COMMUNICATION – The Foundation of Strong Relationships

If you’ve worked at Teen Challenge long enough, we’ve all been there. You have a church rally, banquet, work crew, or something else of importance about to happen. Where is the van we are taking? It’s out on the town somewhere and no one signed it out. Where is the crew leader or student for this job? They were assigned somewhere else for the day and no one was notified. Who is supposed to be on duty right now? Where are they? No matter what the case, it’s a flat out communication breakdown.

Fires happen and chaos can come at any time, and adapting to the mayhem of each day can be a feat of its own, but many of these things can be prevented or improved. What’s the magic ingredient? You got it—communication.  But even much deeper than a practical, day-to-day communication, we must be in tune to the spiritual and mental well-being of those around us, especially those we lead.

Jon Gordon writes, “Communication is the foundation for every great relationship. Communication builds trust. Trust creates commitment. Commitment fosters teamwork, and teamwork drives results. Without great communication you don’t have the trust to build a strong relationship, and without relationships you can’t have a strong team.”

So there we have it, to have a strong team and great results, we must have relationships based upon trust and commitment, good communication being the means on how we achieve this.  I want to challenge all of us: Do you communicate well with your team or to your students? Do you truly know what the “pulse” is on your campus at any given time? Are we seeing more lives being transformed due to a strong team because of communication? I believe as a Region we will see more people impacted for Christ through our programs as our staff, interns and other leaders continue to raise the bar on communication and relationships.

 

Article written by: Dan Williams

Source: You Win in the Locker Room First, author Jon Gordon

Rep’s Link

Welcome

This month we welcome Jason Peltier as the ELP Rep for Pensacola Men’s Home. Jason is a graduate of Teen Challenge San Diego, Riverside and Orange County. He is a TCIMI graduate and was recently employed at Pensacola where he and his wife serve the ministry.

Level I Adult

This month we start a new course Servant Leadership and our text: Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. Blanchard and Hodges focus on four key areas and how they can direct you toward becoming the incredible leader you aim to be. The four areas are:

  • Heart – What is your motivation as a leader, whether as head of a family, church or large corporation?
  • Head – What are your beliefs and viewpoints about leadership?
  • Hands – Do you set clear goals and measure performance, consistently following up with those you lead?
  • Habits – How do you refresh and renew yourself as a leader?

The students will learn how to align their leadership motivation, viewpoint, behaviors and habits with those of Jesus to effectively lead others. Rep’s, please reference the Weekly Meeting Template and use it for your weekly meetings.

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Discover your God-given Purpose and our text: Chazown by Craig Groeschel. Pronounced khaw-ZONE from the Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation, or vision. You were born with your own Chazown. Do you know what it is?

Pursue your Chazown and simultaneously improve five critical aspects of your life – your relationship with God, your relationships with people, your finances, your health and fitness, and your vocational life. Craig asks the question: are you living someone else’s dream for your life or even no dream at all? If so, he invites you on a most unusual odyssey – to find, name, and live out your Chazown!

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and we can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send and email to andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. All new applications must be in by the 10th of the month for students starting the 15th.

Rep’s Link – May 2016

Welcome

This month we welcome new Rep’s Mack Johnson (Program Manager, Level II grad & Level III participant) from Middle GA and Rebekah Barnett, Level I Staff at Hosannah House TC! Thank you for answering the call to raise up the next generation of leaders within Teen Challenge.

Level I Adult

This month we start our new course Armor Bearer and our text: God’s Armor Bearer by Dr. Terry Nance. Support the vision of your leader and God will help you accomplish your vision in due season. The study of this book and workbook will give understanding in just how to accomplish God’s plan as an armor bearer doing God’s will. The writer of the book served as an armor bearer to his pastor some twenty-five years with meekness and joy and he performed with precision and peace.

 

Level I AdolescentHabitudes 2

Our course for the Adolescent track is Building Relationships and our text: Habitudes #2 – The Art of Connecting with Others by Dr. Tim Elmore. The images Dr. Elmore provides are memorable and powerful in conveying key leadership principles. We want to communicate to our students that in the ELP, leadership starts first with leading yourself well – then with connecting with others before you try to lead them.

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and we can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send and email to andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. All new applications must be in by the 10th of the month for students starting the 15th.

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.

