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

From the Rep’s Corner

Last week at the NE/SE Regional Conference I had a chance to connect with  Ashley KeyAshley Key & I 3 (4) – the first emerging leader Amanda Taylor and I sent out to do an ELP Project. She went to Long Island TC Rock the Block in 2009 to apprentice with Anna Ramos and the team there. Here is her testimony of her journey.

I started the ELP track when I was a student in the program. I knew that ELP was established to help equip us to be effective leaders in Teen Challenge. My heart’s desire was, and still is to be a TC Director and I knew that starting the journey with ELP would help me in my calling of Teen Challenge leadership. The opportunity to work with other leaders and watch their journey to leadership brought encouragement to me who was just starting. The curriculum and the projects that I was a part of, hit on topics that were specifically designed for my journey. The Armor Bearer book was the one that had a tremendous impact on the way that I saw what true leadership was all about. Leadership is serving others the way Christ did. I was told this in the program, but the “light bulb” didn’t go on until I read that book. It helped me to understand that leadership wasn’t about just telling others to do something or to just delegate it to someone. It was more about helping my leader fulfill the will of God in their life and watching how God would open the doors in my life because of the faithfulness to my leader. It also spoke of discipleship to me. A leader goes and helps those he is leading. We aren’t dictators. I think I thought that was what leadership was for years. The journey that I took in ELP helped me to see how the Lord had designed true leadership and helped mold me into the leader and disciple-maker that I am becoming.

I have been at Long Island Teen Challenge for 6 years. This has been an incredible journey for me. It has been filled with ups and downs, but God has been truly faithful in it all. I have had my hands in every aspect of the ministry. I have been Assistant House Manager to House Manager. I have overseen the upkeep of the house and the logistics of the program. I just recently graduated from Northpoint Bible College after 2 years of being away, I now oversee the kitchen and I am a Senior Staff at the Women’s Home. It’s such a blessing to be here with these ladies, using the Start Right Program to help disciple and equip them in their own journey with the Lord.

Paul Burke, a graduate of Long Island TC, and I recently got engaged and we will be married photo (29)next year. We met a few short days of me being at Long Island. God truly has written our story. Everything that could have torn us apart, has made us stronger. I am looking forward to working with Paul. We desire to be Teen Challenge Directors and pouring into the hopeless. We have found Hope in Jesus and we want to disciple and teach others. In the future we hope to have our own Church as well.. God has big things in store and we are excited to be apart of His Story!
Ashley Key – Senior Staff – Long Island TC, graduate Columbus Women’s, Columbus, GA