Author: Mandy Arioto, President and CEO of MOPS
Here at MOPS, we exist to share the message of Jesus.
The cultural norms around talking about faith are shifting rapidly. In a recent Barna study called “Reviving Evangelism,” there were some startling statistics reported:
• Nearly half (47%) of Christian millennials think sharing one’s faith is wrong (outpacing nonbelievers and lapsed believers).
• Yet, 94% of these same Christian millennials think knowing Jesus is the best thing that could happen to anyone.
While it is tempting to be disoriented by those statistics, here at MOPS, we view it as an incredible opportunity to reclaim conversations around faith and train women to share about Jesus in ways that are compelling, authentic and effective.
At MOPS, we focus our efforts on sharing the message of Jesus with moms, because a fact that psychologists all agree on is that one of the top three life experiences that cause people to evaluate their faith journey is becoming a parent. There are 2 billion moms in the world and 84 million moms in the United States, which means there is abundant opportunity to speak into the lives of moms around the globe and point them to Jesus. Moms have different life experiences than they did 50 years ago when MOPS began. In fact, we are seeing tectonic shifts in the landscape of motherhood, which in turn impacts how we share the message of Jesus.
Here are some of the biggest lifestyle changes moms navigate today:
• 45% of households across America have a mom who is the sole or primary bread winner. In 1960, it was less than 12%.
• According to a new United Nations report, 40% of babies born this year will be to unmarried moms, compared to 10% in 1970.
• 23% of moms have a child with special needs at home, and the divorce rate for parents of special needs children doubles the average divorce rate.
But it isn’t just the lifestyle trends that have shifted; moms struggle with social-emotional health like never before:
• Last year, the Obstetrics Clinical Committee in Australia reported that suicide has become the leading cause of maternal death in Australia.
• In the United States, rates of depression and anxiety have reached epidemic rates at nearly 78% of moms reporting daily debilitating symptoms.
• 85% of moms don’t think society understands or supports the women who are supporting the next generation – up more than 10% since last year.
• UNICEF reports that 1 in 3 moms worldwide will have experienced violence or abuse at some point in their life while having children living in their home.
Moms are navigating cultural changes like never before in history, and as a result, they are longing for the hope of Jesus like never before. That’s why we take evangelism so seriously at MOPS.
The foundational structure of how MOPS shares the Gospel is by creating groups in partnership with the local church. These MOPS groups are gatherings where moms’ felt needs are addressed, relationships are cultivated, and spiritual conversations take place. Through robust training, MOPS equips volunteer leaders to share their faith every chance they get, as well as present the Gospel in a formal way twice a year through MOPS curriculum. In addition, mentors in each group guide and pray for each mom who enters the doors of a MOPS group. Mentors provide faith formation and discipleship with the goal of ultimately connecting every woman to the local church, where she and her family can experience life-long faith formation.
- How did the stats listed in this article make you feel about moms in your community?
(This is also available at leader.mops.org/evangelism-perspective)