 

Bridge Builders – Withstanding the Currents

Teen Challenge’s chances of dissolving and drifting from our mission is only to the degree that we hold fast to God and His Word.  If we forsake our commitment to Christ, and demote the Bible to just another book among many, our chances for straying will be great. The issues discussed here may not seem to be a huge threat right now, but that is because the cultural currents that can cause us to drift are subtle and take place over time, not quickly. But, when bridges collapse, casualties are extremely high. When floatingI-35W-rescue-Minneapolis-20070801 in the ocean, you never know how far you’ve drifted until you look up! We do not fight currents alone. God is fighting for us. We are not called to force others to believe what we believe. We are not called to be theological police to the World, and to try and even change the world through natural means. We are called to serve and obey God, and HE will open the doors of influence for us when He sees fit. We aren’t going to make every senator and government official a Christian and get them to implement Christian laws. Satan knows this. Win Souls not arguments! Help people think rightly but know that no one has ever been argued into the kingdom! Endurance will be key in withstanding the currents! There are 2 types of Currents: External and Internal. External currents from the world, when they infiltrate through the gates of the church, create an internal current that only leaders committed to true sound teaching can endure. The best way to withstand the current is to grow.

External Current

Post-modernism

Post-modernism says that truth is relative; what is true for me may not be true for you. We don’t fight a neutral enemy. We see today people killing Christians and Christians are targeted to conform. Postmodernism is seen anywhere where Christianity is subjectively judged and made to look ignorant and close-minded. As if no one who is intelligent would be a Christian.  The Satan-influenced world is on the offensive, not the neutral, make no mistake. Christian organizations like us have been and will continue to be intentionally targeted to conform, but we must not (Matt 10:16). This scripture will be key to navigating in our culture. We must ask for wisdom and bathe our leaders in prayer for the wisdom of God to guide them. Post-modernism says the human race is beyond the archaic age of Christianity but Paul encourages the Church against the post-modernism of the day “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:18-20.

“We are facing a very real crisis of critical thought among today’s youth. Our secular culture increasingly favors a growing multiculturalism that affirms a uniform tolerance of all worldviews while simultaneously opposing a firm commitment to any one belief. Many young people believe that all religions are basically the same. Consequently, many young men and women cannot articulate their own faith.” ~ RZIM

Withstanding the current of post-modernism will take the absolute truth of Jesus Christ. Be careful of watching too much news which is designed to strike fear in the hearts of the believer. Is our stance on what the news say or what the Word says? We, Christians, know how the story ends. If you are consumed with the news you will end up going by Fox news and not the Good News. Guard your heart. The Gospel is the answer to the world and the Church; strength and grace to the Church and hope to the world.

Cheap Relationships due to hyper-socialization

We are managing and multi-tasking at a level of relationships we weren’t supposed to social-media-keeps-youngmanage. We were not created to manage these relationships with so many people. The current of cheap relationships that is facing us will make it very difficult to bestow the DNA of TC on Gen-next because of the technological age. Hyper-socialization will create cheap relationships. Weak relationships create weak conduits for influence. We must have stronger relationships. Time and effort is the only ways to create and sustain relationships. We live in a culture of short cut where we want everything fast and convenient. Teen Challenge must be a conduit of quality discipleship through quality relationships. If all we have is microwave-relationships and poor social skills we have microwave discipleship. The younger generation must humble ourselves to receive from the older generation. Discipline yourself to do face to face communication. Call instead of text, meet someone instead of texting.

Internal Current

Hyper-sensitivity

Our society have become excessively sensitive and as Christians we don’t want to offend people. From this hyper-sensitivity, sometimes we can pervert Christ into something that isn’t Christ to try and make Him “relevant”.  If we are afraid to tell people they are in sin then we give them a wrong impression of Jesus. Are we giving people Good News or just news? Hyper-sensitivity makes it difficult for evangelism to happen. We need to preach what the Word says not just the fluffy parts to make people feel good. Keep your eyes on Christ when you are made to look like an idiot and irrelevant as a Christian. Don’t change Jesus around to look good for everyone else.

Biblical Compromise

We compromise the truth of God’s Word because we want to be politically correct. We accept standards that are lower than what our Father desires. One sure way to be stronger and move forward is in the depths of God’s Word. How we minister God’s Word in mentoring, PSNC, GSNC – we must be experts on how people’s beliefs effect their behavior. Why do so many of our graduates relapse? They stop listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They lack understanding of spiritual authority; trying to do things in their own strength – operate in the flesh in a way that they can’t hear from anyone around them. If we do things as God wants us to, we’ll have God’s blessings in our lives. As Teen Challenge staff and students we must grow stronger in integrity; be people of the heart and of the head. If we are to withstand this current we must grow stronger in biblical integrity and sound theology 1John1:1-3. The gospel has been handed to us, and we must hand it down to our students in boldness and the Spirit’s power!

