The KEY to any organization’s success is its people. People are an organization’s greatest asset. So many leaders forget this or don’t seem to recognize this fact. Some leaders hire people for their “hands” and ask them to leave their minds at the door. BIG Mistake.
They want laborers, not thinkers. They want bodies, not contributors. Teen Challenge wants and needs thinkers, contributors - individuals who feel called to this ministry and want their program to be the best in the world.
As a leader, I know that I want individuals working with me who will help change things that need to be changed. I want people who will help identify and throw out parts of the program that are not working. I want them to be creative in fundraising, creative in program development, and insightful regarding the needs of today’s students - individuals with a passion for Christ and a desire to give their everything to Him.
Each and every one of our staff, students, and volunteers matter. You matter! Your input to this organization matters! We need you! We need people with servant hearts who have a love for God and people on the team.
We need you to know the call of God on your life, to embody the values of this organization, and to have a yearning in your heart to learn.
I used the words “Forging our Future” as the heading for my writing this month.
Forge: noun means - “a workplace where metal is worked by heating and hammering.
Think about that. To emerge is like forging metal- heat and hammering. This process causes change. This process seems to include: pain, time, heat, pounding, more heat, more pounding, more change, more character change, heat, pounding, and time until you emerge into what God wants.
Used as a verb, forge means - “to move ahead steadily” to go, move on, advance, progress, pass on, march on.” “To move ahead steadily” suggests that it’s a process of steady momentum - pressing on toward the prize of the high calling of Christ.
Toward What? The Future! Meaning, “A time yet to come.”
Growing in God is a process. As you press into His word, His work, His way, His life, and His will, you will begin your journey of freedom - freedom from past bondages, freedom to grow, freedom to know.
Three important parts of your role in forging the Future:
K - Know Your Call
E - Embody the Values
Y – Yearn To Learn
In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven”.
He talked about prayer - binding and loosening.
The key to Teen Challenge’s future will be determined by the number of students and staff who emerge into great leaders.
How do you emerge into a leader? Glad you asked.
I. Know Your Calling
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you, both to will and do His good pleasure”. Can I repeat that? “For it is God…”
How do you know God’s will? As I attended college, I prayed, fasted and waited for His voice. Although I felt I had nothing to offer, I sensed His presence during a Chapel time and He called me into full-time ministry.
It is vital that you, as an individual, hear from God about His will for your life. Get on your face before Him and pray. You must know His will for your life.
Some Secrets to Knowing God’s Will
- God speaks to those who listen. “Be still and know.”
- God generally just shares the first step with you.
- God speaks through His Word. Those who daily consume the Word hear Him speak through His Word.
- God can put mail in your mailbox.
- God may confirm His will through others but rarely uses others to tell you His will.
- Stay busy serving, and He will speak.
- Be patient when it seems the heavens are brass.
- What He tells you to do, do it. Do it now. Do it with all your heart. Do it as unto the Lord.
Paul Yonggi Cho said, “Never trust a man who doesn’t walk with a limp.” That statement speaks of being broken, having experienced a difficult situation in life and survived. It speaks of a quality in a person’s character that is developed through pain.
Leaders must often endure some difficult challenges to their dreams. Sometimes, it may seem that your vision or dream has died before God comes on the scene and brings it to life.
II. Embody the Values
What is a value? My definition of value is: a belief or system of beliefs that are owned by the organization and the team of individuals who administrate the organization.
To embody the values - means to own the values, live the values, to walk the values, and to breathe the values.
Does every organization have core values? Yes! Whether they define them or not, they have them. They either believe in customer service or not. They live that value out every day as customers walk in and out of their doors.
When someone comes through the front door of TC, how do you greet them? This is a value. When a new student comes in, what happens? Your values should guide your actions.
We who are a part of the organization, create and live out the values of the organization. Our values guide our actions.
Integrity - Living and working with excellence
Compassion - Embracing hope, love, and reconciliation
Community - Living and working together
Vision - Seeing beyond the present
Stewardship - Managing God’s will and resources
Faith - Believing God for the impossible
Servanthood - Committing ourselves to the success of others.
III. Yearn to Learn
Proverbs 9:8-9 “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”
Leaders are learners. Learners are listeners.
Great Leaders are:
- Always learning.
- Seeking out new ways to better the organization.
- Looking for new tools to better the quality of the program.
- Always recruiting the right people for their team.
- Growing personally.
If you will embrace your role in leadership and give your best effort, you will grow more that you could ever imagine. If you will commit yourself to learning and growing in the gifts God has given you, I know you will experience God’s best in your life and leadership.
Teen Challenge is looking for people who want to learn. Global Teen Challenge is committing time, resources, and people to this effort to provide training to TC leaders globally. We are investing in those who want to lead. We are investing in those leaders who are choosing to let their lives make a difference.
We need people like you to buy into the dream we have of reaching hundreds, even thousands for Christ. We pray God will put a burden in your soul to put hope within reach of every addict in your country.
Many leaders in Teen Challenge are getting older. Yes, they will be replaced one day, some sooner than others. So, it is up to you to fill in the gaps and to take us forward. We need you to take the baton and run with it. We need you to dream, to envision the future, and go for it.
We all play a key role in the Teen Challenge family, and we each own some responsibility to grow ourselves, raise up others, and to do everything we can to make this the best program on Earth for those suffering in addiction. We can do it with your help.
It will be painful. Forging our Future - Some hammering comes first, some heat comes, some painful steps, but the end result is amazing.
You can be confident of this: GTC is committed to developing leaders because we want to be our best, and we also want you to be your best.
Putting Hope Within Reach,
Jerry Nance PhD
Global Teen Challenge