Reflections as a newly former board chair

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with my service on the board of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International.  Six years, three CEOs, and a stint as board chair – it’s been an interesting run.

Like most nonprofits, MOPS has had its share of sticky leadership, budgetary, and governance issues. Yet through it all, the staff have given their best and local MOPS groups have thrived. This past year alone, more than 90,000 young moms found friends, fun, and a deeper faith through MOPS. And thanks to the stellar leadership of CEO Sherry Surratt, the organization is on track to top 100,000 members within five years or less.

As for the board, dealing with the tough stuff has made it better, stronger, and more determined to add value to the ministry.  My last board meeting was a teary time, but as much for joy over God’s hand of blessing on the organization as for sadness about leaving friends and work I’ve enjoyed.

MOPS goals 2

(MOSTLY) PRECIOUS MEMORIES, HOW THEY LINGER 

I stepped on to the MOPS board at the start of a turbulent season for the organization, but what a difference six years have made. As I step away from the board, I leave knowing that MOPS isn’t simply back on course. The organization is speeding forward with confidence and clarity.

I’m pleased to have had a small part in the turn-around through my work as board chair, but the real story is:

  • A presidential search that brought the amazing Sherry Surratt to MOPS. If I ever doubted that the most important contribution of a governing board comes in naming the right CEO, never again. It’s remarkable the change that Sherry has brought in her first 18 months on the job. She is truly God’s woman for MOPS’ “such a time as this” (and may that “time” continue for many, many years).
  • An energized board. There’s no rubber-stamping or casual cheerleading in the MOPS boardroom these days. The level of discussion among board members and between the board and Sherry and her team has me beaming like a proud mama – and it will only get better as five strong recruits come on board this fall. I claim this as my legacy – my ministry.
  • A renewed focus on the local church. For a while, the staff and board lost sight of churches, but Sherry has brought churches back to center stage. Under her strong guidance, MOPs is laser-focused on helping congregations excel in ministry to young moms, and through them, entire families. I’m proud to have been associated with a ministry that introduces Millenials to Jesus and a church home.

My work with MOPS is done. My term is up. My name is no longer be on the board roster. But a piece of my heart remains with MOPS.  It’ll take more than a board rotation policy to separate me from this ministry that I’ve grown to love.  I hope they’ll keep in touch.

For other articles about MOPS, see:

MOPS and leadership development on the mommy track

Nana goes to MOPS Convention

And now to practice what I preach to board chairs

 

Comments

  1. Carol Lytch says:

    Rebekah,

    So your board leadership draws to a close. What tremendous accomplishments you achieved. And the organization is poised for a very positive future. That must be very satisfying for you to know that you were able to shepherd this organization in its time of need.

    Carol

  2. Stepping down as board chair and away from this precious group of friends is a bittersweet moment. I am at peace that my work is done, but it’s hard to let go. I am grateful that I can trust MOPS, its mission, and its board to God’s good purposes.

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