November – ELP Highlight

Name: Leticia Rosete

Age: 49

Hometown: New Orleans , La

Teen Challenge Center: Davie, Fl. Graduated Davie 2018.

Brief Testimony: Growing up my parents never showed me any love.  That led me to using drugs for over 30 years of my life. When coming to Teen Challenge I couldn’t believe let alone think that God loved a person like me.

As I started reading his word and believing, God started to show me how much he loved me.  It broke that lie that I believed for so long.  Now I have a real relationship with God and I feel contentment and peace in my heart.

What is the vision and calling that God has given you? God had given me a vision to be a servant leader to broken women that are bound by alcohol and life controlling problems.

How has the ELP Program impacted you? It has impacted me to be the leader that God has called me to be.   To get out myself and serve.   To be the change I want to see in others.

 

Training Facilitator – May

Name: Tyler Graeff

Age: 27

Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Teen Challenge Center: Teen Challenge Southeast Region Orlando 2017

Testimony: I was once ensnared by the chains of addiction and mental health struggles. An encounter with Jesus Christ set me free. When I surrendered my life to Christ everything started to change. God has delivered me from addiction to narcotics, healed me of depression and the diagnosed PTSD from the trauma that I experienced as a child. I was once a broken man and I have found healing and hope in Christ, He has made me whole!

What do you enjoy most about your role: I enjoy seeing and working with those responding to the call of God upon their lives. This role has given me a newfound desire to build others up and to be challenged in my development as a leader.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable:  It is essential that we remain teachable as leaders and that we are always looking for new ways to reach the lost of the world for Christ. God is equipping the saints for the establishment of His kingdom. Through leadership and training we are joining the ranks of God’s army!

Main Article – December 2017

Merry Christmas!

By: Dustin Nance

It’s the season when we take time to reflect back and assess what we have accomplished throughout the year and laugh over memories created with friends and family. This year I have been reflecting on just how good God has been to me. It’s so refreshing for me to look back and see the hand of God over every situation in my life, especially in the midst of hardship.

While spending time looking back at my own life and looking forward to the new year, it’s hard not to notice the types of songs we sing around Christmas; “Joy to the World”, “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “Away in a Manger”, “Silent Night”, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”, I love this time of year! I may not be one to play Christmas music around the clock through the month of December, but I love that these songs point us to the real reason we celebrate this season. 

It’s important to take time and reflect on your year, learn from mistakes and plan for the next year. It’s important to create memories with family and love on each other through gifts and kind words. However, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Born to a virgin and lived a perfect life only to die as the one and only atoning sacrifice.

It is truly a season to celebrate what He has done for our eternity and reflect on His active hand in our lives. I challenge you to take a few minutes and re-read the lyrics to two of my favorite Christmas Carols. I hope and pray you have a truly Merry Christmas!

 Joy to the World  

Joy to the world

The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world

The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the earth

The Savior reigns

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods

Rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

Hark! the herald angels sing

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful, all ye nations, rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With angelic host proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

Christ, by highest heaven adored

Christ, the everlasting Lord

Late in time behold him come

Offspring of the Virgin's womb

Hail the Flesh, the God Head see

Hail the incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell

Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

 

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

Root and Fruit of Behavior

Last time I wrote about the importance of conflict resolution and how confrontation is going to happen. It’s a good thing if we’re intentional about it and treat people with love. The next step as a leader is to recognize that often times we are confronting a symptom to the real issue…an issue stemming from deep wounds of the heart.

I referenced a story at the ELP Summit & Staff Day, remember that man in Teen Challenge that was eating dinner after a long day of work and study reading his mail? The one that burst into a fit of rage upon opening a letter from his wife. Curse words, tables and chairs being tossed around angrily…picture that…it’s at that point as a leader we make a choice on how to best handle that person. Do you match their level of aggression and demand respect? Or do you ask yourself the important questions like; was the food just that bad? Did their football team lose? There is an obvious behavioral issue here, but what’s really going on? The important question to ask yourself is, what is going on inside that person and what does he need from me at this moment – confrontation or love?

He just received life altering news and doesn’t need confrontation, he needs your understanding and love. You can teach him how to respond to hard things and confront him on his behavior, but in that moment he needs to know nothing but that the Father loves him and sees his pain.

John Maxwell uses this diagram to show there are surface habits and behaviors that give us a window into the heart of the real issues at play. He argues that ultimately, it all stems from an issue with self-worth. If you believe you have no value, you will naturally find unhealthy ways to compensate for it.

I heard another story recently of a staff member who went to his leader and wanted to release a student that continued to have behavioral issues. The staff was very upset that the student would call himself a Christian and still cause the problems he was. The leader responded with a simple thought, “That’s why he’s here!” You see, we as leaders and stewards of this great call to give hope to hurting people, cannot be surprised when students don’t react as they should, or outbursts happen. It may demand more effort for us at that moment, but how you respond in those moments as a leader will speak to that student for years to come. Did you respond with love and understanding? Did you confront with love? Or did you throw a discipline at him and kick him out?

Don’t get me wrong, I am for boundaries and use them to guide and direct people towards a disciplined life before God on a regular basis. However, I would like to challenge us as leaders to always be mindful that discipline is only beneficial if it’s pointing people back to Christ. If not, we are training people to act right, not be right. That’s behavioral change and it only lasts for a short season. We want to be people that speak to the root of the issue and guide people towards healing and a life in Christ.

This week, identify that person who is a consistent source of conflict and diagnose the need. Do they need to be confronted? Or do they need to be loved on? As leaders we must rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom to see these times as opportunities to guide someone towards Christ whether through healthy confrontation or blessing them.

