(Assignment from River of Life Mission Training Center)
What have been the three most important leadership experiences of your life? Describe each one.
1. Assistant Director – Psalm 23 Camp
Relationships: I worked with junior high, high school, college, and adults during this time. Most of the time I was with junior high and high school students.
Conflicts: There weren’t too many. Generally speaking some of the kids would do stuff they weren’t supposed, and I would have to intervene. One particular group comes to mind. It was a church youth groups from the Northeast, and most of the kids used really obscene language as well as having bad attitudes. I wasn’t much older than them at the time, but I had to confront the situation. I had to let them know that their behavior wasn’t acceptable at our camp. I also tried to be the best example I could be while around them, too. Some other situations were similar. It was a conflict because I was more of a peer to the campers.
Responsibility/Authority: I directed work projects on and off site. I also ran the recreational activities for the camp. I was in charge of taking groups rafting every Friday, an all day event. I was also responsible for selling drinks, snacks, and clothing at the camp store. I helped with miscellaneous tasks wherever needed.
Roles: Most of the time I had a “friend” role. I had fun with campers while leading them. At times I had to take a “father” role: telling people what to do or what not to do. Even giving counsel in some situations. Sometimes I had a “foreman” role with the work projects.
Experience: It was a very good experience. I was able to interact with a lot of different people from different areas of the county. I learned a lot about dealing with people during that time, amongst other things.
2. Youth Worker – Tri County A/G
Relationships: While in this leadership role the main relationships I formed were with the youth pastors. I also spent time with the youth. God had me learning more from the pastors during this time, and I didn’t have as much interaction with the students.
Conflicts: The most significant conflict that I encountered during this time was with the first youth pastor. He was having a difficult time at the church, and at one point he told me he was going to leave after being there for just a few months. This was told in confidence, and I knew nothing about his feeling until that point, other than knowing he was struggling. I knew in my spirit that it wasn’t time for him to leave that church. I didn’t say anything, but I prayed. He changed his mind and was there for a few more months. When he did leave, it was the right timing for him to move on.
Responsibility/Authority: During the first youth pastor’s tenure I was his “right hand” man as he called me. We both came to the church around the same time, so we connected. I helped him in whatever way I could with technical things, ideas, and he even gave me the opportunity to speak to the youth group a couple of times. During this time I also started getting involved in worship on a larger scale. With the second youth pastor I mainly helped him with technical things. I ran power point presentations for him, and helped set up and tear down equipment. Jenny and I also headed up the junior high cell groups that separated from the main service twice a month.
Role: For the most part I was a “friend” to the youth pastors, and to some of the youth. I also was involved in a lot of “servant” leadership, helping wherever it was needed.
Experience: This was also a good experience. I learned how to do some things in youth ministry, and also how not to do some things. It was a very substantial growth period in my life.
3. Youth Leader – River of Life Ministries
Relationships: I’ve been developing relationships with kids from elementary up through college age.
Conflicts: The conflict in this situation is within myself. On the one hand I love doing the youth ministry, and on the other I’m strapped for time. So, it becomes a question of whom we can minister to, and when we can do it. Some sacrifices have to be made, obviously, and I can’t reach everybody. The best part of it is that God knows my heart on this issue. So, get me out of this secular job, Lord, and let’s go!
Responsibility/Authority: I lead worship, minister to the youth, and pray for them, while being a good example of Jesus Christ for them. Having an expanded role in youth ministry has been, by far, the biggest responsibility of any of my leadership positions.
Role: This role has been most like a “pastor”, although I’ve never called myself that. I prefer “under shepherd” as my dad says when talking about his sheep dog. I’ve also had a “friend” role with the older youth.
Experience: I’m still going through this experience, but it has been great. I think every experience can obviously have good come out of it. It is all in how I look at it. So, no matter what could possibly happen in the future with this, it can still be very good for me and those around me.
Ten statements about the nature and function of leadership
1. Leadership is understanding those following you.
2. Leadership is taking a stand when no one else will.
3. Leadership is forgetting self, and remembering others.
4. Leadership is not backing down from a challenge.
5. Leadership is speaking truth with conviction.
6. Leadership is listening.
7. Leadership is celebrating with those that succeed.
8. Leadership is picking up those that fail.
9. Leadership is knowing when to start, and when to finish.
10. Leadership is about bringing others to where you are and beyond.
Ten statements about the nature and function of a Christian
1. A Christian is Christ-like.
2. A Christian is a servant of God.
3. A Christian is a priest of God.
4. A Christian is more than a conqueror.
5. A Christian is humble before man and God.
6. A Christian is one who tells others about Christ.
7. A Christian is one who praises and worships God.
8. A Christian is creative because God is.
9. A Christian is globally minded.
10. A Christian is hungry for more of God’s presence.
A Christian leader is one who will forget himself, and tell others about Jesus Christ.
Three greatest strengths as a leader
1. Keeping calm under pressure
Three greatest weaknesses as a leader (ouch)
Are leaders born? Or are leaders made? Explain.
Both. As we talked about in the first class, God can clearly give someone a gift of leadership. For the most part, though, we are made into leaders. Even those who have a gift, have to be made to a certain extent. In every aspect of our life, we can always learn more. The same goes for leadership. Some may just have to learn more than others. I am being made in to one, and I don’t even remember telling God that I wanted to be one. That is what’s great, though. I know it is His plan and not my own. Praise God!