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

10th Anniversary of ELP

This April we celebrate 10 years of the ELP! The Emerging Leaders Program was envisioned in 2005 by Dr. Jerry Nance in response to this prayer: “God, where can Teen Challenge get the leaders needed to reach the growing addicted population – leaders who will be carriers of the Teen Challenge DNA?” The reply from heaven: “you’ve got to raise them up!” The intent of the ELP is to raise up servant leaders within Teen Challenge relative to our heritage, mission, DNA and guiding principles.

Teen Challenge owes a great deal to our pioneering leaders who modeled for us faith and obedience. Without precedent, but through the Holy Spirit’s sovereign instruction, they shaped a Christ-centered model and philosophy of ministry which continues to facilitate life-transformation for people with life-controlling problems across every continent. However, the world today is very different than it was in 1958 and more than ever Teen Challenge needs leaders who will commit and become equipped to put hope within reach of every addict.

In 2008, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Teen Challenge, one of our pioneers – Don Wilkerson – gave an exhortation to Teen Challenge. He said there are 3 generations in Teen Challenge: the “Pioneer Generation”, the “Bridge Generation”, and “Generation Next”. As we enter into the next 50 years of Teen Challenge, Don Wilkerson tasked the Bridge Generation to ensure that the heritage, the lessons learned and the principles of the Pioneer Generation are passed on to Generation Next. As an ELP participant, no matter what demographic generation you fall into, you make up the ranks of “Gen Next” in TC! The ELP is a “bridge tool” engineered to faithfully facilitate the hand-off from our pioneers. And as every generation becomes established in the DNA of Teen Challenge, they join the ranks of the Bridge Generation to raise up those coming after them.

At this 10th Anniversary ELP Summit we are going to learn how to be “Bridge Builders”! With God’s help, and with leaders of passion and calling who are committed to preserving the DNA of Teen Challenge, we can’t wait to see what God is going to do in our day!

Revolutionalized Leadership Podcast Series 1 of 12

This is the first in our Series of 12 Podcast on Coaching where Cathy Alford (Founder of Life Works Coaching in Columbus, GA) and I talk about “What is Coaching?” You can dowload the audio recording here. Attached  is the PowerPoint slides for this podcast.

ELP Webinar 12/20

We are so excited to announce that our next ELP Revolutionized Leadership webinar is scheduled for December 20th at 10am. We do this monthly training for Teen Challenge staff and students all over the country. This is a great place that you can get valuable information on how to lead better and also get to interact with other leaders around the USA. We love to welcome Teen Challenge staff, interns, students and also anyone interested in joining us for leadership training!

Revolutionized Leadership Emerging Leaders Program

This month we will be talking about: “Change: An Uphill Climb.”



Revolutionized Leadership Webinar

This month we continued the Life Plan Process through coaching on how to listen and ask relevant, powerful questions of your emerging leaders.



Revolutionized Leadership Webinar 11-15-13, 10.18 AM (Converted) from Teen Challenge on Vimeo.

Revolutionized Leadership Webinar

Emerging LEaders PRogram

As we look to the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, we oftentimes reflect on how the year went and what we achieved with the intention of making resolutions next year.

This month, we looked at a very practical way in which we can assess what’s important to us, dream about our future and make the necessary steps towards becoming who God created us to be. I want to encourage you to watch this webinar and follow the steps to create your personal life plan; do your personal Wheel of Life and create your life plan.

Please make your comments in the box below on how helpful or not, this was for you.


Join us this Friday!

Revolutionized Leadership Emerging Leaders Program

This Friday we are so excited to announce that we are having our monthly Revolutionized Leadership Interactive Webinar and you are invited! Each month we have training that is offered to our Emerging Leaders Program reps and leaders through this interactive Webinar. We believe that the purpose of the ELP program is to revolutionize the way they we lead others within the organization of Teen Challenge globally. The purpose of this monthly webinar is to make a global impact upon our programs and ultimately the world around us.

Teen Challenge
This month we are excited to have Greg Hammond, COO of Teen Challenge Southeast Region, joining us! He will talking about the importance of us enriching our culture of the ministries that we lead.In this 45 minutes webinar we will discuss the Teen Challenge culture and environment conducive to raising up sons and daughters of the Spirit.

Friday September 20, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM EDT Add to Calendar

Click here to Register for the event

The ELP Rep as Coach and Mentor

Last month we looked at the ELP Rep as Coach and Mentor. A coach or mentor ensures the emerging leader is yoked-up with a coach or mentor – someone who will get them established in the house (the kingdom). Every person needs a Barnabas – an encourager, an Epaphroditus – someone who will walk side by side with them, and a Timothy – someone who will come and take over from them. To learn more about the benefits of coaching at an organizational level read 020ASTUDYONTHEEFFECTSOFCOACHvarious20012002. As you watch the webinar and read this article, go ahead and post your comments. We would love to hear how a shift to be more of a coach or mentor is impacting your campus.

Emerging LEaders PRogram

The ELP Rep as Shepherd-Leader (Servant Leader)

Emerging LEaders PRogram

Last month in our Revolutionary Leadership Webinar we talked about the ELP Rep as Shepherd-Leader. We were honored to have Steve Morgan, Extension Coordinator at the University of Georgia and a present-day shepherd (Steve has been a shepherd for 14 years!) talk with us about tending sheep. The lessons learned parallels how we as leaders care for followers. Recently, I came across this article by Kent Hodge “Jesus as the Shepherd-Leader” and thought I would share the excerpts with you. As you read the article and listen to the Webinar write a paragraph  on your one “ah-ha” moment. How can you practically apply this principle to your leadership?