Of all the life transitions an adult goes through, surely becoming a parent must be one of the most impacting. Holding your beautiful new child in your arms, you begin to wonder at the perfection of a baby. The realisation that you are now responsible for this vulnerable young human causes you to think deeply about life, and perhaps even to re-evaluate your values.
For all the wonder, it can be a scary time, especially if the new parents live a long way from extended family or other support bases. And for young mums with no adult company at home during the day, motherhood can be isolating. It is a crucial ministry time, and fortunately, international organisation MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) is helping churches and para-church groups to befriend and mentor mothers of young children.
Leadership of the groups is generally made up of the mothers themselves. However each group has at least one Christian female mentor, an older woman that plays the role described in the New Testament book of Titus.
“I got back involved in the church, and at the end of the year when the coordinator of the group stepped down, I just really felt it was something I was passionate about and that God was asking me to do. I was absolutely scared stiff about taking the role on. I thought 'How could I do that?' But with the support from MOPS New Zealand there were people you could call on to help, and there was training they provided as well, which gave you a place to start,” says Sarah.
“It seems fun to get involved in because you've got someone watching your kids and you get to have morning tea and a chat, and do stuff like that. So it's a very non-threatening way to invite people to church. For the Christian mums already there, it's a great way to learn how to grow in your walk and to serve, and to grow in leadership skills.”
“I think in some ways, you have your high school and university years where there is a big open field of people that are hungry and open to hearing the gospel. And I think another huge time in people's lives is when they have kids. They're open to coming to church and hearing the gospel and things like that. I just find it an amazing ministry, and definitely needed.”