Prayer, Evangelism & The Holy Spirit

This month was a time of thankfulness for our country and for those that helped establish it; we will always be grateful for our Founding Fathers and for the role that they played in making our country great.

Another great founder that we are all so thankful for is David Wilkerson. According to Merriam Webster, a founder is an originator of an institution or movement. I am grateful that God chose a man like Wilkerson to be the originator of Teen Challenge. It was God’s idea but He placed it in Wilkerson’s head and, thankfully, he was obedient to the call- the crazy, impractical, startling and even bewildering call. This was a call that could have very well led to death but God went before Wilkerson and gave him great favor…you know the rest of the story.

I am challenged today to heed to the foundational ideas that Wilkerson had when the ministry of Teen Challenge began. Wilkerson was walking in purity before God; he listened to God and obeyed and he depended on three things:

Evangelism. This is where Wilkerson started- sharing the Good News of the Gospel. He believed it was the only message that could make a difference in the lives of the gang members he was ministering to.

Prayer. It was the thing that Wilkerson depended on to hear God’s voice and to receive Praying Wilkersonthe strength he needed for obedience. It was also the only way that addicts and gang members were going to receive deliverance. There was no other way.

The Holy Spirit. Without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the ministry that God called Wilkerson to would have been fruitless. Wilkerson needed the Holy Spirit to go before him, to work in the lives of the hurting and to permanently change the hearts of those he was ministering to.

After almost 60 years, nothing has changed. In order to have any degree of success in what we do, we need to continue to give the powerful Gospel message, we need to be people of prayer for strength, guidance and power and we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of men and women.

David Wilkerson was a great man but he would have been the first to admit that he was imperfect. He would point us directly to the One who is perfect- the one who gives us all that we need to do all that He calls us to do. As we share the Good News, bathe all that we do in prayer and depend on the Holy Spirit, God will continue to make this ministry fruitful for His glory!

The Best is Yet to Come, in Christ,

Brice Maddock, COO, Teen Challenge Southeast

3 Key Ingredients of a Coaching Conversation

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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Article Submitted by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach, TC Southeast

 

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.

The ELP is the K.E.Y to forging our future

The ELP is the K.E.Y to forging our future. The key to Teen Challenge’s future will be determined by the number of us who will be willing to follow the Lord and to be faithful to His call. If we would spend time with the Lord it’s amazing what we will see. Forge means “to move ahead steadily.” Towards what? Our future – “a time yet to come.” God is working on us for a time yet to come; a purpose yet to come.

Know God’s call

A Silversmith sticks metal into the fire, then they beat that piece of metal and forge it into whatever they want it to be. The process includes pain, it includes time and it includes silversmithheat. When we do our part, the Holy Spirit will do the hammering. We spend time in the Word and get to know God and He will tell us what’s the calling He has for us. It’s a process of heat, hammering, heat, hammering and all the while God is working on us until we emerge into who He wants us to be. If we are going to grow and if we are going to release, God has to knock some stuff off of us.  Let healing come because God has a purpose for your life and it’s bigger than you can imagine and it’s more than you can imagine. If we trust Him and get to know Him and get that fear out of us we will do more than we can ever imagine. We must have vision – see beyond the present.

Embody the Vision and Values 

The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for TCSE is to “become to life-transformation what Apple is to technology.” It’s expanding, being committed and having a spirit of excellence that delivers life-transformation across this region. The Global dream is “to put hope within reach of every addict.” Embody the vision and values of who we are, and these values will find their way into everything we do in the future. How do we know God’s will? The Lord usually doesn’t tell us the whole path and everything about it; generally it’s one or two steps – we see it, we see beyond where we are at now, God gives us a vision but we don’t see how we are going to do it all. We just say “yes, Lord” and allow Him to prepare us.

Yearning to Learn

We’ll never really get to where were want to be without studying. Proverbs 9:8 says “instruct a wise man, he’ll be wiser still, teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Leaders are learners, leaders are listeners – we listen twice as much as we talk especially when we are developing relationships with others and winning people to Jesus. Listen with your eyes, listen with your ears, listen with your heart to what others are saying. Great leaders are always learning; seeking out new ways to benefit the organization, to better themselves and to move things down the path.  We have a vision to put Hope Outreaches across this region and with God’s help we’ll do it. We want to go in and impart hope and reach out to addicts and to really make a difference. God can use us to be a servant right where we are at and when He is ready for the next step He’ll make it known. It’s generally already observed by others and they are the ones who will say “hey, I have the next step for you and here it is.”

There is always purpose in timing, there is always purpose in the pain and God is working in you and in the people around you. Learn to submit to the authority over you. The spirit of a servant says where can I serve, how can I be in your presence Lord and know You and let my life count? Know God’s call for your life, Embody the values that God has put in your heart as a TC leader and have that “Yearning to learn.”

Excerpts from the 2105 ELP Summit presented by Dr. Jerry Nance.

 

Enrich Culture – A Culture of Love

We continue to focus on our 2nd E in our EFive – Enrich Culture. We want to talk about establishing a culture of love. A culture rich in love is not sin-conscious but love-conscious.   What do the students in Teen Challenge fear the most? Another discipline, failure, punishment.

