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.

From the Rep’s Corner – Aug 2015

Here is a testimony of how coaching has helped one of our students.

Amber – 18 years oldstudentsponorship-17
“Coaching has absolutely changed my life! I believe that every Teen Challenge should have a coaching program. It isn’t easy by any means because of the effort and work you must put forth, but it is extremely beneficial. It challenges me to really dig deep into my relationship with God and depend on Him for the next step in my life. It helps me to see that the decisions I make now affect my future. Coaching is amazing and I love the fact that I get something new out of it every time. God has totally blessed me with this experience and opportunity.”
How has coaching helped you move forward in the program?
It’s helped me to address the things that I struggle with currently and that could be a struggle in the future. It’s helped me to grow. It’s made me more confident. Rather than focusing on the past, it’s focusing on who I can become in Christ. It pushes me to do things I never thought I could do, like lead others.
How has it prepared you as a leader?
It’s helped me to be a more gentle leader and to reach out to others in ways I was reached out to that helped me.
What makes coaching different than advising?
You focus on the future rather than the past. I am growing in areas that benefit the here and now and my future.
What’s been most helpful in coaching?
Being able to focus on one thing in a session rather than a million things. I am pushed to search things out for myself rather than feeding off other’s relationship with God. It’s helped me to dig deep in my relationship with God.

3 Things Leaders Do to Change History

Most everyone who is involved with Teen Challenge knows the story of David Wilkerson from the book, “The Cross and the Switchblade.” When David Wilkerson was just a 26 year old preacher he heard God calling him to sell his TV and spend the last two hours of each day in prayer. To his surprise, the next day he sold the TV for the exact price that he had in mind for it. Then he began to spend his nights in prayer and seeking the Lord. David Wilkerson had no idea that not only would this time in prayer change his life but it would also forever change history.

19 days into this new experiment he had a radical encounter with the Lord when he saw a Life magazine article about a young boy named Michael Farmer who was killed by a gang in New York City. As he looked at the article he heard the Lord speak to his heart that he was supposed to go help those boys. The thought would not go away. It filled his heart with such an unction that the very next night he stood in front of his small country church to try and raise enough money to drive to New York City and help the boys in the gang. He had such an encounter that suddenly he was filled with a boldness and a passion for pursuing the unknown. He now had an unnatural measure of courage because he had a word from God that had possessed him.

There are some really amazing observations that I want to make from this story and also I want to talk about how this story can really apply to our lives today. I see that first of all David Wilkerson was willing to step out and sell his TV. I also notice that he was willing to sacrifice and give up an extended period of time each night to be with The Lord. Lastly, I see that he was simply obedient with the word that the Lord gave him. These three things all brought David Wilkerson to a place where he was positioned to receive a word from Heaven that would not only change him but all of history. We are called to change history and impact the world around us.

What separates leaders who simply controls and those who change history?

They are willing to do the following:

1. Step Out

Many times God calls us to do things that are really unusual. When we listen to Him this opens up the ability for Him to break into the everyday and ordinary places of our lives. We can become so complacent and comfortable and it is in these times that he challenges our faith and brings us to new places. We must be willing to step out if we want to step into the destiny that God has for us as world-changers.

This is demonstrated to us through the story of Peter when he steps out onto the water towards Jesus. That act of faith is what separated him from every other person that was in that boat. All of the men in the boat were disciples of Christ but Peter stood out because he was willing to step out. We see the fruit of this willingness in Acts Chapter two when he is the first to step out and boldly proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven to those in Jerusalem. The church was birthed because of Peter’s willingness to step out. God is calling each of us to do the same!

2. Sacrifice

Everything great that we do in life requires that we sacrifice other “good” things for the “greater.” We make sacrifices and choices every single day on the way we spend our time. We may sacrifice time watching a football game to be with our kids or sacrifice our relationships with friends to pursue a deeper relationship with our finance. Sacrifice is natural and is something that we all do each and every day. Every decision we make in life bears fruit in our lives. When we are willing to sacrifice some “good” things in our life for the better things that God is calling us to is when we begin to step into our destiny as world changers.

We can see an example of this in the life of John the Baptist. He was set apart as a forerunner of the coming Messiah even while he was still in his mother’s womb. Even though he had angels tell his mother that he was to be especially set apart from birth he still had to make a choice whether or not to comply. He was set apart in a Nazarite type vow and chose not to partake of certain things because God had a special plan and a special purpose for his life. Because of his obedience in this and making such a huge sacrifice he got one of the coolest privileges in all of history… He got to baptize Jesus! God has huge plans for each of us and when we are willing to sacrifice the good for the best then we are able to step into them.

3. Simply Obey

Once we have pressed in through sacrifice and stepping out God will eventually give us a word that will not only change us but will also possess us. This is what happened to David Wilkerson. He waited on the Lord until he had been given a word that absolutely possessed him and drove him along the path of his destiny in Christ. After we have received the word it is important that we practice simple obedience and do what God has shown us to do. When we begin to walk in this simple obedience to his word then we will begin to see greater miracles than we ever could have imagined!

When Jesus told the man to go wash in the river to receive healing the man practiced simple obedience by going and washing even though it made no sense at all. Because of his simple obedience to Jesus he was healed of blindness as recorded in John 9. This man’s simple obedience led to an astounding miracle! When we walk in simple obedience to the Holy Spirit we will see even greater things in our lives.

I believe that God is calling each of us to consider how He might be calling us to step out and where we can make sacrifices. He has even greater things for our life than we could ever even imagine but sometime we are too complacent to find out what these things might be. I feel like He is calling each of us to take some time to consider what He might be calling us to do. I can only wonder what might happen if the body of Christ began to set aside 2 hours each night like David Wilkerson did for those 19 days. The Lord is just waiting for people who are willing to step out, sacrifice and simply obey.

Andrew Chalmers

http://twitter.com/landrewchalmers

http://andrewchalmers.wordpress.com

ELP Highlight

My name is Monica Brown. I am an intern at The Bridge Teen Challenge and have been in ELP for several months. Since being in ELP, I have learned many things. It has helped meMonica Brown see where I am spiritually and how to grow in my relationship with God. I have learned many tools and ways to be a good leader and server of God. ELP has shown me the kind of person I want to be in my ministry and what areas I would best be able to serve as well. It has also given me motivation in my walk to know who I am as a leader in Christ and in Teen Challenge. I have learned how to have compassion and love for others in need and women who come into Teen Challenge. My love relationship I have been able to build with God has helped me love others. I have learned that God is number one no matter what. Being a leader in Teen Challenge you can’t be selfish, prideful, or have no fear. You must be willing to work together with others at being a team and having a vision to accomplish anything. ELP has helped me grow so much as a student, an intern, a woman of God, a mother, and in my life. My life now will be to lead like Jesus.