I get emails all the time from people asking how they can start a Teen MOPS group. Well, here’s some info.
How to start a Teen MOPS group:
- If you’ve followed me for any time on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve heard me talk about Teen MOPS. Teen MOPS is a support group for teenage mothers. It’s part of MOPS International.
- Basically Teen MOPS is a support group for our youngest moms. I started a Teen MOPS group in Kalispell, Montana, in 2000. After moving to Little Rock last year, I started a group here, too.
- If you’d like to find out how to start a Teen MOPS group, go here.
- Teen MOPS groups are run similarly to MOPS groups. There is food, a game, a short devotion, a speaker or activity, and discussion groups. Groups can meeting weekly or bi-weekly. Our group here in Little Rock runs weekly. We do this because it was hard for young moms to remember which week as “on” and which was “off.” Our meetings start at 6:30 with dinner. The meeting itself starts at 7:00 and ends at 8:30. (You can get a better idea about our meetings from the free curriculum that is mentioned below.) We have leaders’ meetings every other month.
- Teen MOPS is run by volunteer leaders. They can be women with young kids or older kids. We’ve had volunteers that don’t have kids yet. Volunteers can be retired women or women in college. We even have high schoolers who help with child care and other needs we have. I got involved in Teen MOPS because I was a teen mom . . . but you don’t have to be a former teen mom to volunteer. Women who volunteer do so for various reasons. You just need to come to the meetings with an open heart and outstretched arms.
- At our meetings we provide a dinner for our moms. We provide childcare and we have a “baby store.” Young moms earn MOPS dollars for coming, bringing a friend, going to doctor visits, etc. Every meeting they can take home diapers or clothes.
- After I started a Teen MOPS group I realized there was a need for a book just for them. That’s why I wrote Teen Mom:You’re Stronger Than You Think.
- I also wrote a leader handbook as well as a free companion workbook and group guide!
- Contact MOPS International for information about a charter.
- Talk to your church or a local crisis pregnancy about starting the group. Pick a meeting space.
- Set a schedule and write out your mission and goals.
- Talk to folks about volunteering. To get the word out I posted announcements in bulletins, talked on local Christian radio, and spoke at local groups. Local MOPS groups also give awesome help and support! I’ve gotten some great volunteers from these groups.
- Get funding. Local churches can help. Small groups or other community groups can help too. (I run our group on less than $100 a month. We get people to donate food, donate childcare, donate doorprizes, etc. I also get folks to buy and donate copies of Life Interrupted to our group.)
- Make a brochure and send it out. I send it to hospitals, doctors, social service agencies, schools, churches, etc.
- Plan the meetings. Teen MOPS groups usually run on a school year schedule from September–May.
- Advertise. Put up posters. Send press releases about your group to newspapers and community calendars.
- Pray. (Actually pray with each step!)
- Be patient. When Teen MOPS starts it may take a while to grow a group. We often start with two-to-five girls each meeting.
- Love on the girls. You can plan and plan but your love is what will keep them coming back!
Well, that’s a quick overview. Feel free to write me if you have other questions! It’s an amazing ministry. I’d love to see a Teen MOPS group in every town!
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melissa ellis says
Hello Sister Tricia, How are you and Your teen mommy’s? My name is Melissa Ellis and I just recently noticed the increase in teen moms around my fair sized town of Huntsville Texas. About 2 weeks an 18 year old young lady I have come to know and love as a daughter of my own, had to give birth to her 28-30 week still born baby boy. While at the hospital she had several visitors that were around her age and each of them had at least one to two under the age of 2. These girls have it a little hard than us moms that stay at home. they are trying to kick off their lives all while kicking off the lives of little ones. I have been a part of our MOPS group for about 6 years. I have 4 children of my own 3 boys and 1 girl. My heart goes out to these young ladies because some of them have been rejected by parents and left to do all the mom responsibilities and still trying to be teenagers at the same time. I am seriously considering starting up a Teen MOPS here next fall and would love to get as much info, advise and free material would be awesome. thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you