Healthy Culture – A Life of the Spirit

Essential to having healthy sons and daughters is the notion that we should have healthy parents and a healthy environment to grow in. Today, fewer children can say they grew up in a healthy environment with parents who are loving, caring and attentive to their needs. In the Cross & the Switchblade, David Wilkerson describes the culture and his envisioned future for the Teen Challenge Center (C & S, p. 129):

     “The Teen Challenge Center would be located in the heart of the roughest part of the city. It would be headquarters for a dozen or more full-time workers who shared my hopes for the young people around us, who saw their wonderful potential, and their tragic waste.Kevin & Sandy with girls2 Each worker would be a specialist: one would work with boys from the gangs, another with boys who were addicted to drugs; another would work with parents, another with Little People. There, in the Teen Challenge Center, we would create an atmosphere that was so charged with this same renewing love I had watched on the streets, that to walk inside would be to know that something exciting was afoot. They would live in an atmosphere of discipline and affection. They would participate in our worship and in our study. They would watch Christians living together, working together; and they would be put to work themselves. It would be where they were prepared for the life of the Spirit.

To sum up the TC culture – it is an environment preparing our sons and daughters to live the life of the Spirit. When Wilkerson awoke from his first night at Rev. Ortez’ home, he said ” the next  morning I spent in prayer; what was going to happen now, I could not imagine, but I wanted to hold myself as flexible as possible, ready to step out in whatever direction the Holy Spirit should point” (C & S, p. 77). This is the life of the Spirit.

The Life of the Spirit is one spent in prayer –  talking to God, listening to Him and meditating on His Word. Prayer is the work. “I had long ago discovered that too much running around, without a base of quiet meditation, produces little value” (C&S, p. 143).

How can you slow the pace at your center to allow everyone time for prayer, reading the Word and meditation?

The Life of the Spirit is one that is flexible – listening to the Holy Spirit and being open to…well just about anything. “We were driving slowly along when suddenly I had the most incredible feeling that I should get out of the car. “I’ll be back in a while, Miles; I don’t even know what it is I’m looking for.” “Hey Davie. Preacher!” A group of six teen age boys were leaning against the side of a building.” If you want to meet the gangs, why don’t you start right here?” (C&S, p. 28-30).

You don’t need to know what you are looking for necessarily, only – “where is God leading me right now?”


The Life of the Spirit is one of action – demonstrating the power of our faith by acting out our belief. We believe God for the miraculous. “I decided to take a first step toward making my dream come true” (p. 64). “I would speak to these boys, trusting the Holy Spirit to reach them where I could not” ( C &S, p.65).

Ask yourself “how can I partner with God and be a vessel for the miraculous?” What are some indicators that you are producing sons and daughters prepared for the life of the Spirit?

“A strong working culture helps to create satisfied people who feel cared for, trusted and respected, which increases engagement and ultimately leads to better productivity.”

~ Ken Blanchard (Ken Blanchard Companies)

Revolutionized Leadership Webinar

Emerging LEaders PRogram

As we look to the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, we oftentimes reflect on how the year went and what we achieved with the intention of making resolutions next year.

This month, we looked at a very practical way in which we can assess what’s important to us, dream about our future and make the necessary steps towards becoming who God created us to be. I want to encourage you to watch this webinar and follow the steps to create your personal life plan; do your personal Wheel of Life and create your life plan.

Please make your comments in the box below on how helpful or not, this was for you.


Level II – Nov 2013


Congratulations Stacy and Andrew on completing ELP Level II!

Stacy McLaine

Stacy McLaine


Andrew Chalmers

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Practical Christianity and our text: Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. MacDonald equips a new generation to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness. Your first post will be up on the forum Monday, Nov 18th.

Remember to return the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership DVD’s asap. Centers will be billed the cost of the DVD set $299.99 + shipping if not returned.

As always, looking forward to chat with you on the discussion board.

ELP Rep’s – Nov 2013

thank-you-pageThank you to all of our ELP Rep’s who have served and continues to serve gen-next well. We are dedicated to the success of every student.

Coming in December!!!

Look out for new apparels on the ELP store; ‘ELP’ dress shirts (long & short sleeve),’Put Hope Within Reach’ golf shirts & tees and ‘TC DNA’ polyester shirts & tees. 

Level I Adult

This month we continue with our course Boundaries and our text: Boundaries by Dr’s. Cloud & Townsend. Boundaries define what is me and what is not me. “Learn the power of saying ‘no’ because what you focus on expands. You may not go wide but you may go deep.”  ~ Tim Elmore

Level I Adolescents

The course for the adolescent track is Self Leadership and our text: Habitudes I – “The Art of Self Leadership by Dr. Tim Elmore. Elmore says “the leadership journey begins with self-leadership – we must lead ourselves before we lead anyone else.” In our daily interaction with others it’s the invisible parts of our lives that is most important. Do you make a difference in the world you live in? How do you add value to others?

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast 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 and copy to let us know. Thank you.


ELP Highlight October 2013

emerging leaders program My name is Jessica Jacobsen. I’m 36 years old, and I’m from Haughton Louisiana. I work at Mount Grace for Women. I’ve been a staff member here since September 2012. I graduated from Mount Grace on September 15th 2012. I came to Mount Grace addicted, hopeless, broken, and searching for more. Within a month of being here, I had a supernatural encounter with Jesus Christ that radically transformed me from the inside out. God has called me to teach, and I am currently the Dean of Students here. He has recently given me a desire to counsel as well, and I’m currently pursuing that. Without the ELP program, I wouldn’t have had a model to go by. This program, along with the example my leaders set, is teaching me how to be an effective leader.

