By Kris Johnson
Joining the MOPs group five years ago was a game changer for me. I didn’t grow up in this area and I have no family close by. To be surrounded by welcoming people who have invited me into fellowship and a closer walk with Jesus is huge. When we welcomed our second child, Charlotte, MOPs moms brought meals. So. Many. Meals. And when I miscarried twice before having Olive those same moms brought more meals, and cards, and prayers and support.
St. Luke has become my church family but this didn’t happen right away. Discipleship doesn’t happen by sitting in the pews each week and only saying friendly “hellos” on the way in and out the doors. Through MOPs I feel ownership of St. Luke and am more confident becoming involved with things like Home Groups, Bible Studies and Huddles. MOPs has helped me to cope with my two closest girlfriends moving away as their husbands pursue their callings as pastor and doctor as well as my own husband’s busy work schedule.
Now, 5 years later, I am one of the coordinators of our ministry. It is a wonderful ministry that welcomes moms of all types, two mornings a month to hot coffee, breakfast, conversation with other moms, and childcare. During our meetings we bring in speakers to share their testimonies of faith, or give some practical advice on real life issues, like potty training or raising brave children. We are able to ask mentor moms about how they handled disobedience in their toddlers or receive encouragement when we feel as though we will be tired forever.
For a little over two hours twice a month we can encourage each other, creating friendships and cheering each other on as we experience the same milestones and struggles. Moms are able to take a deep breath and recharge, because, even though we love our children with every ounce of our being, raising tiny humans is a LOT of work. Being a mother is tough all by itself but when you add in the pressures of society and self-inflicted expectations, the task can feel impossible.
Here’s the deal though – Ministry doesn’t just happen. Someone has to take the time to plan, spending sunny days and summer nights figuring out all the tiny little details so that moms can feel welcome and toddlers can be taken care of. This year we are blessed to be serving approximately 60 moms from all different congregations and communities. That also means we have a LOT of kids to take care of. We need people who are willing to commit to two mornings, the first and the third Thursday’s of each month from 9-11:30 a.m. and spend some time with the little miracles we are taking a break from! People to love on our kids, show them the love of Christ, and in small ways disciple to them as well as their sleep deprived mamas. If you feel like Jesus is calling you to this, if you are homeschooled and want some good old fashioned babysitting experience, or if you live far from your grandchildren and just want to hold babies, please, let us know.