ELP Highlight

Name: Barry PendergrassBarrry Pendergrass

Age:   45 years old

Hometown: Montclair, NJ and Atlanta, GA

Teen Challenge Center:   I graduated the Jacksonville Men’s Center on March 27, 2016 which was Easter Sunday and I am currently serving as an intern.  

My Testimony in Brief: After struggling with addiction to painkillers, crack & heroin for 25 years, I found myself hitting rock bottom. I lost everything & everyone that ever meant anything to me, my wife, two beautiful children, home and career, not to mention my sanity. Today I have hope because the ministry of Teen Challenge has offered me a fresh start at life.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  I have a purpose and through the Emerging Leaders Program, God has revealed his calling to me. I believe that God has placed a special anointing on my life to help break the cycle of addiction in the lives of others by seeing the radical life transformation that I have experienced. I also want to thank you for all you do and keeping the ELP vision alive and strong.

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.