Greetings to our Emerging Leader family! The last month of 2016 is upon us, and I believe you would agree with me that it has indeed flown by. Hopefully we can have a moment to look back on 2016-it’s challenges, hardships, accomplishments, and learn from it. Also, we can look back and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness. Nevertheless, our mission of Putting Hope Within Reach drives us forward into 2017.

Recently, Dr. Jerry Nance spoke on “Personal Responsibility” here at our Headquarters. We were challenged and encouraged, gaining further insight into personal responsibility. He shared a small paragraph from Dr. Frank Thomas in his teaching:

Personal capital is closely related to personal responsibility, when personal responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances of life. Personal capital is also closely connected with character, when character is defined as a person’s moral or ethical quality, and the character of a person gives them advantages to respond to the challenges of life. Personal capital, then, is the inner resources, assets, and advantages of personal responsibility and character that one brings to the challenges and circumstances of life. When personal capital is low, a person is a victim of circumstances, at the effect of life and not able to consciously and purposefully choose his or her own thoughts, feelings and actions. Victims typically identify themselves based upon attributes of powerlessness, dependency, entitlement, apathy, worry, fear, self-doubt, and the like. The victim lives at the effect of what happens around them and has little personal capital to, in response to the challenges of life, choose and direct life’s direction and destiny.  

In our context, working with people on the path to life transformation, these truths are monumental for our students to grasp. But from a leadership standpoint, where can we continue to grow in character, growing our “response-ability?” If character and our “personal-capital” are running low in our lives, how can we then fill our tanks? I believe it is coming back to the beginning, the headwaters of our calling and identity in Christ, knowing that we said “Yes” to Christ and His calling as Emerging Leaders. We must be responsible for our thinking, decisions, departments, and our students.

If we model the victim mentality, our lives will fall short of success, and so will our students’ lives. However, if we respond to life’s challenges with moral character, Christ will be modeled to our students. After all, Christ was the greatest example of personal responsibility. I encourage and challenge us all to continue to be leaders of integrity, character and conviction, responding to life’s challenges with maturity, owning our choices and lives, and responding positively when things happen that are out of our control. Remember, we have a young generation that “listens with its eyes”. How we walk through life makes a difference on those that look up to us as leaders.

In closing, as we move forward into 2017, let us continue to pray and lift up our leaders, as they work towards implementing change, growth and improvement throughout our entire region! May God richly bless you with grace as you teach and live the gospel at each of our amazing locations this month. And of course…Merry Christmas!

Written by: Dan Williams


Level II Link

Current Course

This month we start a new core course called Ethics and Integrity and our text: IntegrityIntegrity PIC by Dr. Henry Cloud. Integrity is more that simple honesty; it is the key to major successes. This book seeks to answer the question why some people, no matter what the circumstances, are able to pull everything together to have success. The study helps develop the six qualities of character that define integrity. According to the writer, talent and brains may help, but the real factor is the makeup of the person. All of us can grow fruitful relationships and achieve our purpose, mission and goals.

Your first post for Integrity will be up on the discussion forum by Tuesday, December 19th. 

Reminder: Please submit your Study Guides for Ordering Your Private World to the ELP office, by December 31st. 

Leadership – Character, Conditions, and Community

So once you encounter a Redwood grove, the tallest trees on earth, you naturally have to ask the questions: How do they grow so tall? Why do they live so long? What sets these trees apart from the multitudes in Shrubberyville? The trees seem eager to share their secrets as you embark on an investigative adventure. Three factors begin to come to light: the characteristics of the trees themselves, the conditions they live in, and the fact that you find these ancient, tall trees in groves.


To ask why a tree grows so tall and lives so long, you might start with the antithesis of that question: what limits a tree’s growth and what kills it? Trees are limited by the amount of water and nutrients they get, the physical restraint of gravity to get the water and nutrients from the roots to the top of the tree, and the strength of the tree to stay standing as it grows taller. Trees also have natural enemies, such as fire, wind, pests and disease. We will look at the character of the tree to overcome these limitations and withstand the things that seek to destroy it.


Redwoods are found nowhere else on earth except in the United States along the coast of the Pacific Northwest (north of San Francisco up into Oregon). It’s curious that Redwoods are only found in one location on the planet while fossil records of these trees can be found around the globe. What is it about the conditions of this location that allow these trees to not just exist but flourish? And beware, they might not be the “perfect” conditions you would hope for, but they are the “right” conditions.


One of my favorite sights is an open field with a lone, beautifully symmetrical, one hundred year old Oak tree in the middle of it. But Redwoods don’t grow this way, they are always referred to in the context of the grove where they are found. Redwoods grow best in community. Without the support the trees provide one another, they’d never reach their potential. We’ll discover how these trees truly practice the core value of community, working together and supporting one another.

In the book The Dream Giver, by Bruce Wilkinson, a guy named “Ordinary” is inspired to leave his home town of “Normal” and follow the dream God has given him. The twin city of Normal is surely Shrubberyville. To be sure, God loves us shrubbery and all, but He knows He created us to be Redwoods. Have you discovered yet the dream that God is stirring in you? We can’t envision the fullness of God’s intentions without stepping out and staying on the journey He has marked out for us. And it is only as God shapes Christ-likeness in us that we will realize our potential, fulfill our dream, and let our life glorify Jesus to the fullest! God does this as He refines our character through the conditions He places us in and the community He surrounds us with. Join me as we explore the lessons from the Redwoods on character in the next series of articles.

Article submitted by: Karissa Corpeny (Director, Corporate Training)

Insights from the Rep’s


 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”  John 10:11.

Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?”  “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd – Jesus.

The Good Shepherd Defends

Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

The Good Shepherd Protects

A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The others-centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically  helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.

Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, training and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus

Article contribution by: Deanna Trujillo (ELP Representative – Pensacola Women’s Home)

Level II Dec 2013



Congratulations Katie Rice for Completing ELP Level II


Congratulations to Derrick Gilbert (Ozark’s Boy’s) for moving on to your electives.

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Ethics and Integrity and our text: Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. In Integrity, Dr. Cloud explores the six qualities of character that defines integrity, and how people with integrity:

  • Are able to connect with others and build trust
  • Are oriented toward reality
  • Finish well

Your first post will be up on Monday, Dec 16th. As always, looking forward to chat with you on the discussion board.