Training Facilitator Highlight – October 2017

Name: Matthew “Bryan” Sampson

Age: 35

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Teen Challenge Center: Orlando Men’s Center & Training Coordinator SE Region; Graduated September, 2014
Brief Testimony: After 18 years of addiction I finally lost everything and had reached a point of desperation. Going to Teen Challenge I had little hope, but God…God used Teen Challenge to build me up into the man of God I was always meant to be. I now work as the Training Coordinator for the SE Region and am working towards my second Master’s degree in Mental Health. My desire is to raise up leaders within the region to be healing agents and leaders of Christ.
What do you enjoy most about your role? – The most enjoyable aspect of my job is to see people encounter the love of Christ. Once I begin to see this change I love engaging, encouraging, and helping them grow and develop into their new identity and watch Christ manifest in their lives.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  – In order to make the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God, we must be investing in the next generation to lead people in the will of God. Leadership and training are essential in becoming more like Christ and walking out a life that glorifies Him.

Main Article – CARE

By: Dustin Nance

If you have read a leadership book in the last 20 years then you have read something about how you must care about those you lead for them to want to follow you. This is not a new concept. Brice Maddock says, “The only two things that matter when we stand before God is our relationship with Him and our relationships with others.” Basically, did we love God and love people enough to lead them to Him. Those are the two greatest commandments according to Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40.

We know this! We know because most likely we have experienced both leaders that show they care and leaders that don’t. Why aren’t we better at this as leaders? I would argue that for some it’s a shift from the mindset of thinking about “what is best for me?” to “what is best for the team?” or “what is best for John Doe in this situation?”. However, I believe for most of us we just get too BUSY!!!! The truth is we let ourselves get so busy and stressed out with tasks, that we miss the most important opportunities to show those around us we care every day. In a world that is focused on “what is best for me?”, we as Christian leaders must put others before ourselves. We must show people that we care more about them than what they can do.

I think of my daughter Ellie; she is a tough girl. She has had to grow up around my son, Asher, but the other day they were dancing around the living room and Asher accidentally ran her over. She jumped up, ran into my arms and started crying. I know she’s not dying, her arms are not broken and really she’s not physically hurting that much at all. She just wants to know that Daddy cares that she got ran over. I found myself with a choice to make, tell her she’s fine and send her on her way, or wrap my arms around her, tell her I’m sorry she got hurt and that I love her. I chose to take the time and show her I care.

Unfortunately, I don’t always make the right choice in this situation. When staff comes to me saying a situation is hard, I feel a responsibility to tell them to grow up and get it done, change the situation or make it easier for them. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes all I need to do is acknowledge that it is hard, let them know I think they can do it and encourage them to keep pushing. Basically, I need to show them I care about them, not just that they get the task done.

Don’t get me wrong; I stand with Jon Gordon on this, “I believe in tough love, but love must come first. If your team knows that you care about them, they will allow you to push and challenge them to be their best.” You may have the authority to give tough love, but if you haven’t spent the time showing someone you care, they will not see it as love at all.

This is an important point for us to understand as leaders! It’s always a faster turnaround time with my daughter Ellie when I show her I care. Usually, she jumps right back up and goes at it again, but If I don’t, she walks around crying looking for someone else to show her they care. Not only does it take longer, but she will stop coming to me if I do that too many times. I want Ellie to come to me for the rest of her life, just as I want my staff too. It’s not coddling them to encourage someone and acknowledge a situation is hard and that you’re behind them and believe they can do it.

Take the time today to show your team you care!


Source: You Win in the Locker Room First, by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith

Participant Highlight – October 2017

Name:  Tyler Graeff

Age: 26

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Teen Challenge Center: Orlando Men’s Center

Brief Testimony: When I was living in the world I was consumed with a lifestyle of sin. I was lost and broken and a door opened for me to come to Teen Challenge. While enrolled in TC, I rededicated my life to Christ. God began speaking to me, as He broke off the chains of depression and heroin addiction. I now live a life with more freedom, peace, and joy than I could ever have imagined.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? – God has called me specifically to Teen Challenge to serve Him in full-time ministry. My vision is to serve in this ministry and help broken men overcome their addictions and pain through the power of Christ in me.

 How has the ELP Program impacted you? – ELP is giving me the leadership skills that I need to help me become the leader God has called me to be. I’ve also grown spiritually, as I am learning more and more about God’s perspective on leadership. ELP is helping me answer the call that God has placed on my life.