Name: Jason Peltier
Hometown: Upland, California
Teen Challenge Center:
Graduated: Teen Challenge of Southern California Riverside, California 2013
Graduated: Teen Challenge Ministry Institute 2014
I went through a 10-year meth addiction that led me to a life full of pain and despair. Living this life landed me in jail for multiple crimes, but most of all it took all sense of joy and happiness out of my life. In 2013, God led me to Teen Challenge and was introduced to the One who provides true joy and happiness. Christ restored everything I had once lost and has blessed me 100 times fold beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. Today, I serve at Teen Challenge Pensacola so that I may help spread the Good News to the ones who were once hopeless like me.
What do I enjoy most about your role?
The best part of my role is being able to witness the ELP students grow and transform into the leader God has called them to be.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?
Both leadership and training are totally invaluable without each other. Every organization, business, church, and teen challenge needs strong compassionate leadership, as it is the very core of what makes it successful. Without strong leadership then everything under it may crumble. The Emerging Leaders Program has something special at the core of its leadership and that is Jesus. What makes leadership training valuable is the emphasis on discipleship. We should always be in training mode as disciples, allowing God to continue to grow and groom our day to day leadership.
Name: Jonathan Davis
Hometown: Moses Lake, WA
Teen Challenge Center: Pensacola Men’s Center
Brief Testimony: Growing up I had a void that I tried to fill with drugs and alcohol. When I dropped out of high school, I became a daily meth user breaking the law in order to get drugs. It became a vicious cycle. When I tried to quit on my own, I was faced with shame and guilt from my sin. God brought me out of my mess and took my shame in exchange for His joy and my void has been filled with an undeniable love from Christ.
What is the vision and calling that God has given you? I believe God is calling me to become a drug counselor.
How has the ELP Program impacted you? I am growing into a position of leadership through ELP.
By Tyler Graeff
How would our lives look if we focused more on being a Christian than our position in ministry? The majority of believers would agree it’s more important to focus on being individual followers of Christ than it is our positions. However, for those who have been in ministry for an extended amount of time, it’s not uncommon to begin intertwining the two. Some days, I take my eyes off Christ by focusing only on ministry work and a shift begins taking place inside of me. In that drift, I may begin to lead on empty.
As leaders, the importance of helping our team be better Christians is crucial. Our walk with Christ is more important than our work for Christ. We can gauge the spiritual formation of a team and ourselves. In positions of leadership and as everyday followers of Christ, our sanctification cannot be ignored. Every one of us can encourage the growth of those we serve and serve alongside by setting aside time geared towards spiritual development. In doing so, we begin to untangle the two.
Witt gives us a few ideas that might stimulate our thinking on how to raise our spiritual temperature:
- Open the word. Read a passage and talk about it. Share a verse that God used to speak to you.
- Dedicated times of prayer. Rather than the obligatory opening or closing prayer, why not consider a prayer meeting to intercede for the needs of the ministry?
- Fasting. Fasting can be a rich or powerful experience when done as a ministry or a team. Fasting specifically for a need or opportunity can be a wonderful way to galvanize your team.
- Silence. Consider starting a staff meeting with a couple of minutes of silence. Silence allows us to slow ourselves down, to become quiet before the Lord, and to better discern His still, small voice.
There are plenty of other ways we can raise our spiritual temperature. Don’t be afraid to try something new. What would it look like if we focused more on being a Christ follower rather than being the next great leader in ministry? Could it be possible that in the overflow of our spiritual development it would begin to affect our growth as leaders?
Ambition to become better leaders should flow from a place of humility and a heart to bring God more glory through our lives. Let us always remember that we want our capacity to be great leaders to come only from the overflow of our relationship with the Lord.