By: Bryan Sampson
There is a saying within Teen Challenge that the T.C. stands for “Things Change.” We all have experienced this within our ministries. The implementation of a new curriculum, the change in our schedule or job responsibilities, the unveiling of new computer software, or changes in leadership will always be happening. Change is a part of life and is essential for progress, but our desire for stability prevents us from embracing it the way we should. Thankfully, we serve a God who give us the Holy Spirit to help us handle the changes He is initiating against our status quo. The Holy Spirit should create in us the courage and boldness to become agents of change, bringing the kingdom of God to all aspects of our lives. We must become the leaders that challenge the status quo and progress our departments and ministry forward.
With so much change taking place in our lives and ministries it can be difficult discerning what changes we should embrace and which we should resolve. One question to ask ourselves is whether the change is helping you progress or regress. Are the changes going to make you become better, more relevant, more disciplined, better aligned as a team, or more strategic in how you operate? These are questions we should be constantly asking as we determine how to challenge the process of the way we minister.
Leadership is more than just recognizing what needs to change; it is having the courage to act on what you see. Courage establishes leadership. Stanley (2003) makes it clear that “Next Generation Leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside” (p.51). So, what is it that needs to change in your program? In your department? In your life? What is it that God is speaking to your heart today that you can no longer keep silent about?
Pray today for an increase in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to develop within you the courage to step out and challenge the process of the status quo, so that God may be glorified in your work and life.
Stanley, A. (2003). The next geneartion leader: Five essential for those who will shape the future. New York: Multnomah.
Name: Kaitlin Vied Age: 23
Hometown: Garden Valley, Idaho
Teen Challenge Center: Columbus Girls Academy
Graduate: Columbus Girls Academy, 2010
Before I came into the program, I was lost and didn’t see any potential for my life. It was during one of our chapel services that God really grabbed my attention and my heart. Over the last few years, He’s been constantly challenging me to seek His heart further. I love how in Proverbs it says that it’s the pleasure of God to conceal a matter, but the honor of kings to seek it out. Everyday’s been a directed journey to discover new things about the kingdom.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love seeing people equipped to fulfill God’s calling on their life. It’s beautiful when individuals see how God has designed them to lead in their own unique ways.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?
Ever since the first day I walked into TC I always heard about “the process.” I believe as leaders we walk through a refining and training process that brings out our giftings to honor the Lord, and our weakness that reflect His strength. We always are continually growing, continually walking through “the process”, and continuing to seek improvement. The training refines us as leaders, and as leaders we’re equipped to refine the training of those that we lead.
Name: Domonique Merchant
Hometown: Los Angeles California/ Fayetteville Georgia
Teen Challenge Center: Teen Challenge Columbus Girls Academy
I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at an early age, and I have had to receive blood transfusions/ blood exchanges for 28 years. Before, I decided that I didn’t care about my life any more, and started to do drugs and drink alcohol to ease the pain. God chose me in my weakness to declare the works of the Lord. The Lord saved me from death and now I am able to pursue and love Him with all of my heart while teaching others how to do the same as well.
What is the vision and calling that God has given you?
The vision and calling that God has given me is to work and train troubled teens while in the future, possibly working in medical missions and anti-human trafficking as well.
How has the ELP Program impacted you?
The ELP program has impacted me in teaching me how to be a better leader to my Teen Challenge students. ELP will also continue to teach me how to use the leadership skills in my future callings.