We’re fast coming to the end of another year. Often our years are ‘more of the same’ but sometimes we have years that are filled with changes and new things.
This year, for MOPS Australia, there has been some change and some of the same. MOPS has had a change of Managing Director and a change of location with the MOPS office moving to Canberra. Margaret Sander’s time as Managing Director was marked by innovation, improved resources, structural development and organisational sustainability. I would like to honour Margaret for her major contributions to MOPS over the last four years and to thank her for her supportiveness to me as I came into the role.
There have also been changes in the national Management Team, Regional Coordinators and office personnel. Changes create challenges and cause us to be creative in how we meet them. It makes us realise how much we appreciate others in our personal sphere and the peace that comes from relying on God in all things.
One of the things I have enjoyed most in my new role is the contact I have with Coordinators of MOPS groups around Australia and in New Zealand. It is a joy to see the faithfulness of MOPS leaders as they serve the mums in their communities. That’s something that hasn’t changed!
Something else that hasn’t changed is MOPS Australia’s desire to support MOPS groups with resources and leadership training provided by our Field Staff team which now numbers 17. The six members of the MOPS media team continue to bring you the weekly MOPS blog and manage our Facebook page. The new MOPS devotional book for busy mothers – In the Midst of Mothering – has been enormously popular and has been reprinted to keep up with demand. And our amazing Conference team convened the 2014 Australasian MOPS Conference in Sydney in October.
Sherry encouraged Christian leaders to be brave about stepping into their area of influence – whether it’s in the office, in their living room or in their communities. She assured us that feelings of discouragement, fatigue, self-doubt, failure and of being overwhelmed are common to leaders and these feelings do not disqualify a person as a leader.
Sherry’s message was warmly received by the MOPS leaders at the Conference who were encouraged and inspired by her honest sharing and her stories of brave leadership.
What was your year like? Did you move house? take on a new role in MOPS? welcome a new baby into your family? move to a new town? undertake study? travel overseas? What aspects of change do you find invigorating and what aspects are draining?
Have there been changes in your MOPS group? Some mums will graduate at the end of this year and new mums will take their place next year. New friendships will form. Some groups will have a change of Coordinator and other changes in their Leadership Team. But our purpose doesn’t change: MOPS exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of pre-schoolers to reach her potential as a woman, a mother and a leader in the name of Jesus Christ.
If you are involved in leadership next year, you might like to consider these pointers from Sherry’s Surratt’s Elective on Leading When Leadership is Hard in which she proposed four ways for a leader to take care of herself.
- A leader should surround herself with two kinds of people – a challenger and a cheerleader. Together these people will stimulate growth and provide encouragement which will develop and sustain your leadership. (Ecclesiastes 4:12 – a cord of three strands is not quickly broken)
- A leader should build margins into her life. (Luke 5:16 – Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness and pray)
- A leader should be teachable. (2 Tim 2:15)
- A leader should spend time with the One who loves her and delights in her. (Zeph 3:17)
My heartfelt thanks to everyone in the MOPS community for making me feel so welcome. I wish you peace and joy as your focus turns to Christmas and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord.