By Destiny Leahy, Regional Manager for MOPS Africa / leader.mops.org/global
In May 2023, MOPS Africa had its first ever continent-wide leadership summit in Lusaka, Zambia. Years of planning went into drawing 19 participants from ten nations together. With only three days together, it was essential to use our time efficiently and wisely. We focused on the bigger picture of our long-term intentions as we began the planning process. My biggest desire for the summit was to move our team forward as a unified, thriving and focused MOPS Africa. From that overarching goal, we worked backwards into how we would organize this event.
We kicked off the first morning of the summit by outlining our objectives to all the participants. We knew that setting the expectations at the beginning would help keep everyone focused. In priority order, these objectives were: relationship-building, encouragement, goal setting and training. Each part of the agenda was designed to ensure we hit those objectives, all while tying back to our theme verse for the event (Acts 20:28). Being rooted in scripture along with our objectives reminded the leaders of the spiritual importance of this MOPS ministry and their role in it.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. – Acts 20:28 (NIV)
If we could solidify team relationships and send the leaders home feeling recognized and encouraged, we would be setting the foundation for many years of success. In only a few short weeks, we have already seen the fruit of our efforts: enthusiastic leaders who returned home to train the local leaders in their respective countries, new MOPS groups started, and a stronger team unity with an aligned vision.
How could some of these ideas impact your role as a leader over the next year? I believe the key components to the success of this MOPS Africa event were priority on group relationships and casting a clear vision of our objectives before we started. We found that this event resulted in better group buy-in than we’ve ever had before, because we all left feeling connected on a deeper level with one unified mission. Don’t underestimate the importance of these aspects of a successful team as you work within your local group.