MOP-up  = Member Orientation Program under pressure

  1. Needs of first-term missionaries:

  1. First-term missionaries often reach an emotional low-point midway through their first term.
  2. The transition from the structure and clear expectations of language school to the relatively unstructured nature of a church planting assignment results in frustration and a lack of a sense of accomplishment for many first term missionaries.
  3. The principles learned in MOP regarding effective cross-cultural transition and ministry are often forgotten by the time that a missionary arrives on the field, and even more so by the time that a missionary has been there a year or two. A refresher or reminder is needed to ensure that the new missionary builds their ministry upon these principles.
  4. A clear sense of personal calling and maintaining a healthy personal spiritual life are primary factors believed to reduce missionary attrition. These can be strengthened by appropriate encouragement and coaching.
  5. Some first-term missionaries need a clearer understanding of their accountability to mission leadership for productive use of their time.
  1. The Program

  1. Timing. First term missionaries will be assigned to MOP-up by their field leadership after at least one year but no longer than two years on the field.
  2. Coaching.  Each first term missionary will be coached for a period of no less than 6 coaching sessions (i.e. 3 month period). The coach will be assigned by SEND U. The coach will ask questions to help the missionary to complete the written self-assessment. The missionary can also use the coaching sessions to discuss any issues they are facing in their adjustment.
  3. Review of MOP training.  They will review the MOP handouts on the SEND U wiki. This review will be a self-study, but questions arising from the MOP materials can be addressed in the coaching sessions.
  4. A Self-Assessment.   After reviewing MOP materials, the missionary will be asked to write a personal assessment, addressing the following topics.  The completed assessment will be sent to their coach.
  1. The health of their personal devotional life
  2. What they have learned about their host culture
  3. Emotional health/ relationships.  
  4. A re-evaluation of their stated definition of success for their first term.    
  1. Plan for growth.  Together with the coach, the first-term missionary will develop an individual growth plan for the coming year. This plan will outline what the missionary plans to do to keep learning and growing as a new missionary.  This plan will also be shared with the missionary’s team leader.
  1. The Desired Outcomes:

  1. Reduction of attrition in missionaries
  2. Greater awareness, appreciation and use of coaching by missionaries who are not in leadership roles
  3. Significantly higher conscious application of MOP principles, resulting in more effective cross-cultural ministry, and reduced stress in cross-cultural living
  4. Each first-term missionary will have an individual development plan.
  5. SEND first-term missionaries will affirm the statement that SEND is supporting and enabling them in their transition from language school to their cross-cultural ministry assignment.

June 14, 2019 version   p.