“Response-Ability”

Greetings to our Emerging Leader family! The last month of 2016 is upon us, and I believe you would agree with me that it has indeed flown by. Hopefully we can have a moment to look back on 2016-it’s challenges, hardships, accomplishments, and learn from it. Also, we can look back and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness. Nevertheless, our mission of Putting Hope Within Reach drives us forward into 2017.

Recently, Dr. Jerry Nance spoke on “Personal Responsibility” here at our Headquarters. We were challenged and encouraged, gaining further insight into personal responsibility. He shared a small paragraph from Dr. Frank Thomas in his teaching:

Personal capital is closely related to personal responsibility, when personal responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances of life. Personal capital is also closely connected with character, when character is defined as a person’s moral or ethical quality, and the character of a person gives them advantages to respond to the challenges of life. Personal capital, then, is the inner resources, assets, and advantages of personal responsibility and character that one brings to the challenges and circumstances of life. When personal capital is low, a person is a victim of circumstances, at the effect of life and not able to consciously and purposefully choose his or her own thoughts, feelings and actions. Victims typically identify themselves based upon attributes of powerlessness, dependency, entitlement, apathy, worry, fear, self-doubt, and the like. The victim lives at the effect of what happens around them and has little personal capital to, in response to the challenges of life, choose and direct life’s direction and destiny.  

In our context, working with people on the path to life transformation, these truths are monumental for our students to grasp. But from a leadership standpoint, where can we continue to grow in character, growing our “response-ability?” If character and our “personal-capital” are running low in our lives, how can we then fill our tanks? I believe it is coming back to the beginning, the headwaters of our calling and identity in Christ, knowing that we said “Yes” to Christ and His calling as Emerging Leaders. We must be responsible for our thinking, decisions, departments, and our students.

If we model the victim mentality, our lives will fall short of success, and so will our students’ lives. However, if we respond to life’s challenges with moral character, Christ will be modeled to our students. After all, Christ was the greatest example of personal responsibility. I encourage and challenge us all to continue to be leaders of integrity, character and conviction, responding to life’s challenges with maturity, owning our choices and lives, and responding positively when things happen that are out of our control. Remember, we have a young generation that “listens with its eyes”. How we walk through life makes a difference on those that look up to us as leaders.

In closing, as we move forward into 2017, let us continue to pray and lift up our leaders, as they work towards implementing change, growth and improvement throughout our entire region! May God richly bless you with grace as you teach and live the gospel at each of our amazing locations this month. And of course…Merry Christmas!

Written by: Dan Williams

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