Rep’s Link – Oct 2013

Look out for new winter apparels coming soon to the ELP store Our ELP starter pack will include a headset for the main purpose of connecting to our webinars. All Southeast Region Rep’s will be sent a new headset soon. Our next webinar will be Fri, Oct 18th 10:30am eastern. Make it a date.

Level I Adult

This month our course is Boundaries and our text: Boundaries by Drs. Cloud & Townsend. Boundaries help us to identify when to say yes, how to say no and take control of our lives. This is a 2-month course. A shorter version of the workbook can be downloaded at

Level I Adolescents

The course for the adolescent track is Discover Your God-given Gifts and our text: Congratulations…You’re Gifted! by Doug Fields & Erik Rees. Our emerging leaders will discover where their God-given passions and strengths intersect and learn more about their SHAPE.

Monthly Book Orders and Grade Sheet

Southeast 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 and copy to let us know. Thank you.

“If you want to go quickly go alone, if you want to go far, build a team around you.”

~ Jim Blanchard

Level II – Oct 2013


Welcome Nick & Rachel Aylor (Southwest Florida) and Rob Helfer (Middle GA) to the Level II! We anticipate an even greater impact as God raises up the next generation of leaders in Teen Challenge.

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Conflict Management and our text: The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. This book has personally transformed my life. Years ago, our leadership team in Jamaica studied this book together and it totally transformed the way we communicate and solve conflict. I’ll be sending you copies of the pdf workbook via email. Your first post will be up on the forum Tue, Oct 15th.

Remember to return the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership DVD’s by Monday, Oct 21st. Centers will be billed the cost of the DVD set $299.99 + shipping, if not returned.

As always, looking forward to chat with you on the discussion board.

Healthy Cultures Build Healthy Leaders

There has been much talk about coach Matt Labrum from Union City High who suspended his entire Utah team community svcfootball team because some were cyber-bullying another student, and almost all of them were being disrespectful to their teachers and cutting classes. As I reflected on his approach to help his team learn a valuable lesson, I realized his discipline was motivated by love for his team. He desired to do more than coach football he wanted to shape their character and in the end the students thanked him for it. Coach Labrum created a lab where his students could experience the value of self-leadership. “A lab is a safe place for students to experiment in leadership.” ~ Tim Elmore. Our lab is the culture we create at Teen Challenge for our students to grow and lead in.

  1. It’s an atmosphere where our emerging leaders feel safe in their relationships; where fears and apprehensions are removed and people are free to bloom and also fail forward. Our coaches help students bloom and mentors help them fail forward. We walk alongside each student to tend to their process of growth.
  2. It’s an environment where people feel a part of the family. I belong to a family who loves and supports me. I am responsible for my own actions and in this family I will learn responsibility and ownership. We create an atmosphere where emerging leaders develop good problem-solving skills and are able to find godly solutions to life’s problems.
  3. It’s an environment for our students to be an apprentice; the bridge generation is training gen-next. “A central part of a leader’s job is training the next generation to lead after them” ~ Tim Elmore.

What are 3 timely principles you want to teach your sons and daughters this week?

“Cultures work like a virus in a family; viruses are contagious because family members are similar and live close together.

~ Tim Elmore.

When Discouragement Follows

As leaders we are always working with groups of people to achieve some common greater goal that we (hopefully) believe in. We invest a lot of time and energy into events, raising up people and making sure that things go as well as they possibly can. We pray that our efforts would be blessed and pour our own blood, sweat and tears into all that God has called us. Sometimes after all of our hard work we finish a project, have our big event or come to some point where we can look back and be thankful for all that God has done. Though there may be a mountain of things to be thankful for, all we can think about are the disappointments and the little things that didn’t quite go as well as we wanted. It can be bittersweet even after a great victory where we have seen great results or lives drastically transformed!


We can sometimes find that its right after our greatest victories that we feel discouraged and experience great failures as a leader. This is typically because those are the times that we are the most exhausted and vulnerable. This is when our own frailty becomes apparent and when the enemy loves to try and discourage us the most. We have to stay on guard during these times to neither become too prideful or to allow the enemy to bring us to a defeated mindset in the midst of our exhaustion.

The beautiful thing about this state of vulnerability is that it gives us a chance to really view how frail we are and how much we desperately need God. Sometimes things in life will go exceedingly well and at other times they may not go as well as we wanted as a leader. Either way we need to always remember that our ultimate job is to love God and to love others. We are to learn the art of resting in Him in the midst of pursuing the call that He has on our lives with reckless abandonment. It is a balance of passion and dependence on God that we will continue to learn and grow in for the rest of our lives as leaders.

If you are feeling tired and weary just know that God wants you to find your rest in Him today. He doesn’t expect you to accomplish anything outside of Him and doesn’t long for you to accomplish good work for the Kingdom at the expense of your own personal sanity and well being. The first thing he wants to you always prioritize is the first commandment of loving Him and He wants you to always hear him saying, “Abide in Me…” throughout this great adventure that He has you on.

How do you respond to discouragement?