Never Give up Hope, Never Quit Going After Jesus (Sep 2014)

Never ever give up hope and never ever quit going after Jesus. You see, I have been with Todd AdamsTeen Challenge since 2001 and held every position from Intern to Program Manager. I knew at a young age that I was called to ministry and preach the Word of God. My mother still has cassette tapes of me preaching from when I was seven or eight years old. I will never forget the day I was saved. It happened at a little Methodist church in north Mississippi when I was 13 years old. I knew without a doubt the Lord had forgiven me and His Holy Spirit had come to dwell in my heart. The problem was there was no one who came alongside me to mentor or coach me along this journey.
It wasn’t long after my salvation experience that I was introduced to drugs and alcohol. After my first marijuana joint I smoked I was immediately addicted and started down a path of darkness and chaos. Everything I used to enjoy, golfing, basketball and going to church started to drift away. For years my life was centered on getting high and learning how to manipulate and cheat my way through life. It almost became like a game to me seeing how many people I could fool and how good I could get at getting my way and serving my selfish desires.
I grew up around Teen Challenge and was very familiar with the program as my uncle was the Director of Memphis Teen Challenge. I remember on several occasions him coming to my house and offering to get me help. I often stated, “I’m not near as bad off as those Teen Challenge people.”  I ended up starting a termite and pest control company in Memphis because there was no way I could work for someone else and hide my secret life as well. My company was extremely successful for over 15 years as I had learned to master  living a double life and hiding  my problems from most people. Eventually my bad choices started catching up with me and I lost everything; my wife, my house, and my company.
I decided to enter Teen Challenge in 2001 as I really had no where to go or anyone willing to help. After 24 months, 4 centers in 3 states, I finally graduated the program. I had learned to conform to the rules and manipulate my way through the program. I never really had a heart change and I most certainty didn’t understand the true meaning of God’s grace. I was eventually hired on as a staff member and had no idea what I had signed up for. I tried doing everything in my own strength just as I had done while running my company. I didn’t read the Word of God and my prayer life was non-existent. Needless to say I had several relapses and restorations over the years and finally gave up on God. I blamed Him and Teen Challenge for all my problems. I moved back home to start another pest control company and continue running from God.
After another year of doing my own thing and being mad at God, and Teen Challenge, I ended up in the deepest, darkest places I never dreamed I could. I sat at the end of my bed many nights with a gun in my mouth, but thank God I could never pull the trigger. I ended up calling several Teen Challenges but was told I need to look elsewhere because of my past. I eventually contacted a friend at Pensacola Teen Challenge and the Lord opened up the door to another chance to get it right. I will never forgot my first day there. I walked into a nearby field and cried out to the Lord sincerely for the first time in years. I heard His voice in my spirit like never before; “stay the coarse and stop running.” I listened as well for the first time and made a decision to allow the Holy Spirit to perform surgery on my heart. I got honest with myself and started seeking the Lord with all I had. After several months in the program I signed up with the Emerging Leaders Program. I graduated the entire program again, finished Level I of ELP and am now the ELP representative as well as the Education coordinator at Pensacola Teen Challenge.
The Emerging Leaders Program is extremely near and dear to my heart because this is where I learned how important accountability is. This is also where I learned what boundaries meant and to never start serving a ministry rather than Jesus Christ. This is where I learned what it means to be a servant leader and what it means to lead like Jesus. I often tell people in my testimony today….. Jesus Christ saved my soul, Teen Challenge saved my life, and Emerging Leaders is teaching me how to walk in victory and lead others down the same path. Now I have several men at my church outside of Teen Challenge who are mentoring me and helping me to be more of a motivational speaker and coach. Coaching is my passion; I went to school to receive a degree in education so I could coach in golf and basketball. Now I coach youth at my home church and use those same skills to motivate my students. I have no doubt that I am called to Teen Challenge for life and now hope and aspire to direct my own center one day.
Written by Todd Adams (ELP REP Pensacola Men’s TC, Pensacola, FL) 

