Messy MOPS!

07 July 2014

You settle into bed on MOPS meeting-eve, relaxing as you contemplate that everything is organised and prepared for tomorrow’s meeting.  In the morning the phone rings and the news is not good – your nicely-laid plans are now in disarray.  Noooooo!!!!!!

Most  groups will have a messy MOPS morning – one of  are “those” mornings when the speaker cancels at short notice,  or half of your team have sick children and can’t make it,  or the MOPPETS leader rings because she doesn’t have enough carers.

Is there a better plan than mad panic and diving back under the bed covers, hoping you’ll wake up and find it’s all a nightmare?  There is!  Here are some practical tips for when things go wrong:

Breathe and pray

This last-minute disarray may not be part of your plans, but it’s not a surprise to God. He knew it was coming.  So take a deep breath, and ask God for help.  Ask for peace and wisdom and guidance as you work out your new plan.  You may be amazed at how it comes together.

Make a new plan

Work through your options, be flexible.  Give your Mentor a call and talk it through with  her – two heads are better than one.  Speaker cancelled? Can you show a MOPS Curriculum DVD, or some other DVD instead?  Creative Activities leader sick? Can you do some other craft at short notice?  Or a cooking demo?  Do you have lots of single activities left over from previous meetings and you could have a “makeup” morning where mums could do a creative activity they missed out on? Or you could extend your morning tea and Discussion Time if you don’t have other options – Mums love to talk!  Not enough MOPPETS carers?  Do you have a few emergency helpers who might come in for one morning?  Would a Mentor or another team member be prepared to go out and help, or a church staff member?  Short on morning tea? Pop by the shop and buy some food.

Prevention is better than cure

The best thing you can do is to avoid this scenario is to have a “Plan B MOPS Meeting”.   Stored with your MOPS equipment, have a box with a complete MOPS meeting ready that you can pull out at short notice.  Inside it have an icebreaker idea along with anything you need to run it – prize etc, a  short teaching DVD and a set of Discussions Questions, a simple creative activity with the instructions and materials ready to go.  You could even have a few packets of Tim Tams!  On a “Messy MOPS Morning” you could pull out just one of these elements, or all of them.  But you’ll always have a back-up-plan ready to go,.

There is value in every part of the MOPS morning.  But on a “Messy MOPS Morning” , don’t forget that loving your mums is the priority. It’s more important that they feel loved, welcomed and have opportunity to connect and talk, than everything running  like clockwork.  After all – they are mothers of preschoolers, they know all about mornings that don’t run to plan!

“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.
Love makes up for practically anything.”
1 Peter 4:8


Donna Hill




8 Responses to “Messy MOPS!”

  1. Miranda says:


  2. Karen Poke says:

    mmm . . . . . We’ve experienced “messy mornings” on more than one occasion at our Mops!
    Everything seems to go wrong all on the same day, and then last but not least . . . the speaker doesn’t show!
    Funnily enough, those mornings have been some of our best and most relaxed and the Mums really don’t mind. (some don’t notice any difference)
    We always try to make the most of the time we are given with our precious Mums, no matter how the morning pans out.
    Thanks Donna for the backup plan ideas. It’s always good to have a standby rather than stressing out. Mops morning at my house are stressful enough!!!

  3. Sallyanne Patten says:

    Some great tips there. We have found that it always works out no matter what last minutes things come up. Making prayer a priority and not forgetting that God is in control.

  4. Erma Mayes says:

    I love this Donna,
    Lots of great practical ideas. I hope every MOPS team member reads this 🙂

  5. Jo says:

    Thanks Donna for the encouragement and practical inspiration.

  6. Rebekah Hordern says:

    I love this one, Donna. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how prepared you feel you are the night before, often things come up on the morning in the rush to get kids ready for school and MOPS etc that you feel you can’t handle all this last minute chaos! I love the ideas you have and I think a lot of other leaders would find this very useful.

  7. Alice says:

    What a fantastic post Donna! Thanks so much for sharing these. I agree with Erma 🙂 xxx

  8. Allison says:

    Great tips, Donna. I used to panic until I realised that my MOPS mums wouldn’t know the difference. My team and I might be flummoxed but our Mums were there for a chance to get out of the house, to learn and to be in community with each other. As has been previously noted, the best MOPS are those which are organic.

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