“Your love has given me much joy and comfort...for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.” Philemon 1:7
Let me take a moment to introduce myself to those who do not know me yet. My name is Heather Johnson. I am quirky, sometimes too serious, sometimes silly, compassionate, and slightly awkward...or maybe more than slightly awkward. I love God and I love people a lot. I am not always good at it though. I am a work in progress. One of things that God has placed on my heart as an ongoing ministry, whether it be official or unofficial, is the ministry of uniting people. We are better together. I believe God created us to be in community and when we are connected with others, we grow, we thrive, and mutual transformation occurs. Therefore I invite you to keep reading to hear some ideas I have for seeing moms grow in their connection with one another and with their Creator. I can’t do any of these ideas on my own, but I think that if someone else will catch the vision with me, some really beautiful things can be planted and the blooms of which we may see for years to come.
There are a few different elements I would like to integrate into MCC’s mom's ministry. Though the acronym for MOPS is “Mothers of Preschoolers”, I hope to be able to bless and encourage moms of many seasons of life. I do not want moms to think that they age out of having a mom's ministry simply because their kids are now school age. So, moms...of ALL stages...we want to hear from you! We want to serve you and be here for you too. One of the things that drew my family to Mountain Christian Church was how much people looked out for one another. We have experienced so much love and support from many families. I want other moms in our community to feel as welcomed and loved as I did. Let us continue to love one another and spur one another on to love and good deeds! Let us look out for each other and intentionally look for ways to encourage one another.
God created me with a specific passion to see people of diverse backgrounds united. So when I stepped into the MOPS coordinator position this summer, it wasn’t long before I started thinking about how I could combine the moms ministry with my love for people from other countries. I personally believe that when we are serving in any ministry capacity it is important that we think about how God created us and what passions He has given to us and to integrate our passions into our ministry. For me this was to integrate our church partnership with International Students Incorporated (ISI) with MCC’s moms ministry. I have been an international student before and I know the loneliness, the culture shock, the vulnerability that comes with that and I also know the power of kindness from a local person to refresh the heart and bring so much joy and comfort. I’m imagining the friendships that develop between moms of the east mountains and moms from all around the world, who are currently living in Albuquerque, could lead to a ripple effect of transformation that we cannot even fathom spreading to all ends of the earth. I see an image of a map with arrows going from East mountains to Albuquerque and from Albuquerque shooting out every direction to all over the globe. We cannot underestimate the transforming power of intentional relationships.
Another emphasis that another mom on the leadership team wisely suggested we pursue is recruiting more mentors. We want to set up a mentor-mentee partnership for moms to grow in their connection with moms that have more life experience. How valuable is it for moms to have older or more experienced moms to learn from and to be encouraged by! This is something that the Titus ministry is doing so well. My hope would be to have one mentor for three moms.
Connection with God and with others is what leads to positive transformation. When we connect with others, we thrive in our roles.
A call to action
There are so many ways you can get involved in making this ministry effective in reaching moms in our community and be a part of the transformation that takes place when moms are encouraged and empowered to thrive in their motherhood. Maybe you are a mom yourself or maybe you were highly impacted by a mother and you want to support moms to know they are valuable and to be supported in growing in their role. Here are some ways you may be able to help:
- You can become a friendship partner to an international mom (If you are a mom yourself)
- You can sign up to be a mentor mom and encourage moms weekly through phone call, email, in person, letters or any other way you think of to show your care.
- You can make homemade gifts or baked goods for the moms in our community and drop them off with the MOPS coordinator.
- You can become a delivery person to deliver gifts or baked goods to moms
- You can host mom and her family for Thanksgiving or Christmas at your home
- You can be a motivational speaker at a moms event
- You can bring a meal to a mom who recently delivered a baby or is facing some difficulty.
- You can donate diapers for our moms with infants
- You can serve on the MOPS leadership team
- You can help recruit other moms to be friendship partners for our international moms.
- You can be a volunteer driver for our moms who do not have cars.