Main Article – June 2018

Expressions of Courage

By: Bryan Sampson

Courage. Do we have it? How do we know? Has it simply be translated to boldness in your mind or is there more to it? In TCSE we talk, train, and teach a lot about courageous leadership. I believe this is for two reasons: First, for most of us courage has to be developed; harnessing the courage of Christ is a process and part of our sanctification. Secondly, without it we will never become the God-glorifying leaders Christ is calling us to be. To be an agent of light in this dark world we must become a courageous leader.

As Christians we are not intended to go through life and not lead. We should be leading others to Christ, leading our families, leading in our churches, leading in our jobs and ministries, and leading ourselves in a way that magnifies the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. The thought that “I am a better follower than leader” should only be accepted in certain contexts and never become a part of our identity. We are ambassadors of Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, so we must see the saliency of having courage for such a position (2 Cor. 5:20). 

So what are some expressions that a courageous leader exhibits? Stanley (2003) gives us three expressions of courage that are essential for those who aspire to be leaders worth following:

  1. The Courage to Say No. How disciplined is your life? Have you bought into the belief that doing more is going to bring you greater success? This is a pitfall for most, myself included. It can be difficult to turn away opportunities. But remember, as Mike Nappa puts it, “opportunity does not equal obligation”. Having the ability to identify and focusing on the few key things is a hallmark of great leadership (p.69). Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential (p.70). Don’t fear missing an opportunity, fear missing the moment you’re currently in.
  2. The Courage to Face Current Reality. We can’t escape our biases but we can become aware of how these will skew our reality. Falling into the trap of putting a positive spin on everything will serve the purpose of feeding our ego and self-esteem, but in the long run it will only cause us to lose sight of what is really happening around us. As Stanley puts it, “If you don’t know where you really are, it is impossible to get to where you need to be. What you don’t know can kill you” (p.73). Courageous leadership begins with getting people to confront the brutal facts and to act on the implications. I encourage you to study p.74 and review the seven commandments of current reality Stanley puts forth to help yourself live in reality.
  3. The Courage to Dream. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, sucked into the monotony of how things have always been done. Complacent. If there is one attribute we never want to lose as we mature, it is the ability to dream. Dream about what you could be and should be and dream about what our ministry could be and should be. When was the last time you let your mind wander outside the boundaries of what is and began to create a mental picture of what could be“Dream no small dreams, for they stir not the hearts of men” (p.79).

There is no bigger dream for our generation than to put hope within reach of every addict. Such a move from God will only be made through those who are operating in the courage that only Christ can give, so pray and begin to express it today!

Stanley, A. (2003). The next geneartion leader: Five essential for those who will shape the future. New York: Multnomah.

 

 

ELP Participant Highlight – June 2018

Name: Tony Henderson

Age: 38

Hometown: Cottondale

Teen Challenge Center: Bonifay

Brief Testimony: I was raised in a Christian home but rebelled against The word of God by falling into a life of sex and partying. One day I became tired and asked God to CHANGE ME. It was at that point, that God picked me up and transformed my whole life, awakening the city in my soul.  I live now to do his will, not my will.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? To minister to the lost  and help  bring restoration to families.

How has the ELP Program impacted you?  It has shredded light on some issues to help me change mindsets and mentalities.

 

Training Facilitator Highlight – June 2018

Name: Vicky Syfrett

Age: 61

Hometown: I am a Mississippi girl but have lived in North West Florida for the past 26 years.

Teen Challenge Center: June 1st this year, I will have been at West Florida Teen Challenge in Bonifay for 20 years.

 Brief Testimony: I was raised in a Christian home but rebelled as a teen. Life spiraled downward until the only place I had to look was up. After the death of a dear friend, and myself not expecting to live to see the age of 30, I realized God was my only hope. At age 29, on March 1, 1986, I allowed the Lord to take control of my heart. Not just my heart but my eyes, ears, mouth, feet and hands. To go where HE said go and do whatever HE said to do. From that day my life has been one amazing journey. And I thank God, that He saw fit to allow me to minister at Teen Challenge and that HE isn’t finished with me yet!

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

As many in TC ministry, I have several roles. I enjoy working one on one with Middle school boys as a Facilitator and Dean of Students in our Learning Center.

I assumed the role of Training Facilitator several years ago while keeping up with student and staff PSNC’s, GSNC’s and CEU’s. I love photography, Crafts, Bible Journaling, reading and working with and encouraging all to pursue continued training.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  

There is nothing worse than being given a task to do and not knowing why or how to accomplish it. Training is so important, not only to the staff, but also for the student being ministered to. True Leadership is important.  Those following can see that you are responsible for people and things under your care. Work unto the Lord.