ELP Hightlight

Name: Baylee HeflinBaylee Heflin

Age: 24

Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL

Teen Challenge Center: Southwest Florida Teen Challenge Women’s Home

Which Center/What Year did you Graduate: Southwest Florida, 2013

My Testimony in Brief:

I originally graduated Teen Challenge in 2009. During my internship I met a man and we left prematurely to be together. We got married and fell back into a destructive lifestyle. After 3 years I came back to Teen Challenge and in that time my husband filed for divorce. I was crushed but learned to lean on Jesus. He mended my broken hearts and showed me who Baylee was in Christ. I am currently in an internship & my husband is back in Teen Challenge as well. God has completely restored our marriage and placed a calling on our lives to work in this ministry together. We are both enrolled in the ELP program and plan on continuing in the call he placed on our lives 5 years ago. I now walk everyday in His light and the promises he has for our lives!

The purpose and calling God has given me: To work in Teen Challenge, walking alongside broken individuals just like me & to be a Godly wife!

The ELP’s impact on my leadership: Wow! Since being in ELP this time around my whole perspective on leading has changed. God has birthed a burden in me to Shepherd women just as my leaders have done me. I have learned who I am in Christ and the authority and compassion I carry to build ladies up while allowing God to continuously grow me!

 

 

ELP Rep’s Link – Sep 2014

Put it on your calendar to watch the next Revolutionized Leadership Webinar on Friday, Sept 19th at 10:30 am (EDT). I’ll send you an invite closer to the date.

Level I Adult 

This month we are starting one of my favorite courses Knowing and Understanding God’sExperiencingGod Will and our text is Experiencing God by Blackaby, Blackaby and King. God is inviting you to experience Him in an intimate love relationship through which He reveals to you His will, His ways, and His work. Through the biblical principles in this course, God can teach you how to:

  1. Know when He is speaking to you;
  2. Recognize His activity around you;
  3. Adjust your life to Him and His ways;
  4. Identify what He wants to do through you;
  5. Respond to His activity in your life.

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Discover Your God-given Purpose and our text: Chazown by Craig Groeschel. Chazown comes from the Hebrew word meaning a dream, revelation, or Vision. You were born with your own Chazown; do you know what it is?

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your center’s information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and I can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send me an email andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. Thank you.

ELP Level II – Sep 2014

Welcome

This month we welcome Adam Holderread (TC Ozark’s) to the Level II! Welcome Adam we look forward to the rich insights you’ll bring to the group and our growing together as leaders.

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Ethics and Integrity and our text: Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud. Integrity—more than simple honesty, is the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. In Integrity, he explores the six qualities of character that define integrity, and how people with integrity:

  • Are able to connect with others and build trust
  • Are oriented toward reality
  • Finish well
  • Embrace the negative
  • Are oriented toward increase
  • Have an understanding of the transcendent

Integrity is not something that you either have or don’t, but instead is an exciting growth path that all of us can engage in and enjoy.

Your first post will be up on the forum on Monday, September 15th.

 

Enrich Culture – Shifting the Values

I hope you took some time last month to reflect on “how things are going in your boat”… In that article we said that after prayer, the most important thing a leader can do is build a healthy culture for the teams they lead. Leaders must delegate a lot of things, but culture is not one of them. The leader is solely responsible for how healthy a team or ministry is. As a leader, being a “culture bearer” requires a shift in values, skills and allocation of time. For instance, as a staff member I should value being an effective contributor to the team and the mission. I do my part to enrich culture by embracing and embodying the Core Values and the TC DNA. I would be honing a particular skill such as teaching, counseling or computer skills. My time would be primarily allocated to working with students or in administration, completing my assigned tasks and responsibilities. As a leader, whether I’m leading a rally team, a work crew or a center, my values and skillset have to shift, as well as how I manage my time. It’s important what we value – we spend our time doing the things we value, and skills that are used without being instructed by values, aren’t done with much passion and creativity. So if I’m directing a center, and value making individual contributions such as counseling, I will probably pursue a degree in counseling and spend a lot of time counseling students. Instead, as a team leader, there has to be a shift – rather than valuing what I can contribute individually, I now value the success and contributions of others, I value the results of the whole team, I value the work and disciplines I need to do as a manager. This managerial skillset includes things like setting the culture, selecting the right people who are a fit for the culture, designing job descriptions, empowerment and delegation, performance evaluation and development, communication, building a cohesive team, and rewards and motivation. The book “The Leadership Pipeline” talks about this shift: “First-time managers need to learn how to reallocate their time so that they not only complete their assigned work but also help others perform effectively. They cannot allocate all of their time to putting out fires, seizing opportunities, and handling tasks themselves.” Putting out fires…yikes! Sounds like Teen Challenge! One of the challenges of leadership is slowing down the high speed train that we call Teen Challenge and valuing and spending time on the right things. Effective leaders and healthy organizations value an enriched culture and take the time to cultivate it. In the next 3 articles we’ll highlight 3 very practical areas in which a leader enriches culture: bringing the right people on the team, developing people, and building a cohesive team. In the meantime, assess how you allocate your time – how does it reflect what you value?

