ELP Highlight

Name: Jason Prater

Age:  28 years old

Hometown: Durham, N.C

Teen Challenge Center:   Jacksonville Men’s Center

My Testimony in Brief: As a young man from a broken home I felt unloved and had no Jason Prateridentity.  I began looking for help in drugs, alcohol, violence, and gangs.  From high school until last year I was in and out of jail.  In 2012 while on crack I racked up 27 new charges.  In jail I was so lost and broken I received Jesus through the help of a former hell’s angel.  I was eventually released and after several failures I ended up here in Jacksonville.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: God has used Teen Challenge to restore my relationship with Jesus and my family.  He is showing me how to be a light that guides all nations to Him(Is 42:6) as well as help people who are still in bondage.

 The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership: The ELP program has taught me about balance, boundaries, how to study God’s Word and hear His voice.

ELP Highlight

Name: Kevin Noviello

Age: 24 Years Old

Home Town: Columbus, GA

Teen Challenge Center: I graduated Jacksonville Men’s Center June of 2015.

My Testimony in Brief: I had eternity at my finger tips and decided to turn back from a road of promises. Raised in church, I was always taught right from wrong and good morals, but I wanted to pursue a life where I was in control. With a wild imagination and a independent outlook on life I found myself fully addicted to any substance that would further my experience of ” being in control.” I came to Teen Challenge with almost the mentality to prove that God could not do something with a hopeless and drug addicted felon.

The Purpose and Calling God has given me: God has called me to help build up a generation of Earth shakers for the kingdom of God.

The ELP’s Impact on my Leadership: ELP program sharpens leadership qualities while cultivating new skill-sets of leadership The ELP program is the single most effective program training leaders according to the model Jesus set.

Resurrection Stories

I still have Easter on my heart.  It is kind of like the after-glow that is left in the sky after alazaraus-tomb sun set.  God spent Easter weekend reminding me that He is a God of miraculous power- resurrection power.

Easter is a time of hope.  Not only the hope of the resurrection after we leave this earth, but the resurrection power that we see daily in the lives around us- lives that were “walking dead people” before they submitted to the Life Giver.  There are times when we even get to witness this miracle and it never gets old.

There are also times when we don’t witness it with our eyes but we get to hear about it with our ears.  I never tire of hearing peoples’ resurrection stories.  When you meet someone who loves and serves God, it is wonderful, but when you sit down with them and hear about where God has brought them from, it’s another level entirely.  You find yourself in utter disbelief, that the person before you was in the “mire” in such a way.  How can it be?  How did I not see any trace of that life when I met them?  Unlike the after-glow I spoke of earlier, there is no sign of their former life- no dragging grave clothes to give their prior sins away.  Only the mark of Christ on them that drops the mouth, widens the eyes and forces us to see the miraculous resurrection power of God.

In John 11, when Martha heard that Jesus was coming to their home, she went out to meet Him.  She said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21-22)

Is that the attitude that we have with Jesus?  No matter what situation we find another in, whether a family member, a student or a stranger, do we still say to Jesus, “Even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

When Mary and Martha lost Lazarus they were feeling hopeless.  At that time, they were not seeing it as an opportunity for God to receive glory.  Their hearts were broken and their worries for the future were real.  Martha said she believed Jesus could do anything.  She even said she believed He was “the Christ, the Son of God” but when Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away, she immediately objected because of the humiliating stench that would besiege all who were there.

Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39)

Do we come across situations that we feel like would even be too hard for Jesus to “fix.”  Are there times when you brush your palms together and say, “There’s nothing to be done.”  That just may be the time when Jesus resurrects a life; a life that has been dead so long, the stench is at the point of unbearable until…

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

Let’s Witness the Glory of God Together,

 Brice

Brice Maddock

COO, Teen Challenge Southeast

 

 

ELP Highlight – Mar 2016

My nSteven Newmaname is Steven Newman. I was born in Augusta, GA.  I grew up in a wonderful and loving family. My parents were always there for me and still are to this day. My mother has always been a very godly woman, so I was raised up in Christian schools. High school is where it all started. I got with the wrong group of guys and stole a car, went to the mall, and robbed a woman. We got caught and I received probation. I continued with my madness and started selling drugs. I got caught and got out again with probation. My mother and father would always hire me the best lawyers and getting me out of trouble. So, eventually I didn’t worry about getting caught. I continued selling and was successful. Everything Satan wants us to have is to blind us from GOD. Houses, Boats, Cars, Motorcycles, anything you want.

Well I got caught again, and had the best lawyer so I knew with enough money I would get out. But this time, I remember my lawyer telling me “Steven I can no longer take your case the feds want you. I cannot win.” I knew then I was going to prison. Plus the feds wanted me to give information to them, which I could not do. My boss knew where my mother, brother, and whole family lived. Yes, I feared him! So I wouldn’t cooperate. I was sent to Prison 5 different federal penitentiaries.

From 1999 to 2012 I was in and out of Federal Prison system. When I got out I met a wonderful Christian woman. I had a great job everything was great. However,  I fell Into Satan’s hands again. A certain woman moved next door and eventually I started going over to her house and using meth, heroine and partying again. I never would have thought I would become a junkie. The same person I sold to—I had become. My girlfriend left me after the other woman told her everything when she was intoxicated one night. I lost everything and was living out of my truck, begging my mother for money, and taking showers at the truck stop. On top of that, I was facing multiple new charges.

My brother and mom came and got me out of jail and I came home. I realized I needed help when my daughter told me “Baylin (my son) has a step dad who sits on the couch all day and a dad who he watched grow up in prison to look up to.” The very next day I searched for rehabs and came across Teen Challenge. They took me immediately. I made a commitment to myself and my family that no matter what I would be straight for a year. Satan has yet to steal my victory. God has restored my relationship with my beautiful twins and my family!

Now, I’m the one chosen to do the prayers at special occasions. I also serve food to the homeless, and talk to drug addicts every chance I get to share the hope of Jesus with them. Only God could make that change.  I graduated from Middle Georgia Teen Challenge in July 2015 and have recently finished my 6 month internship. I’m in the ELP program where I’m learning leadership roles. I have the responsibility of work project coordinator. I’m still currently here at Teen Challenge 20 months later because I honestly feel God’s calling to this ministry and to give back to the young adults to keep them from going down the path I went through.

Leaders develop leaders

It takes a leader to develop a leader – leaders learn best from other leaders. Emerging leaders want to be around leaders who have battle scars; who have actually been in the game and have a few blood stains on their uniforms. For emerging leaders to be seasoned, wise, and effective leaders, they need proximity to, and interaction with veteran leaders.

How do we do this?

  1. In Jesus’ day, it was common for leaders-in-training to simply follow the veteran leader around. They would walk together, talk together, eat their meals together, sleep in neighboring tents – they spent months and years living life with Jesus. The Scene_from_passion_of_the_christdisciples internalize the vision and values of the veteran leader in ways that served them the rest of their lives.  Although this sounds simple and time-sensitive, it was effective then, and can be effective now – there is no substitute for personal investment. Those of us who are more seasoned in leadership should order our lives in such a way that we can carve out time to invest in Gen-next.
  2. Mentor and coach small groups of young leaders. Mentoring and coaching curriculum like Start Right Mentoring are available to help in any situation. It is the responsibility of veterans to provide the necessary opportunities so the next generation of leaders will be trained and ready to meet the challenges of the future.

What is the best catalyst for a leader’s growth?