Religion (external and internal)

Become a passionate lover and worshipper of God. Do not lose your love and passion for Jesus. Keep it fresh. Spend time with Him in prayer. In the journey is where we thrive. Many times we retreat from our passion and intimacy when placed in leadership position. DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSION AND EXCITEMENT FOR JESUS! Many times our graduates and leaders look at Christians whose love for Jesus has been replaced by religion; lists of do’s and don’ts. Satan would love nothing more than that you would exchange your true desire to know God and to seek Him (which is harder), and do the easier way – to try and be good. Try and do more good things than you do bad things. This is religion to a ‘T.’ We live in a passive culture where we stand out if we are passionate about something. Never lose your intimacy; becoming a spiritual oasis to others takes a thriving relationship with Jesus. The fear of God and Hope will be key in our witness 1 Peter 3:15. When we have a true love and hope in Christ, people will see it, they will rub up against it, and know something is different. We are the only true carriers of hope in the world.

Conclusion

As Christians and leaders, be vigilant to guard your heart against the effects of the cultural currents that we face! The enemy (world, flesh, devil) will try to take out your heart. If we drop like flies one-by-one, we cannot be united as a whole and withstand the cultural currents we face!

 

Excerpts from ELP Summit 2015 presented by Dan Williams – ELP Rep (Middle GA)

Rep’s Link

ELP Events

Seeing time seems to be going faster than I can type, I want to get these dates on your calendar for this year: our 10th. Anniversary ELP Summit will be April 23-25th and our Rep’s Retreat will be May 7- 9th at Lakeside Retreat and Event Center, Seale, AL. Look out for our Summit promo video next month. Please keep these two events in prayer and make plans to be there!

Level I Adult

This month our core course is Servant Leadership and our text: Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. Blanchard asks the questions “Who will you follow? How will you lead?” There is one leadership role model you can trust and His name is Jesus. There is a way to lead that honors God and restores health and effectiveness to organizations and relationships. It is the way Jesus calls us to follow as leaders: to serve rather than to be served.

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Servant Leadership and our text: Help! I’m a Student Leader by Doug Fields. “The backbone of Christian leadership is simple to understand yet very difficult to pull off: Serve. Master this task and you’ll become a very powerful servant leader. If servant doesn’t describe you right now, don’t give up. Read and pray and ask God to mold you into the type of leader He wants you to become.”

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your center’s information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and I can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send Kerry Pevey (ELP Admin Asst) an email at kerry.pevey@teenchallenge.cc. Blessings!

Coaching & After Care

Level III participants 1014

ELP Level III participants Oct14

One of the fun aspects of my role is the opportunity to pour into the staff and students at our centers. This past month I had the opportunity to participate and share with the ELP Level III participants. It was an exciting, engaging, fun week with some of our Program Managers and Directors as we learned about Organizational Health and Spiritual Development. As we discussed Situational Leadership, I did a coaching piece on S2-Coaching for the individual who is a Disillusioned Learner. With the disillusioned learner, you give specific instructions and closely walk with them for performance. The role of the coach at this Level is to move the person from a D2 to a D3 (Capable but Cautious Performer).  As the leader, you look for the area(s) where the person is stuck, assess the reasons why, enroll them in a coaching process (get buy-in for coaching to begin) and start the conversations. You can check out the teaching notes here.

Minnesota trip3

Randy Schmidt, Andree Aiken, Jim Moore

My visit to Minnesota Teen Challenge to observe their After Care and Recovery Coaching Programs was an amazing trip. Thanks to all the Minnesota TC leaders for hosting me especially thanks to Jim Moore, Senior Coach and Training Specialist for going above and beyond in making the connections and sharing ideas. I believe Coaching and After Care are two areas that God has his finger on for Teen Challenge. God’s heart is to have a vehicle by which we successfully transition graduates back into society. I’m working to develop such a program for the Southeast region. We are dedicated to mentor and nurture meaningful relationships [with our students and graduates] inspiring hope for their future (Star Man Blue Book).

rsz_pen_w_devos_1014

PensacolaW1014

This week I also had the opportunity to do morning devotions with the ladies at the Pensacola Women’s Home. These ladies were engaged in the idea that the Potter wants to put them back together again, but it takes an act of their will – a life totally surrendered to Christ. The ladies are hungry for more of God and the journey that God has them on. I prayed for one young lady who was only 2 days in the program and was struggling to leave. As I was praying for her the Lord gave me a vision – she was about 4 years old and He was pushing her on a swing. I prayed this over her and after the prayer she told me that vision was so significant because her happiest moments as a child were when she was being pushed on a swing. We talked about some of the benefits of staying at TC. Coaching happens in the moment – in this moment and that moment as God leads you to speak to someone. I like what Heidi Baker says “Stop for the one” –  first the One who is the one (Jesus) and then the one person who needs to see Jesus through your eyes. Rachel decided to stay at TC and left our discussion with a smile on her face.

