Joyful Momentum

Growing and Sustaining Vibrant Women’s Groups

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: February 7, 2020

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Are you interested in connecting with other women who share your faith, interests, and everyday concerns?

A vibrant, self-sustaining women’s ministry will help you achieve this goal, can take many forms, and is a key component of any vital parish, says Elizabeth Tomlin, who for nearly a decade has launched and grown Catholic women’s ministries in the United States and abroad. In Joyful Momentum, Tomlin shows you how you also can start, expand, strengthen, or retool an existing women’s group or ministry in your own Catholic parish.

God can use even the most unlikely people to build up a successful women’s ministry, Elizabeth Tomlin says. “If someone had told college-aged me that I would someday lead a global women’s ministry, I would have said, ‘No way. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know enough. I’m too sinful. I’m not good enough.’” And yet, that is exactly what happened. Tomlin is a founding member of the Military Council of Catholic Women Worldwide, the women’s ministry organization of the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA.

Whether you are interested in starting a spiritual book club or a group for moms with young children, retooling an existing ministry for moms who work outside their homes, or revitalizing a languishing prayer group or committee, you may feel underqualified and overwhelmed when first facing the challenges.  Joyful Momentum provides the tools you need to get started, including “Momentum Builders” that will give you the confidence to do what needs to be done.

Tomlin shares her personal stories, spiritual insights, and practical tips to show how almost any group can create a spirited, sustainable outreach. With natural warmth, honesty, and self-deprecating humor, she makes a compelling case for the importance of women’s ministry in the life of a parish, and coaches you through all the details.

Used for personal formation or as a group study, this book conveys the important elements of women’s ministry—from a small book club to a larger undertaking that might include social media-based prayer supports, on-call childcare helpers, or multi-committee annual festivals or parishwide events. 

This book will teach you:

  • why spiritual friendships and pastoral connections are essential to the success of any women’s ministry;
  • how to build a team dedicated to prayer, simple hospitality, faith-filled catechesis, humble service, and personal outreach; and
  • tips for handling trickier aspects of team leadership, such as conflict resolution and long-term transitional planning.

Each chapter offers practical advice and inspirational stories to help you discover how to cultivate Christ-centered friendships; discern a call to women’s ministry in yourself and others; invest in prayerful preparation, biblical hospitality, and faith formation; develop a leadership team; and create a mentoring plan that will sustain the group over time. 

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781594719431

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “I highly recommend this thorough and well-written guide!”

    “With powerful, practical, and spirit-filled writing, Elizabeth Tomlin builds upon foundational concepts for starting, maintaining, and growing an effective, faith-filled women’s ministry, and more importantly, leading women into a deep and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this thorough and well-written guide!”

    Michele Faehnle
    Codirector of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference
    Coauthor of The Friendship Project 

  • “Excellent.”

    “An excellent, prayerful reflection on integrating the Gospel into everyday life. Elizabeth Tomlin's prose will inspire readers both within and outside the military.”

    Most Rev. Timothy P. Broglio
    Archbishop of the Military Services, USA 

  • “The greatest gift you can give yourself and your parish.”

    “Whether you are building from the ground up or are part of an established group looking to take your ministry to the next level, you'll learn from Elizabeth Tomlin's personal experience in establishing and leading ministries around the country. Trust her as a guide and joyful companion to creating the greatest gift you can give yourself and your parish!”

    Lisa M. Hendey
    Founder of

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