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 Thank you.

ELP Level II – Sep 2014


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)