Thursday, July 27, 2023

Raising Up Leaders


Raising Up Leaders

Hiking with staff and alumni
    Summer is wrapping up and that means preparations for the school year need to finish too! During the summer one of our biggest projects is building our leader team for the next school year. For some ministries, there's an application process. However, we opt to talk with our student leaders, help them assess what leadership qualities are, identify potential leaders, and then go and talk to them ourselves. Too many people self-select themselves out of the leadership conversation because they've never been told they could be a leader. They might be on the quieter side, they may feel like they don't have enough biblical knowledge, or they feel like they're not confident enough. But we know enough about God to know that whom he selects to be a leader is often surprising. Someone willing to love him and his people and put in the effort to show that and grow in that could be a leader. So, we spend much of summer talking to these students, identifying if this is a good year for them to step up, speak into any doubts or insecurities they may have, and call them to a big commitment to lead this next year. Many say no for various reasons, but a lot say yes. They commit to showing up consistently, to preparing purposefully for their small groups, for doing their best to disciple others to love and follow Jesus. What we call them to, what God calls them to, is no half-measure thing. 

Hello from our weekly Summer FOCUS!
    Many leaders feel overwhelmed their first year. We meet with them at least once a week to go over what ministry they're doing and how they're feeling about it. We try to support them as best we can, but diving deep into the care of people is not a flippant thing. However, we trust that over the year they'll find the reward God has prepared for them, in the form of relationships, in the witnessing of transformational growth that only God can do, and in the deepening of their own walk with God. I have a leader who was doubtful about leading his second year but seeing one of his guys baptized towards the end of the school year gave him the motivation to do it again. Now, moving into his third year leading there was no doubt in his mind. He told me, "What else would I spend my time doing?" When you dive deep into integrating ministry into your life, you find yourself unable to envision life without God. He becomes wrapped up in every conversation, every relationship. These students experience what I experienced as a student in this ministry, God transforms you into someone who looks more like him. There's nothing like having a front row seat to watching him work in people's lives and participate in that. And that's what these leaders will get to do this next year.

Thank You!

July 4th with students and alumni
    Thank you so much for being a part of this! Without your support, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. It's because of your generosity I get to have these conversations, I get to challenge these students to take a leap of faith, and we all get to mature in Christ. So thank you so much for believing in me, believing in this mission, and trusting God to take your gift and multiply it for his kingdom!