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Monday, March 06, 2006

Learning to Twinkle.... ok- AND staying up till 3 in the morning to LTP......

Learning to Twinkle..... ok... staying up till 3 in the morning learning and LAUGHING!

Take two of the things I love in life- which I love- learning and laughing, add some chicken soup- chili, chocolate... fruit... coffee...chocolate.....Chinese take-out.... 8 terrific women... and enjoy it ALL in 24 hours--- and that's what I call a Leadership Training retreat.

I am a Council Coordinator- for MOPS International. It's an awesome non- profit organization the exists to support and encourage Mothers of Preschoolers. I've been active in MOPS and leadership at MOPS since my oldest son- (now 16 1/2) was a few months old.

I have the opportunity, as a Council Coordinator- to help groups within my council,( I serve the Southwest Metro Detroit Area- Suburbs mostly- so far.) with leadership training and support. I love my "job".

This weekend, our "Zone" (29- which is the entire thumb- south east lower MI area) Leaders met to spend 24 hours in training and support of each other. Our "Zone" is covered by an "Area Coordinator"- who leads holds accountable, and trains the Council Coordinators. We have 7 CC's in our Zone- and are always growing.

It was, an incredible experience.

Arriving at 5- on Saturday--- our "retreat" lasted until about 6 on Sunday. We covered a huge amount of information- and fun in that short amout of time! It was amazing.

We shared Council Meeting ideas-
Planned for our upcoming "Leadership for Life Summit" - (click the sidebar for more info)

We had training in:
Professionalism and Succession- (succession is the preparation of and for leadership position- transitions) Group retention and networking new groups.
MS Excel- and using computers to our advantage- managing database information etc.
We had a classic brainstorm session on our theme for next year, we spent time in prayer for our local groups- and our personal prayer requests.

We were spiritually challenged thru devotionals, and the encouragement of each other.

Our "Zone" is incredible. The women with whom I serve, are phenomenal. They are sensitive, intelligent they are accountable, vulnerable and unique. While very unique- we respect and appreciate the differences- in denomination- personality characteristics and experience. MOPS local groups have a commonality- but are widely varied as well. There are Teen groups, there are Urban groups- Military groups-surburban groups, rural groups- groups abroad, the groups are unique to meet the needs of the Moms in each group.

Just one of the things I love about MOPS, is the true "team approach" to leadership, that MOPS embraces. Even this weekend- while our Area Coordinator "coordinated" our weekend- she included each of us in it's content. So each of the areas of training I mentioned above- were facilitated and taught by different leaders within our zone- based on our different skill-set and passions.

(Tammy- my AC , is a wonderful leader)

It's interesting- while we utilize many "business" principles, there is one HUGE difference-

We are there to support and encourage each other- we share our ideas- we help each other- it's not about competition. It's about being team- based on the principles taught in the Bible- about functioning as a "body" each part different, unique and doing it's part to help the whole body function.

MOPS, isn't about mops. (as in the kitchen floor type) It's not a coffee clatch where women complain about their husbands... or lack there-of. It's not about "becoming stepford wives" or pushing women into a mold that is mandated by a central organization.

MOPS is about Jesus. It's about reaching out to women- where they are at, and meeting their needs- leading them one step closer to the meeter of our greatest need- Jesus.

The purpose statement of MOPS International says it best:

The purpose of MOPS International is to nurture every mother of preschoolers by meeting her distinct needs to the glory of Jesus Christ.

I'll be using all that I learned this weekend- to train the women I serve, locally.

I'll be enjoying the connected relationships I built this weekend- eternally.

I'll be energized by the expereince of fun and learning of this weekend, until next time.

I'll be doing laundry- both from the time I was absent from home......and the LTP (LAUGH TILL YOU PEE)experiences---- of the weekend--- for DAYS....(ok ,not really------ but you know- just making a point, all was not" business... fun was an aspect of everything!!)

Want to know more about MOPS? Want to START a group? Or find one- to be a part of? Just, click the link.

I want thank my wonderful husband- who handled everything I normally would have "on the home front"... this weekend...which included a little guy who is still sick. . He even did a bit of laundry! What a great guy!

OK- my plan fo rthe rest of the day---- is to relax- knit a bit- play with Noah, (funny how tiring fun can be.......well- especially ridiculous fun tat takes place until 3:00 in the MORNING!!!!!!!!)

Dear Lord- I thank you for the awesome experience I had this weekend- and for those with whom I serve- and those that I am blessed to serve- please fill them with your love- and equip them for what they are called, I also ask that you bless those who serve me- both in my zone and region- as well as from Denver---- I love you Lord--- amen.

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