In Exodus 17:8-12, we read, “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’ So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone, put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
In this story we see some key insights into leadership. Moses needed Joshua to lead the army. Moses had faith in Joshua’s ability and entrusted him with a key task that would determine the future of Israel. In addition, we see two others, Aaron and Hur. We notice in the story that when Moses got tired and his arms came down, Israel began to lose the fight. The scriptures record “they put a stone under Moses.” Who were “they”? It was Aaron and Hur. We then see them standing one on one side of Moses and one on the other side, holding up his arms. The victory was won because of the team of helpers who stood beside the leader and served the overall mission.
No leader ever accomplishes anything without a team. No leader can build a company, ministry or complete a major project without a team. The others in our lives like Joshua, Aaron and Hur are critical. The ones who set stones under us to support us and those who stand on the right and the left really matter.
I want to take a minute right now to say, “Thanks!” Thank you staff, volunteers and friends of Teen Challenge leaders worldwide. We could not make it without you. We need you to help hold up our arms as we endeavor to lead. Thanks for the endless hours of sacrifice you give to help make the dream a reality. Your help and support is why Teen Challenge continues to provide hope to the hopeless.
The unique skills that our team brings to bear on the mission are why the battles are won. Leaders certainly have great skillsets, but none of us can do it all alone. We need the Joshuas to lead some battles, and we need the Aarons and Hurs to stand beside us and support the effort.
Can we each take a minute to say thanks to our team members? Say it privately. Then, say it publicly in front of others and give your team the praise they deserve. Celebrate them when you can and share the blessings that come financially with the team. Those who help with the battles deserve a share of the bounty won in war. Our team deserves to be compensated tangibly.
Recently, I was in Mongolia with Maidar and Odie for the dedication of their new men’s home. They had worked endless hours to reach this goal. I can tell you first hand that Maidar and Odie worked for years to finish this building project. They have rented facilities and have done everything they could to put hope within reach of addicts and alcoholics. Their efforts are to be commended as Teen Challenge leaders. Sacrifice, commitment, and leadership are the leadership values they embrace.
However, in this article, I also want to point out some others who deserve recognition. One of Maidar’s volunteers and dearest friends worked tirelessly alongside Maidar to finish the project in time. Tserennadmid led the construction project and managed the funds, the work teams, and the procurement of the building supplies for the project. Now understand, Tserennadmid has a full-time job, wife, and five children. He is a busy man, but he gave of himself tirelessly to see that the project was completed before the dedication. Because of many supply issues, work team issues and a few extra disappointments, they did not get the project 100% done, but it was within days of completion.
Tserennadmid told me of several challenges he had securing building supplies while managing the traffic and parking issues that are in Ulaanbaatar. I can testify that traffic adds a loss of time to every effort. He said on two occasions, when he came out of stores with building supplies in hand, his car had been towed. He had to pay the fine, deal with the police, and lost hours in the process. Yet, he pressed on to assure the goal was reached.
I want to personally say thanks to Tserennadmid for his example. Over the next several years, hundreds of men will walk through the doors of the center and never know the price paid to see that they have an opportunity of hope. Lives will be transformed due to the sacrifice of the many team members and volunteers who make it possible.
Tserennadmid worked all night on the eve of the dedication. He wanted all of the final touches in place for the grand opening and ribbon cutting. His hands told a story as well. Cuts, bruises and black fingernails testified to his commitment.
We all sacrifice, and we all play a part in making our dreams become a reality. But today, let’s say thanks to the Joshuas, Aarons, and Hurs that make it possible.
We love you and want you to know that we appreciate you. Keep up the good work and know that on the other side of life, we will receive the reward from Jesus Himself for a job well done.
Jerry Nance, President/CEO, Global Teen Challenge