Contributor: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach

Rep’s Link – June

Level I Adult 

This month’s course is Core Values and our text: Our Core Values by Dr. Jerry Nance. corevaluesOur Core Values connect our people to our culture. The core values of an organization define the essence of the organization. Whether you have core values written down or not, you practice a set of values every day. Your daily operations, your convictions, how you act, how you think and your daily processes all define your values. This book outlines the core values of our organization.

Level I Adolescent

Our course for the Adolescent track is Building Relationships and our text: Habitudes II – Habitudes 2The Art of Connecting With Others by Tim Elmore. Sociologists tell us the most introverted of people will influence 10,000 others in an average lifetime. So how do you influence others? How do you add value to them? Our adolescents will learn to lead up in relationships with those over them.

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast region Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your center’s information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and I can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send me an email andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc. Thank you.

Rep’s Link – Dec 2013

Happy Thanksgiving folks! We are grateful to God for the opportunity to partner with Him in cornucopia-givethankstouching many lives and raising up the next generation of leaders in Teen Challenge. It’s amazing to see the transition from an addict to a non-addict, to a leader – passionate for God and going to work in His kingdom. Thank you Lord for every new birth of a life surrendered to you because of Teen Challenge.

Remember our next Revolutionized Leadership Webinar on Coaching will be on Fri, Dec 20th at 10:30am (eastern).

Level I Adult

This month we will start our 2-month course Knowing and Understanding God’s Will and our text: Experiencing God by Blackaby, Blackaby & King. Your heart will burn with a hunger for God and you will experience Him in a very personal way. Your comprehension of His will and purpose will be clearer and you will know your Heavenly Father as never before.

Level I Adolescents

Our next in the Habitudes series is Building Relationships and our text: Habitudes II – “The Art of Connecting With Others by Dr. Tim Elmore. Dr. Elmore says “everyone of us influence those around us.” Since leadership is influence, our student leaders will look at how they are adding value to others and making a difference in the world.

Monthly Book Orders and Grades

Southeast Rep’s can go to Google Drive and search for ELP Monthly Order Form and Grade Sheet Edited. Look for your center’s name in the tabs at the bottom and fill in your center’s information. No need to save or email the spreadsheet (Google Drive saves it and I can access the info from my Drive). If you place an initial order on the form and update the order later (i.e. add 2 more books) after we have ordered your books, please send me an email andree.aiken@teenchallenge.cc and copy barbara.moore@teenchallenge.cc to let us know. Thank you.

 

Yoked up with Jesus

While doing my devotions this morning the Lord reminded me of this well known scripture in John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (NASB). Another version says “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” (TM). Years ago I read a little book by Bruce Wilkinson Secrets of the Vine. The entire book speaks to what happens when we remain connected and yoked-up with Christ.

Abiding goes deeper than a superficial “hi” or “hello, nice to see you” relationship. It speaks to remaining, dwelling – to continue in lasting relationship with someone. When we are joined in intimate, organic relationship with Christ we grow and bear much, more fruit. Practicing God’s presence (consistently connecting with Him in the holy place) is essential for us as spiritual coaches. When we are joined with Christ, He gives us spiritual intelligence and insights to care for the students and emerging leaders as He would. Apart from this, we will not produce sons and daughters who remain.

Recall our acronym responsibility:

Recruitdownload
Equip and Train
Spirit-filled
P
raying
O
ptimistic
N
ext-Generation Leaders
who lead Self well
I
nfluence others
B
uy into our vision
I
nvest time and resources
L
ove the Lost
I
nspire others to action
T
reat others with dignity

And are Yoked-up with a mentor/coach

Our desire is to raise up the next generation of leaders who are yoked up with Christ and are responsible to the call on their lives. In closing I want us to reflect on 3 questions:

  1. How can I improve the quality of my relationship with the Lord?
  2. What situation(s) am I facing that requires spiritual intelligence that only God can help with?
  3. How can I model being yoked-up with Christ to my ESL’s?