Others are struggling with the opposite problem and think too much is asked of them. Wisdom and patience seem indicated for ecclesias to figure out where their members are on this spectrum and how to help them. 

One other important set of responses concerned spiritual growth. Mothers were first asked to consider the statement, “I believe my children are growing spiritually (at a reasonable level for their age).” Happily, a full 86% of moms agreed. This result is quite a testimony to the efforts of so many brothers and sisters to maintain Sunday Schools, youth groups, and other activities for our young people. (Of course, the 14% who disagreed or were unsure represent an essential challenge for any ecclesia).

However, the response was not so encouraging to the following statement: “I believe that I am growing spiritually in this stage of life.” Here, the rate of agreement fell to 59%. Anyone familiar with the child-raising years will not be surprised that many mothers are not finding spiritual nourishment. Moms often spend Sundays trapped in a cry room or hallway, preventing them from hearing or feeling part of ecclesial services. And the unpredictable schedules and constant demands of children can make personal spiritual activities difficult during the week. 

We had anticipated that many moms would be looking for opportunities for spiritual growth. So, the next series of questions concerned various possible activities that ecclesias (or other organizations) could offer. We asked Moms to consider whether each activity could be “Helpful” or “Unhelpful,” or they could indicate they were “Not sure.” A summary of responses to this section is below.

Unfortunately, none of the activities stood out as sure to be successful. Moms considered some proposals more helpful than others, but none were considered beneficial by more than 80% of Christadelphian moms. (Recall that 86% were happy with the spiritual growth of their children.) So, any of these ideas have the potential to succeed in a given ecclesial situation, but each has a non-trivial likelihood of failure. Again, wisdom and patience seem required. Please see the article, “An Appeal to Ecclesial Elders”.

How They Feel

The final set of questions in the survey was open-ended, asking moms a series of questions: What are your biggest challenges as a Christadelphian mom? What is your ecclesia doing well in supporting moms and families? What resources have you found helpful in your spiritual growth as a mom? How could your ecclesia improve its support for moms and families? And what else would you like us to know about being a Christadelphian mom right now?

The answers we received were varied, fascinating, and sometimes heart-wrenching:

  • That minority of moms in unhappy marriages are grieving and struggling.
  • Those few who are not seeing spiritual growth in their children are deeply concerned.
  • The subset of moms without close relationships is desperately lonely.
  • And many simply feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, conflicts in their ecclesias, and unmet needs they see around them.

Those moms who are especially struggling are those with specific and unique challenges. Mothers of special-needs kids, for example, not only face the daily difficulties of child-raising but also feel misunderstood by their ecclesias and utterly alone in their struggles.

Much the same is true for single moms (especially divorced moms), moms of kids with gender-identity issues, and moms living far away from an ecclesia. Our survey data shows that none of them are truly unique. Somewhere in the wider community, other Christadelphian mothers share each struggle. But, without anyone in their ecclesia who can relate to their unique challenges, they feel frustrated and disconnected.

Of course, not all the news is terrible. Many ecclesias already recognize the needs of moms and families and are attempting to meet those needs. So many moms are full of love for God and passion for their ecclesial family. Many have been proactive about finding resources, both from inside and outside the Christadelphian community.

Our survey indicates much that is positive and hopeful

for the future of Christadelphian families.

But it also indicates some significant areas for growth.

Next Steps

The Tidings committee is prayerfully exploring potential avenues to assist local ecclesias in better supporting mothers and families. 

The first, and perhaps most important, is personal. Please consider our “Appeal to Ecclesial Elders” on page 17 and our “Appeal to Older Sisters” on the next page. There is so much that ecclesias can do regarding ecclesial culture and individual relationships. These small changes can be lifesavers for moms.

Second, we hope to highlight narratives from individual Christadelphian moms. There is an excellent opportunity to learn from each other about common challenges. Please be sure to see the moving account later in this issue about a mom dealing with children who walk away from faith. And watch for further articles on this theme in the coming months.

Third, the Tidings would like to raise awareness about our community’s many resources already being produced. Brothers and sisters around the world have developed a variety of videos, podcasts, books and music. Some could help individual moms with spiritual growth or specific parenting challenges. Others could be the basis for ecclesial sisters’ classes, parenting seminars, or other activities. Watch for more information about these resources on our website and social media accounts.

Finally, we would like to find a way to connect those moms who feel alone with their unique, God-given challenges. Other Christadelphian moms face these issues, and finding each other can be the first step to better support.

As sisters, we have felt honored and thankful for the opportunity to hear from so many moms doing their best in the tough world of 21st-century parenting. May we all seek ways to support each other better until our Lord returns.


Project Leaders:
Nancy Brinkerhoff, Denver Ecclesia, CO and
Linda Beckerson, Ann Arbor Ecclesia, MI


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