Article written by – Karissa Corpeny – Director of Corporate Training (TC Southeast)

 

ELP Testimonies

My name is Lauren Eisenberger, I’m 17 years old and I grew up in Rahway New Jersey. I Laurengraduated the Teen Challenge Yuchi girls program on July 19th, 2013. Growing up without a mother was hard for me and even though I had a good family, I eventually became rebellious and started to make wrong choices. Friends and partying became the highlight of my life. As my drug problem increased I was sent to two rehabs but both did not work. When I came to Teen Challenge, I was faced with a new type of love, Christ’s love. I was completely changed from the inside out by this love.

My purpose and calling now is serving in ministry as a missionary to Asia and Africa. Going through the ELP program is preparing me for this future in ministry. It has helped developed in me a joy to serve and has helped me understand what a true leader looks like.

 

Enrich Culture – More than a Mission

We continue in our “E5″ season of “Enriching Culture”. It might not seem very strategic to you, I mean there are places to go and drug addicts to save. We’re on a mission here. Is all this “culture stuff” really necessary? I’d like to propose that after cultivating a life of prayer, the most important thing a leader can do is build a healthy, flourishing culture for the teams they leadSure, ultimately leadership and team is about results – accomplishing tasks, goals and the mission.In Teen Challenge, we’re all sold out to the mission of offering life-transformation through Christ, so what difference does culture make?

Imagine two row boats in a race: boat #1 has 10 rowers vigorously rowing in sync, in the TC Crew Logo - Trimmed -TBsame direction, cheering each other on. Boat #2 has 5 rowers rowing in the same direction (but not quite in sync and not quite all out), 2 rowers who are arguing about which direction to row, 1 rower who is asleep, 1 rower who is rowing in the opposite direction, and 1 rower who is trying to sink the boat. Which boat wins? Culture is the single factor that will determine what is happening in your boat. A healthy culture is like the fertile soil that yields a hundred-fold at harvest time, like the firm foundation a lasting structure is built upon, or like the careful planning that makes a long journey more productive. Culture is the sole responsibility of the leader – you will either build a healthy culture by intention, or allow a dysfunctional culture by default. People will get in the boat because of the mission, but they’ll get out (or get tossed overboard) if the culture is not healthy. People don’t leave organizations or missions, they leave leaders. Bill Hybels, senior leader of Willowcreek Church, says, “staff cultures will only be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be.” A healthy culture ensures that the right people are on the boat, that they find the best seat for their gifts and strengths, that all the rowers are synced up and rowing in the same direction, that every rower is fully engaged because they show up every day exclaiming, “I was born for this! I can’t imagine doing anything else! This is what makes me feel alive!” And a healthy culture gets results.

Like the example of the two row boats above, it’s astonishing how much more productive a flourishing culture is from a dysfunctional or toxic culture. Has God called you to lead? Then He’s called you to be a culture-bearer, to build and enrich a strong and healthy team culture. There’s no short cut in cultivating culture, it takes time and effort and skill. But it will lay the foundation and create the momentum that will save much time and effort in the long run. In the upcoming series of articles, we’ll see that enriching culture is actually pretty practical, and we’ll look at how leaders enrich culture as well as reasons why leaders don’t place an importance on culture. In the meantime, how are things in your boat?

