Has MOPS turned from Christianity?
Able Moms received a letter this week that didn't shock me, but did grieve me. Another mom, another church, reeling from what has come out of MOPS International. While our own ministry was birthed from the need for a Biblically trustworthy alternative to this, you RARELY, if ever, hear me share about our own church's divorce from MOPS. I am too busy focusing on the success and momentum with our own moms...especially as we prepare for Mom Comm 2023! (Btw, have you gotten your tickets for thee mom conference of the year?!) Since our experience was like most, exiting shortly after taking notice of the "changes" precipitated by 2016's new leadership, it has been years since I've accessed current MOPS' materials, meaning I could only share my past experiences. So, for anyone confused as to why they currently feel uncomfortable at MOPS (like I was), yet can't quite put your finger on why, Tessa's letter does a great job explaining specific Biblical concerns that shed light on today's problems. If you are a pastor or leader, please pay special attention to the lines I've bolded. As you only have access to materials upon purchase, you would never know as leadership making decisions to host of their "inclusive approach" (as it was relayed to me personally on a call with former MOPS Board president) until after purchase. For whatever reason, because this model of "inclusion" is not clearly stated in their promising statement of faith but subversive. Initially intended for her church before they contacted us, we have been given permission to share this letter with moms searching for answers. Truth and "truth with some falsehood mixed in" is what we have been warned against. Which is why we selected our beautiful 2023 theme. We proclaim; Truth, Awaken. One of our core statements is that we are "for every mom", yet just like the Bible, there is no need to dilute the truths already so universal relatable and attractive. relatable. My prayer has always been two things: that MOPS International would be thwarted from confusing the life-changing truth of the Bible for mothers by either changing their message and ministering well to their moms, or if not, that their moms would instead find a ministry like ours.
6 Initiatives on the Horizon:
While I cannot yet share any details quite yet, I would ask for you to please be praying with Aaron and me. Post Mom Comm 2033, we are moving into meetings and discussions with major anti-trafficking players and potential donors in some phenomenal opportunities that would finally allow us to more fully mobilize citizens to disrupt traffickers. We are praying about our ministry's own 6 future initiatives, yet how we should support or collaborate as these visions take shape. Trust me, I hate to be so vague, but know that your donations, prayers, and support are crucial this year. And, thank you for donating in the past. We are holding funds until we can reach our goal and can thus move forward. My updates will share more specifics as I am able. If you are not a member of VigilantFamilies.org yet and in need of more education and parent-training to keep your children safe, please consider our evergreen program from top experts in advocacy.
I usually fall asleep with my audio Bible under my pillow (so I don't wake my sweet hubs). And, I always find it funny how I wake up at the exact passage I so need to hear - like this week in 2 Chronicles 20.
In planning any large event like Mom Comm, you face critical crossroads where you as a leader not only must make a decision, but feel responsible to your team and supporters for its outcome. I felt the weight of this more than ever this week and could relate to the anxiety Jehoshaphat felt hearing an army was coming to destroy him. Can you imagine his emotions, just pacing the palace floors? Jehoshaphat explains feeling afraid, but I love how he responds to his fear; he sought the Lord, fasted, and assembled his people to pray (verses 1-5). He cried out to God very honestly about his distress, but also spoke publicly about God's credentials and confidence that "God would hear and deliver" them (verse 9). Verse 12 hits home for me though; "We just do not know what to do."
Have you been at an impasse recently where you didn't know what to do? You simply could not see the path forward? You are probably familiar with the next section entitled "God's Answer" because we have all heard it preached once or twice before. It's the popular passage on God telling J's army they "did not have to fight, but should simply stand still". While it is always the Lord's battle, making that part of this message universal, what is not universal, though often taught, is the focus on simply "standing still". The Holy Spirit immediately dropped in my heart the context from God's perspective and the real point of this story: to draw us into considering God's character. The victories God orchestrates usually each begin with a different strategy; like commanding Moses to hold up his arms, Joshua to march around the city, and David to pull five smooth stones. What Jehoshaphat got from the Lord wasn't just the peace of knowing he simply had to stand still, but the overall peace of knowing He serves a God that can give us a specific battle plan. God does not always relieve us of the battles, the decisions, or the wars, but teaches us how to fight if we cry out to Him. He alone can give us the battle plan specific to our fight. I ask Him now on behalf of us all to give us our battle plans as a path forward in our indecision, that we may honor Him.
EXTRAS: I am recording with NFL wife and podcaster, Katy McCown of The Best Day Ever podcast. I will share the link!