Make him or her lead something. After Jesus identified and invested in his disciples, the moment came when He said “Pack your bags, it’s show time!” It’s make-it or break-it time! It’s swim or sink time. He didn’t minimize the challenge; He sent them out like sheep among wolves. This is the real deal. The stakes are high, the possibility of failure is real and I’m not going to protect you from all risks. You’ve got to step out and go lead! We must hand emerging leaders an important kingdom baton, not a little make-believe job or a low-stakes challenge. Something that will make them feel believed in, valued, and held in high esteem. Something that will make them fall on their knees and cry out for God’s help; something that will demand the best they have to offer. Leaders live for high-stakes challenges; kingdom goals that make them gasp and gulp.

What am I advocating for?

High stakes leadership and Kingdom challenges. Provide opportunities, stand by our emerging leaders, cheer them on, help them solve problems, pray for them and coach them to higher effectiveness. Help them find their niche and reach their full potential. Whatever challenges Teen Challenge face in the years ahead, I hope we can face them with confidence knowing that we were wise enough to invest in Gen-next.

Article by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach

Excerpts from the book Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels

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.

 

ELP Highlight

I am Kristi LaCoy and I work for Teen Challenge. I’m the Intake Coordinator @ “The Bridge” Teen Challenge for Women located in Franklin, LA. I have been a part of ELP for Kristi LaCoyabout a year and will graduate soon. ELP has taught me so much about working in ministry and as a team. When I started, I didn’t realize how important I was to what is involved in this work. This course has taught me answers to questions I didn’t even know I needed to ask and to serve the way Jesus did.

ELP Highlight – Sept 2015

Before coming to Teen Challenge I had no hope for my future and was bonded to a drug Bill Roberts nowaddiction I had no control over. I was sentenced to two years in prison and I finally realized how much I needed Jesus. Every night I would get on my knees and just cry out to God and He was listening. He delivered me from prison and opened the Teen Challenge doors. Being here God has shown me the love, peace and hope that could only come from Him.

I feel God has called me to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program to learn how to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and lead myself and others to Jesus. I’m not sure where exactly He is directing my life, but I am sure His presence will be with me giving me the strength I need on my journey!

 

Gung Ho Friend!

The Chinese used the term gōng hé to describe Marines in China around the 1900’s.  In the Chinese language gōng hé, roughly means “work together.” That’s what the “American Marines” were always doing, “working together,” the Chinese explained.  Gung Ho was introduced as a training slogan in 1942 by U.S. Marine Officer Evans F. Carlson which means “unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager, especially about taking part in fighting or Soldiers_chargingwarfare.” Gung-ho people have a “can do attitude.” They are positive, they want to win and they are unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager about their jobs. You see this in how they interact with others (good customer service), you see it in how effectively they resolve interpersonal conflict and you see it in how they work productively with others. To have a Gung-ho working environment or to live a Gung-ho life we need to be driven by our values and know that our work is worthwhile .

Worthwhile Work

In Teen Challenge we are fighting a war – a war for souls. C.T. Studd said “some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells, but I want to run a rescue mission within a yard from hell.” We are the Frontline Leaders who are running a mission a yard from the gates of hell – “putting hope within reach of every addict.”  We have to understand how our work fits into the big picture of things. We are a part of something much bigger than us – individuals, families and communities are transformed by the work we do. Our work matters and everything we do is relative to our mission and core values.

Driven by our Values

Our values are the real boss because they drive our behavior. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michel Angelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say “here lived astreet-sweeper-and-colorful-bu-1254722 great street sweeper who did his job well.” In everything we do we must have Integrity – “living and working with excellence.” We have to go the second mile. The principle of the second mile is found in Matt 5:41 “and whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.” The Jews were required by law to carry the Roman soldiers pack/burden one mile. But here Jesus tells them to go with the soldier a second mile. The second mile is the character mile – to enthusiastically do more than is required or expected. The first mile they did because they had to, but the second mile they did because they wanted to. The first mile was the trial mile but the second mile was the smile mile. The second mile is where we win!

Jesus went the second mile for us, let’s go the second mile “to offer life-transformation to individuals through Christ-centered programs.” Gung-ho Friends!

Submitted by: Brice Maddock – Chief Operating Office (TCSE)