Allowing our graduates to walk out their freedom in Christ while at Teen Challenge is necessary to prepare them to live successful Christian lives after TC. When a student first enters the program we tell them what to do because they are a new babe in Christ. As they become spiritually mature, we give them more responsibility to make decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is key to helping our graduates transition back to society as productive citizens and where coaching is especially helpful in the discipleship process.
Being led by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions at the right time of the right person
Two people having a conversation
will help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adjust to life after TC. This will require several coaching conversations. A coaching conversation has three key ingredients which will move the person forward:
Explores – connect with the students where they are at. Talk about the things they want to talk about. This is the student’s time to explore what’s inside of them and to have a simple conversation that will help them dream about the possibilities for their future.
Excites – Get excited about the things they are excited about. Excitement or joy is contagious and fires up the brain to create. If you are excited about their future, they are excited too and they will believe it’s possible to create. A joyful heart is good medicine.
Exhorts – Be an Encourager – a Barnabas. Along the way, the student will meet upon obstacles which may prevent them from becoming who God created them to be. Your role is to encourage them to live from a stance of victory and not defeat. Encourage them to turn the trials into opportunities.
I have found that the best coaching conversations are in the moment – as you go about daily life on campus. You can draw out so much more when you are in a relaxed environment. Listen and watch for the moment to coach and ask these powerful questions:
What is here that you want to explore?
How does this fit with your plans and values?
What are you willing to do to accomplish this?
What support will you need along the way?
What is your desired outcome?
Last week at the NE/SE Regional Conference I had a chance to connect with Ashley Key – the first emerging leader Amanda Taylor and I sent out to do an ELP Project. She went to Long Island TC Rock the Block in 2009 to apprentice with Anna Ramos and the team there. Here is her testimony of her journey.
I started the ELP track when I was a student in the program. I knew that ELP was established to help equip us to be effective leaders in Teen Challenge. My heart’s desire was, and still is to be a TC Director and I knew that starting the journey with ELP would help me in my calling of Teen Challenge leadership. The opportunity to work with other leaders and watch their journey to leadership brought encouragement to me who was just starting. The curriculum and the projects that I was a part of, hit on topics that were specifically designed for my journey. The Armor Bearer book was the one that had a tremendous impact on the way that I saw what true leadership was all about. Leadership is serving others the way Christ did. I was told this in the program, but the “light bulb” didn’t go on until I read that book. It helped me to understand that leadership wasn’t about just telling others to do something or to just delegate it to someone. It was more about helping my leader fulfill the will of God in their life and watching how God would open the doors in my life because of the faithfulness to my leader. It also spoke of discipleship to me. A leader goes and helps those he is leading. We aren’t dictators. I think I thought that was what leadership was for years. The journey that I took in ELP helped me to see how the Lord had designed true leadership and helped mold me into the leader and disciple-maker that I am becoming.
I have been at Long Island Teen Challenge for 6 years. This has been an incredible journey for me. It has been filled with ups and downs, but God has been truly faithful in it all. I have had my hands in every aspect of the ministry. I have been Assistant House Manager to House Manager. I have overseen the upkeep of the house and the logistics of the program. I just recently graduated from Northpoint Bible College after 2 years of being away, I now oversee the kitchen and I am a Senior Staff at the Women’s Home. It’s such a blessing to be here with these ladies, using the Start Right Program to help disciple and equip them in their own journey with the Lord.
Paul Burke, a graduate of Long Island TC, and I recently got engaged and we will be married next year. We met a few short days of me being at Long Island. God truly has written our story. Everything that could have torn us apart, has made us stronger. I am looking forward to working with Paul. We desire to be Teen Challenge Directors and pouring into the hopeless. We have found Hope in Jesus and we want to disciple and teach others. In the future we hope to have our own Church as well.. God has big things in store and we are excited to be apart of His Story!
Ashley Key – Senior Staff – Long Island TC, graduate Columbus Women’s, Columbus, GA
This month we welcome Sandra Marotta and Jessica Bullock (Southwest Florida) and Danielle McKinney (Pensacola Women’s) to the Level II! Welcome ladies! We look forward to working with you to grow you and prepare you for His kingdom work.
Congratulations Anna Spencer (Columbus Girls) for completing Level II!
Congratulations Katie Rice (West Florida Boys) for starting your electives!
Our core course this month is Leadership Principles and our text: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. Maxwell says:
“Whether you are a follower who is just beginning to discover the impact of leadership or a natural leader who already has followers, you can become a better leader. As you read about the laws, you’ll recognize that you may already practice some of them effectively. Other laws will expose weaknesses you didn’t know you had, but the greater the number of laws you learn, the better leader you will become. Each law is like a tool, ready to be picked up and used to help you achieve your dreams and add value to other people.”
~ John Maxwell.
I will send you the DVD’s for this course from the office. We’ll begin posting for this course on Monday, September 16th. As always, looking forward to the learning experience on the discussion board.