How to help teen moms!

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’d heard me talk about Teen MOPS. Teen MOPS is a support group for teenage mothers. It’s part of MOPS International (www.mops.org).
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: http://www.mops.org/page.php?pageid=86&srctype=menu
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 Life Interrupted. http://triciagoyer.com/nonfiction.html#LifeInterrupted
I also wrote Free Curriculum for leaders. You can download it here: http://triciagoyer.com/cmsdocuments/LifeInterruptedDG.pdf
If you’re interested in starting a Teen MOPS group:
  1. Contact MOPS International for information about a charter. http://www.mops.org/page.php?pageid=86&srctype=menu
  2. Talk to your church or a local crisis pregnancy about starting the group. Pick a meeting space.
  3. Set a schedule and write out your mission and goals.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. Make a brochure and send it out. I send it to hospitals, doctors, social service agencies, schools, churches, etc.
  7. Plan the meetings. Teen MOPS groups usually run on a school year schedule from September – May.
  8. Advertise. Put up posters. Send press releases about your group to newspapers and community calendars.
  9. Pray. (Actually pray with each step!)
  10. Be patient. When Teen MOPS starts it may take a while to grow a group. We often start with 2-5 girls each meeting.
  11. 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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Comments

  1. This sounds like a wonderful program. I was a teen mom at 15 so I would have loved to have had a program like this in my area. I hope to one day help other teen moms when I can.

  2. YAY!! Thank you for writing this! I started a Teen MOPS with a fellow MOPS mom three years ago. I so love each and every mom I’ve met. We live in a relatively small community and have had close to 100 moms attend our program in that short time. This is just evidence of the great need for these groups!! I currently serve as a Community Coach with MOPS and help new teen mops groups get started and grow in Wisconsin and Iowa. We used Life Interrupted and the curriculum for our first year and the moms (and leaders) loved it! We would love a follow up book now that the moms are digging deeper spiritually 😉

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