The ELP Summit is just around the corner (April 21-23) and registration is open. If you are planning to be at the Summit register here. Looking forward to see you there!
I still have Easter on my heart. It is kind of like the after-glow that is left in the sky after a 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,
COO, Teen Challenge Southeast
Role: Kitchen Coordinator
Center: Tucson Teen Challenge, Men’s Induction Center
I was approached by my dear friend and co-worker Patrice Bloom to participate in the ELP Program for the Tucson Teen Challenge Men’s Induction Center. Without telling Patrice, I thought, “No way will I participate in a program that requires hours and hours of study. I am too busy and way too old to take on anything else.”
After speaking at length with Patrice, she explained why it would be beneficial for me to complete this course of study. Well, needless to say, when I realized that completing the program would allow me to have a better understanding of our students and another way for me to serve in a “Servant Leadership” position. That was the pivotal point for me. I love our students as God instructs – without rhyme or reason – I love them and want to assist students and/or staff in any way possible.
I want to be the best “representative” for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as for Teen Challenge. Completing the ELP Program gave me additional tools, information and Biblical knowledge to be a better Leader for Teen Challenge. The program also put me in a better position to “step up to the plate” for Jesus Christ. I now think about how I can help in any situation. I have always been a “team player, leader & doer”. But after completing the ELP Program I have taken the job of “team player, leader & doer” to a whole new level.
I am very thankful that Patrice thought enough of me to allow me this opportunity.
Here is a testimony of how coaching has helped one of our students.
My name is Hannah Larson. I am twenty-one-years old and am from Jacksonville, Florida. My family attended the Brownsville Revival when I was six and there I had my first encounters with God. It was around freshman year where my parents began to fight a lot and later separated. They got back together but still fought. I felt trapped, unwanted and unloved. Finally one night I cried out to God for help. The next morning, I got a phone call from my aunt who told me of an opportunity to intern at Columbus Teen Challenge. I was hesitant but said yes. I arrived at CGA (Yuchi) September 13, 2012 and on May 5, 2013 I became a residential staff and a part of a family I never dreamed I could have. Since being a part of ELP, I have learned new ways to loving people like Christ. Before Teen Challenge and ELP, I had distorted views of leadership. Now, I’ve realized I can lead by becoming like Jesus; serving and loving others.
A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” John 10:11.
Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?” “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd – Jesus.
The Good Shepherd Defends
Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).
The Good Shepherd Protects
A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The others-centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.
Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, training and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus
Article contribution by: Deanna Trujillo (ELP Representative – Pensacola Women’s Home)
Name: Jennifer Seipel Poe
Hometown: Olin, North Carolina
Teen Challenge Center: Oklahoma
Which Center/What Year did you Graduate: Ft. Myers Women/ 2012
My Testimony in Brief: When I came to Teen Challenge I was desperate for true love. I had sought love in drugs, food and men for many years. In Teen Challenge I found the true love that I had been looking for in Jesus.
The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: I feel called to work with adolescent girls and am excited about the door that God has opened for me through ELP . I hope that by sharing the love of Jesus with others I can help them experience the true freedom that I have found in Him.
The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership: ELP has been a vehicle for placing me in my calling. Thanks to my level 1 ELP classes and the guidance and support of my ELP rep, I am transitioning into an awesome opportunity in Teen Challenge Ministry where I will be working with adolescent girls.