MOPS Conference is always a highlight of my MOPS year. I love hearing about all of the ways God has used this Ministry to show more of who he is to women with a wide range of experiences of ‘church’. It is also somewhat of a personal anniversary for me beginning in MOPS leadership and a chance to reminisce about when my now 4yo was a tiny little 4 week old (or less).
The topic for 2018 is ‘Free Indeed: Let love be the loudest voice, Be gutsy, and Take the first step’. I loved this theme and sub themes from the moment I heard them (this could be because of work God had been preparing in my heart during the weeks leading up to conference – does that happen to anyone else too?). We are free indeed! We can be free to let love be the loudest voice, free to be gutsy and free to take the first step.
A take-away from the introductions to the theme which resonated profoundly in our team is a quote from the lovely Louise Wabnitz ‘gutsy doesn’t always roar, sometimes it is the small voice saying I will try again tomorrow’. To close the evening we were given a chance to pray over a chain we had made of the things we wanted freedom from and symbolically burn it.
It was great to connect with leaders from other MOPS groups and hear how they are going in MOPS and in life. I recommend hanging around in leadership for a while because state training days and conferences become even more fun as you get to reconnect with old friends.
Saturday was structured with more encouragement for us as daughters of Christ as well as for us as Mums and leaders in our MOPS groups. It began with a worship time where we could bring our focus to who God is and all he has done for us.
Cherie Macchiusi challenged us to think deeply about the areas of our life where we refuse to forgive ourselves or continue to be bound in sin and how this is pride. That we may be choosing not to live in freedom because we think that our sin is greater that Christ’s work on the cross. She reminded us that he is bigger than all of our sin and that life in Christ is all about freedom to love, loving Him and loving others. The message that we are free to serve (and to do it without fear) was reinforced in a message by Pranithia Timothy. She reinforced how wherever we are we are called to serve, this life belongs to God and that God is Good (even when we don’t see it).
Naomi Mathiesen spoke further about breaking free and how anything that is stopping us having an abundant and full life in Christ is holding us captive. She shared how one way to examine what may be holding us captive is to look at the things we crave. These are the places outside of Christ where we seek to find our satisfaction. We will only be truly satisfied once we are satisfied in Christ. The beginning of that journey is with our thoughts. We need to take hold our thoughts and test them against the truth (which we need to know by spending time in the word!). We then spend time reflecting on the things God was showing us at Conference.
After fuelling our souls, we fuelled our bodies with a delicious lunch and the community part of our soul with wonderful fellowship. The fellowship continue as we met in groups with leaders in other groups who undertake similar roles to us. Our group was a wonderful time of exploring what we are doing and why we are doing it. There was openness and vulnerability about the hardships as well as the joys that comes from being in MOPS leadership.
This conference I felt that there was an overall sense of abundance. Each leader was built up and valued and given a personal gift, and each MOPS group was given resources to run MOPS next year. There was an overall feeling of gratefulness for all that God had used MOPS for and expectation for what he will be doing next. I am so excited to be exploring what it means to be “free indeed” with my MOPS group next year and feel refreshed for my time at conference.
Thanks so much to Trish, Naomi and the team for loving us and caring for us so well so that we can go out to love and care for our MOPS mums.