Taking on MOPS leadership this year has been a significant step in my journey. I was very shy as a child and suffered from low self-esteem as a teenager. Then I met with God and He began whispering things about my worth and my abilities. He guided me into helping out here, and getting involved there. He has given me verses to cling to when I was pretty sure I couldn’t do what he was suggesting. And He has never failed to assure me that He is with me and loves me no matter what ….and always will.
When you run a group with other people… who rely on their other people to come and help… in a building with still more people who often don’t know about your plans, things don’t always go as intended. There’s unexpected illness, or that table you use that’s always been in the same spot is suddenly not there, or dates get confused, or people move away, or just general disaster occurs (as is common when you have toddlers in the mix). I had always avoided leadership thinking I’d lose all my hair in a week. But when you have an assurance that God is with you, these things become opportunities to:
- be creative
- learn to think quick
- discover hidden talents
- pause and pray
I firmly believe God has His hand on my church and on MOPS, so I know He won’t leave us hanging when things don’t seem to be going right. And He never has. We’ve seen schedules change so that new carers are available just as we were losing some others. We’ve seen an intimate and fruitful discussion time happen when very few mums turned up for a meeting. We’ve had wonderful guest speakers agree to visit when our mentor is travelling around Australia. God is so faithful and I am incredibly grateful for that. Not just for keeping our MOPS group ticking over but for the shy little girl who would never have dreamed of telling hundreds of people about my time as a leader!
I’d like to encourage other leaders. The term leader implies you are heading in a direction and that point – that goal – can often dominate your focus. Take a moment to reflect on how far you have come, what you have achieved and where God has been in all that. And pat yourself on the back!
For those who are on a team or helping out – firstly thank you! Secondly, trust your leader when they ask you to do something, they may see hidden talents in you that you don’t. Just go with it and if you’re really freaking out ask God for a verse of encouragement.
For those who aren’t any of the above – I encourage you to get involved with something. There is so much to be gained from hanging out with God’s people – you get encouragement, you learn new stuff, people pray for you, there is always laughter (and usually food), and you are in a better position to hear from God.
Ten years ago I was baptised in water and my special verse I was given was
I will extend peace to her like a river. ISAIAH 66:12
It has given me great comfort many times as God has grown and stretched me. But this year I have found that I am not just a vessel to be filled with this river of peace. God’s new phase of stretching involves me extending this peace to others. I figure there’s going to be a whole lot of other stuff he’s going to ask me to do – but I’m approaching this phase with a lot more confidence and assurance because I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
Coordinator, Kingston City Church MOPS, VIC