The Arena

Why do so many of us enjoy the games?  We love sports and the contest.  We devour the excitement we see in the arena and, even beyond, into the crowd.  The roar of the football playersspectators is deafening; the anticipation is so heavy, it can nearly be touched.

The individuals in the arena cannot hide.  On the contrary, they can only be seen- in many cases by millions.  The pressure they feel is enormous- pressure from coaches, teammates, sponsors, fans, the media and even family.  The arena is really more like a pressure cooker.  There is often no mercy for mistakes, difficult days or even injuries or health problems.  It’s do or die.  Succeed or fail.  At least that is what our culture says.  People are finicky- one day you’re a champion and the next, you’re a loser.

There is a different way to look at the arena though.  I like Theodore Roosevelt’s description, “The Man in the Arena.”  See if you can relate.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

You are men and women of the arena.  Your audience of One sees your striving and deeds, your enthusiasm and your devotion to a worthy cause.  He is proud of you and so am I.

I Corinthians 15:57-58

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Article by: Brice Maddock – COO, Teen Challenge Southeast

ELP Highlight Nov 2015

Name: Matthew B. SampsonBryan Sampson

Age:  33

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Teen Challenge Center:  Central Florida Men’s.  I have been on staff for 6 months. I graduated in September 2014

My Testimony in Brief:   I let drugs and alcohol consume every aspect of my life. I let the ways of the world guide me on a path of destruction allowing me to feel no remorse for anyone. Jesus still loved me! He loved me so much that he died for it all, just so I could be reconciled to Him. Through His love I have been able to love others.

 The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  He has called me to bring people out of darkness, to be a testimony of his power and love. I will be working with Teen Challenge as I continue to grow and educate myself; becoming the best vessel for the Holy Spirit to operate through.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:  The ELP program has brought what was once a timid, quiet voice and turned it into a lion! I’m now a leader who serves his fellow brothers and will do whatever he can to see them succeed, leading them to victory in Christ.

Level II – Aug 2014

Congratulations

Congratulations Mitch Clevenger (Vero Beach) on moving to your electives!

Reminder

Remember to return the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership DVD’s. The cost to purchase a new DVD set is $299.99 (plus tax and shipping) and will be charged to your center if these are not returned.

Core Courses

Our core course this month is Practical Christianity and our text: Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. The values of our Western culture incline us to believe that the busy, publicly-active person in ministry is also the most spiritual. Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in a lot of good people on the verge of collapse. Gordon MacDonald equips a new generation of emerging leaders to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness.  Your first post will be up on the forum on Monday, August 18th.