Written by: Karissa Corpeny (Director of Corporate Training, TC Southeast)

 

Level II – Aug 2014

Congratulations

Congratulations Mitch Clevenger (Vero Beach) on moving to your electives!

Reminder

Remember to return the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership DVD’s. The cost to purchase a new DVD set is $299.99 (plus tax and shipping) and will be charged to your center if these are not returned.

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Practical Christianity and our text: Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. The values of our Western culture incline us to believe that the busy, publicly-active person in ministry is also the most spiritual. Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in a lot of good people on the verge of collapse. Gordon MacDonald equips a new generation of emerging leaders to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness.  Your first post will be up on the forum on Monday, August 18th.

 

Rep’s Link – Aug 2014

Put it on your calendar to watch the next Revolutionized Leadership Webinar on Friday, Aug 15th at 10:30 am (EDT) via Google Hangouts on Air. You don’t need a Google account to tune in. I’ll send you an invite closer to the date.

Level I Adult 

This month we are continuing with the course Boundaries by Dr. Henry boundariesCloud. By now your emerging leaders are learning some vital lessons about boundaries. What is one way you can help your emerging leaders set proper boundaries this week?

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Servant Leadership and our text: Help, I’m a Student Leader by Doug Fields. Although this book is set in the context of a church youth group, the leadership principles can be applied anywhere. In this book your emerging leaders will learn:

  1. How Jesus led others
  2. Figure out how to be more helpful to others
  3. Discover the secrets of getting others involved
  4. How to listen better
  5. And, Deepen their faith by helping others

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your center’s information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and I can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send me an email andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. Thank you.

WHAT COACHING HAS DONE FOR ME

Angela Hastings

“Nothing is more appropriate than getting excited when God does something in our lives.” ~ Beth Moore

I find it interesting that the last time I posted on my blog was in August. But I don’t find it coincidental. I won’t even blame it on the busyness. It has to do with the fact that God has been doing a major revamping in my life and in my heart. Most of you know that in August, I started life coach training. Part of that training was meeting with one of our instructors for personal coaching. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Christian life coaching, it’s helping someone discover what God is doing in their lives and helping them to cooperate with Him. What I realized personally, was coaching provided the optimal environment for change. I don’t think we ever really even talked about the big thing that I wanted/needed to change in my life more than once. But over the course of six sessions in 4 months, God changed my heart and my attitude about the thing that was giving me the most trouble. Having an open door to deep, meaningful, intentional conversation and relationship, without the fear of being judged, with the freedom to make mistakes, and with the accountability to take action on what God is telling me to do made a HUGE impact on my life.

You know how scientists tell us that the earth is exactly the right distance from the Sun, and it’s at the exact right tilt so that there can be be life on earth? The conditions are perfect, even though right now some of you would beg to differ because your weather is a little inclement. But ultimately we thrive because of our environment. Coaching is like that perfect environment for thriving. Even now God is giving me a reminder of the sweet babies in Romania that were left all alone in their cribs and failed to thrive. It’s because they lacked relationships. It’s because they didn’t have the love and support they needed to grow. Now, I know that meaningful relationships are not limited to the field of coaching, but I also know that in our chaotic, busy lives, we rarely take the time, energy, and effort to get real and to let others get real.

People, God is at work; He is speaking to us. But if we don’t wake up and do something about it, we are going to miss out. We are not intended to walk through this life alone. And we definitely do not grow best on our own. We are meant to share life together. We are meant to challenge one another. We are meant to confess our faults to one another and to say “This is where I’m really struggling. Please pray for me; I want to change.” We are meant to take what God is saying to us and do something about it. There’s nothing magical about coaching. But it forced me to ask the questions:

What is God doing in my life?
What is God saying to me?
And what am I going to do about it?

And then,  I did it! No, God did it! God did something in my life. And He wants to do something in yours also.

Written by Angela Hastings (ELP REP Hosanna House TC, Jacksonville, FL) 

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