Article by: Dustin Nance – Divisional Leader, Training and Hope Outreach – TCSE

Level II

Welcome

This month we welcome Holly Williams to the Level II. Holly is a graduate of Ft. Myers TC and the Emerging Leaders College and is currently serving the ladies at Pensacola Women’s Home. Welcome Holly! Looking forward to see how God grows you and your leadership through the Level II.

Congratulations

Congratulations Elissa Hollingsworth for moving on to your electives!

 

Current Course

This month we start a new core course Strategic Planning and Decision-making and our text: Executive Values by Kurt Senske. Senske demonstrates how Christian values support long term organizational success. This original and practical guide provides Christian leaders with a game plan for Christ-centered leadership that stresses the development of a healthy organizational culture, values-based strategic planning, mentoring, and balancing professional and personal life. The staff will learn how to add lasting value to the ministry, employees, students, donors and to society at large.

Your first post will be up on the forum by Monday, August 15th.

Freedom!

Over the past several weeks, I have been contemplating “freedom.” With Memorial Day, we remembered those who died in military service for our freedom.  As I walked on the streets of Cuba, this month, I couldn’t help but think of the lack of freedom in the lives of the good people that lived there.  When we watch the news and hear about the oppressed around the world, a voice rises up in us and calls out to the captives, “Fight!  Fight for your freedom!”  It is a longing in every one of us, in every aspect of life- to always be free.

It is interesting that the opposite of free is exactly what it is- costly.  Every time an individual enjoys the luxury of freedom, the mind must go back. There was a cost somewhere; a payment made, along the way, to purchase that freedom- a transaction that would catapult into the future lives of others- affecting them on a daily basis.  Someone, at some point, paid for each freedom that is possessed.

We see that in our own country.  The cost of freedom has been high.  The Memorial Foundation reports that, “Since 1776, over one million Americans have secured the blessing of liberty through their lives.”  They also point out that 42 million Americans have served their country in time of war.  Freedom is costly.

Webster defines freedom as a noun:  “The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.”  In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace is fighting for the freedom of his country, Scotland.  At the end of the movie, he has been captured by England and is being tortured to death.  Legend says that in the last agonizing moments of his life, he, ironically, cries out, “Freedom!!!” for all to hear.  He is shackled and imprisoned but his heart is free because he has lived honorably.  As a result of his sacrifice, his countrymen are inspired and fight to eventually take their country back from England’s “enslavement” of them.

Take a moment to watch this scene: Braveheart – FREEDOM – Y#3299DC

In our contemplation of freedom, there is One that trumps them all- the ultimate and final freedom.  The eternal freedom that Christ gave to us through dying on the cross,

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

God recognized that no matter how hard we were to fight for physical freedom, we would never truly experience spiritual freedom from sin without His sacrifice.  Even in the days of Christ, the throngs were so focused on freedom from Rome that they didn’t see the One, before their very eyes, that could grant them freedom from every kingdom and dominion.

Christ recognized that physical freedom was temporary but spiritual freedom was eternal.  We need to remember that too as we share the Good News of the Gospel- the news that brings freedom to every facet of a person’s life, despite the physical strongholds they may find themselves in- whether it is a communist country, a prison cell, a wall street desk or a down town park bench- each one of us is invited to receive and experience the ultimate freedom that only Christ can give.

Jesus declared the war to be over when He said from the cross, It is finished.

Freedom is now at hand,

Brice Maddock, COO Teen Challenge Southeast

 

Level II – Feb 2016

Welcome

This month we welcome Rhome Smith and Sean Soltero (Central FL Men’s) to the Level II!. Both leaders are graduates of Teen Challenge and TCIMI. Welcome guys! The Lord will grow your leadership and ask you to come up higher. Looking forward to walk this journey with you.

Core Courses

We are studying the course Practical Christianity and our text: Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald.

The values of our Western culture inclines us to believe that the busy, publicly-active person in ministry is also the most spiritual.  This course will guide you through practical spiritual disciplines which will assist in facing the daily challenges of being a disciple of Christ.  Topics include: prayer, journaling, and being a good steward of time and resources.  This course will help you draw attention to the difference between “knowing truth” and “living truth.” Print and fill-in your study guide as you go through the chapters. This will be graded at the end of the course.

Your first post will be up on the forum Monday, February 15th. You’ll make an initial post and respond to someone’s post.

Level II Link – Jan 2016

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Todd Adams (Pen M) for completing Level II!

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Conflict Management and our text: The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. This is a practical primer on how obedience to God’s Word can change deadlock into restoration in families, churches, workplaces, neighborhoods and even prisons. So often we see those who are not on “speaking terms” with other members of a family or avoid coming in contact with certain members of the church because of some problem that happened years ago. This study opens one’s mind and soul to the way of life Jesus lived and taught. There is a way to live peacefully with others without having to compromise the goals Christ has set for His followers, or members of His body.

Remember to print and fill-in the workbook as you go through the course. Your first post will be up on the forum Monday, January 18th. You’ll make an initial post and respond to someone’s post.

 

ELP Highlight Nov 2015

Name: Matthew B. SampsonBryan Sampson

Age:  33

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Teen Challenge Center:  Central Florida Men’s.  I have been on staff for 6 months. I graduated in September 2014

My Testimony in Brief:   I let drugs and alcohol consume every aspect of my life. I let the ways of the world guide me on a path of destruction allowing me to feel no remorse for anyone. Jesus still loved me! He loved me so much that he died for it all, just so I could be reconciled to Him. Through His love I have been able to love others.

 The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  He has called me to bring people out of darkness, to be a testimony of his power and love. I will be working with Teen Challenge as I continue to grow and educate myself; becoming the best vessel for the Holy Spirit to operate through.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:  The ELP program has brought what was once a timid, quiet voice and turned it into a lion! I’m now a leader who serves his fellow brothers and will do whatever he can to see them succeed, leading them to victory in Christ.