Main Article: Culture of “One Another

By Tyler Graeff

Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” How countercultural is the word of God in a society that encourages individualism? Being independent and self-reliant is encouraged through the promotion of individualism. People are apt to exploit and hurt others, no position or person is exempt. Many times, these things may be in the spotlight of the news, behind people’s backs or on social media. It’s becoming hard to trust; people are being hurt and people are falling into a pattern of looking out for themselves. This can prevent the pursuit of personal relationships. 

What does it mean to be devoted to one another? Our relationships start to look personal rather than transactional. Individualism allows people to operate in the transactional mindset: what can I get from this person? Being devoted to one another helps us to ask the question: what can I do for this person? In a transactional leadership approach, those that we serve end up feeling used and devalued. When we serve others in a personal way, those we serve start to feel empowered and valued. Two opposite sides of the spectrum, right?

In our individualistic, highly transactional society,  how do we begin to craft a culture which honors one another?  In chapter 21 of “High Impact Teams”, Witt identifies two foundational building blocks that can be used to craft a culture of honor. The first block starts with you! In order to have a culture that is devoted to one another, we must know how accepted we are by Jesus. Insecurities can cause us to become selfish, worrying about ourselves or what others think. Once we have an understanding of our identities in Christ and we operate in that confidence, we can shift our focus outwards.

This outward focus brings us to the second block of viewing others through the eyes of God. A culture of one another is viewed from the lense of Christ. A culture of honor puts those that you serve and those you serve with, first. We are called to treat people with dignity, respect, value, and care. Often times when a leader’s focus is turned inward, it starts to affect those that they serve. We treat others with value so that there may be no divisions within the body of Christ. We are made in the likeness of God and He does not show partiality. 

It’s not about us! In ministry, we need to remember the example that Jesus set as a servant leader. As leaders, we need community. Crafting a culture of honor takes work and is counter-cultural.  Take the challenge and start to craft a culture of honor and devotion. When we craft a culture of one another, we begin to maximize unity and minimize division. Let’s show the world the standard of God by showing honor and devotion to one another and influence the status quo of a fallen world.

Participant Highlight August

Name: Melanie Douglas

Age: 48

Hometown: Warner Robins, Ga

Teen Challenge Center: Columbus Women’s Home 2018

Brief Testimony: I came into Teen Challenge broken from abuse stemming from the early age of 9 years old. Walking into the doors of TC broken and suffering from rejection issues as well as abandonment issues, God met me here and has totally transformed my life. He continues to heal me daily and walk with me as I continue to serve Him.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? I believe the vision for my life is to help win souls for the kingdom. I know and have faith that one day I will be a director of a Teen Challenge and continue to help women find freedom in Christ

How has the ELP Program impacted you? ELP has and continues to teach me leadership skills as well as coping skills to walk this journey out as I come alongside my leaders to help win souls for the kingdom and bring Hope to the lost.

TF Highlight August

Name: Amanda Taylor

Age: 36

Hometown: Jackson County, GA

Teen Challenge Center: Columbus Women’s Home 2007

Brief Testimony: I started using drugs at the age of 13, and began using meth at the age of 15. Five years later, I still did not know I had a problem, although I was using daily. When I was introduced to crack cocaine, it did not take me long to realize that I was in real trouble. After a few more years of trying to stop and going deeper in the lifestyle, I walked through the doors of the Columbus Women’s Home and immediately, I encountered Hope. I am so thankful today that God called me into this ministry, and I am honored that he would use me to share that same hope with others.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I find myself saying, “This is one of my favorite things I get to do” to most of the responsibilities I have, but ELP has always been deeply embedded in my heart. I truly enjoy the opportunity to pour into up and coming leaders in the weekly sessions and one-on-one.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  I believe that without the experience of leadership, we would not face the pressures of standing for what is right before we step outside the role of a student. Without training, we would not grow beyond where we are at today.