Love Transforms. A culture of love allows the Holy Spirit to do the work; not the rules. Teen Challenge and the Church, by nature, are very rules-driven. If a student breaks the rules they are punished with the expectation that it will yield a repentant heart. Therefore, our students get accustomed to disciplinary committees, disciplinary boards, disciplinary slips, 1000 lines of Psalm 1 (or whichever scripture speaks to their sins) type of Christianity. When we are so rules-driven (sin-conscious) we debilitate the power of their faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit to work to renew their minds and transform their hearts. Don’t get me wrong, rules are important to have order however, in disciplining students it should not be the first thing the staff runs to. The Apostle Paul in talking with the church in Corinth (who had similar problems of  immorality, idolatry, adultery and divisions) says “if I have all the gifts and do great works, but don’t have love I am nothing” (1 Cor 13, NASB). “Love never gives up, love cares more for others than for self, love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have, love doesn’t strut; doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, takes pleasure in flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end” (1 Cor 13:4-7, TM).  In a culture of love our students are transformed by sitting with Jesus and allowing Him (their true love) to speak to them and  transform their hearts. In this culture, our staff are love-conscious; their motivation in correcting a student is to get them back in relationship with Love (God).  The Holy Spirit does the convicting and we point them to Jesus Christ; the staff have no hidden agendas or selfish ambitions and students know they are loved and we are dedicated to their success.

Love casts out all fear. 1John 4:18 says “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts 34Collage_PerfectLove1SMout all fear, for fear has to do with punishment and the one who fears is not made perfect in love” (NIV). Fear and the penalty of death (or in TC – dismissal, disgrace and shame) is removed because of their relationship with Love – the Lord Jesus Christ. “As our students grow in love for God and the ability to receive His love, this perfect love drives away and utterly banishes all fear – “fear they’ll not be accepted, fear of not measuring up; fear of being exposed in His presence – there is no fear, or shame in love” (Hughes, Songs of Songs Study, 2014). If we are going to establish a culture of love, we have to “know how to interact with each other in such a way that eliminates the punishment option and the need to control people when they fail” (Silk, 2009, p. 81). “We have to come to the realization He sees and knows all of us and yet loves us completely in spite of our failures and immaturity, for He sees us as perfect and complete through the blood of Jesus” (Hughes, 2014). Paul writes to the Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Teach your students to protect and preserve their relationship with Christ. In doing so, the Holy Spirit will do a greater work in their hearts than you or I could ever do. Since then there is therefore no more condemnation in Christ, our students will feel safe to come to us with any problem or sin without fear of being punished, dismissed or put to shame.

Love Liberates. “The New Covenant (NT) is an internal covenant for sons and daughters free_birdwho, because of their new nature, can be trusted with responsibility to govern themselves and have access to the power of self-control through the Holy Spirit” (Silk, 2009, p. 88). These are children of God who are dying to themselves and exercising self-control so that they stay connected to the flow of God’s grace that enables them to live sin-free lives” (Silk). Jesus captivates to liberate.

What is one thing you can change as a leader so you create a culture of love with those you lead? What can you do differently to create a culture of love in your organization?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

~ Gal 5:22 (NASB).

 

Healthy Culture – A Life of the Spirit

Essential to having healthy sons and daughters is the notion that we should have healthy parents and a healthy environment to grow in. Today, fewer children can say they grew up in a healthy environment with parents who are loving, caring and attentive to their needs. In the Cross & the Switchblade, David Wilkerson describes the culture and his envisioned future for the Teen Challenge Center (C & S, p. 129):

     “The Teen Challenge Center would be located in the heart of the roughest part of the city. It would be headquarters for a dozen or more full-time workers who shared my hopes for the young people around us, who saw their wonderful potential, and their tragic waste.Kevin & Sandy with girls2 Each worker would be a specialist: one would work with boys from the gangs, another with boys who were addicted to drugs; another would work with parents, another with Little People. There, in the Teen Challenge Center, we would create an atmosphere that was so charged with this same renewing love I had watched on the streets, that to walk inside would be to know that something exciting was afoot. They would live in an atmosphere of discipline and affection. They would participate in our worship and in our study. They would watch Christians living together, working together; and they would be put to work themselves. It would be where they were prepared for the life of the Spirit.

To sum up the TC culture – it is an environment preparing our sons and daughters to live the life of the Spirit. When Wilkerson awoke from his first night at Rev. Ortez’ home, he said ” the next  morning I spent in prayer; what was going to happen now, I could not imagine, but I wanted to hold myself as flexible as possible, ready to step out in whatever direction the Holy Spirit should point” (C & S, p. 77). This is the life of the Spirit.

The Life of the Spirit is one spent in prayer –  talking to God, listening to Him and meditating on His Word. Prayer is the work. “I had long ago discovered that too much running around, without a base of quiet meditation, produces little value” (C&S, p. 143).

How can you slow the pace at your center to allow everyone time for prayer, reading the Word and meditation?

The Life of the Spirit is one that is flexible – listening to the Holy Spirit and being open to…well just about anything. “We were driving slowly along when suddenly I had the most incredible feeling that I should get out of the car. “I’ll be back in a while, Miles; I don’t even know what it is I’m looking for.” “Hey Davie. Preacher!” A group of six teen age boys were leaning against the side of a building.” If you want to meet the gangs, why don’t you start right here?” (C&S, p. 28-30).

You don’t need to know what you are looking for necessarily, only – “where is God leading me right now?”

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The Life of the Spirit is one of action – demonstrating the power of our faith by acting out our belief. We believe God for the miraculous. “I decided to take a first step toward making my dream come true” (p. 64). “I would speak to these boys, trusting the Holy Spirit to reach them where I could not” ( C &S, p.65).

Ask yourself “how can I partner with God and be a vessel for the miraculous?” What are some indicators that you are producing sons and daughters prepared for the life of the Spirit?

“A strong working culture helps to create satisfied people who feel cared for, trusted and respected, which increases engagement and ultimately leads to better productivity.”

~ Ken Blanchard (Ken Blanchard Companies)