When I joined the MOPS Craigmore leadership team a couple of months ago, it was highly recommended that I come to conference so that I could be encouraged and learn more about my new role – especially as our MOPS team had never had someone formally in that role (Publicity) before. I thought it seemed like sound advice, so I registered and looked forward to conference.
I was really hoping that conference would equip me with the tools and courage to do well in the role that I had volunteered for, and that it would be a bit of a relaxing half-weekend away from my beautiful, rambunctious little boys.
On the Friday evening, I rocked up to the conference venue with my sister-in-law who is also new to MOPS leadership and we checked in together. We chatted with people we recognised and ate some of the hors d’oeuvres while we waited for the call to the dining room.
When it was announced that we were all going to go into the dining room to find our seats at our tables so that the evening plans could begin, I was gobsmacked by the beauty and the lavishness that awaited us at the tables. At each place setting was a big white gift box with a gold ribbon, there were flowers in vases, flowers under upturned wine glasses, tealight candles on top of upturned wine glasses, and a gorgeous mirror in the middle of each table on which all the beautiful flowers and candles were sitting that reflected the beauty and effort that had gone into the dressing of the tables.
As an often tired and weary mum, I felt that each of these flourishes were being lavished upon me in a way that truly blessed my soul.
The night continued and we were given humour to lift us up, testimonies to encourage us, and next year’s theme was presented to us in a way that left me excited to see what God had in store for us. For me!
On Saturday morning, we started the morning off with singing and praising God. It was a beautiful time of worship, and it was wonderful to hear the voices of many women praising God in song. After some MOPS news and another testimony, Erma Mayes shared her heart about how to Fiercely Flourish as a Woman. This was a huge personal encouragement for me and has been the biggest thing to stick with me from conference so far because it met me right where I am struggling at the moment. She shared from Lysa Terkeurst’s book “The Best Yes” and talked about how we need to determine what our best yes is, so that we know what we need to say no to.
I was hugely encouraged by this, because saying no is something I daily struggle with. I struggle with guilt if I know that I can be doing this thing that someone is asking of me, and I quite often say yes to too many things causing my life to be over-filled and tiring. This week, after predetermining my best yes, I have been saying no to lots of small things that have popped up, including small things that in and of themselves are good things! But they do not align with my best yes, and they will cause me to give of myself in areas that are not going to allow me to serve God in the best way that I can.
After this, we had another workshop and discussion groups with our church MOPS teams and then lunch. After lunch, we broke up into our individual roles and met up with a mentor that could teach us more about our role and open it up further for us.
This workshop was also hugely beneficial. I was very relieved and pleased to receive advice for finding templates for flyers and other publicity necessities, as I had previously been thinking I needed to make everything from scratch! Not only that, but I was provided with information about who to contact if I needed to know more about my role, practical ideas for where to start in my role, ideas for flourishing and doing the best that I can, and just a general uplifting of my soul in knowing that I am not alone! It was wonderful to realise that there are so many resources outside of just my local MOPS team, and that I didn’t need to figure everything out on my own because there were so many people who wanted to help.
After this, we got back together with our teams and brainstormed ideas about how we could put all these new ideas into place in our own church MOPS group. It was great to immediately start thinking about how to implement these things while we were still all fired up and enthused, rather than having to wait until our next meeting and risk losing a lot of the enthusiasm of the moment.
I highly recommend the MOPS Conference to any leader. It is totally worth the money, and is so well put together and refreshing. It will equip you better for your role, encourage you as a person, encourage you in your walk with God, and leave you fired up and ready to minister to the women that God sends to your MOPS group.