Monday, July 28, 2014
A word from last year's leadership award winner
Following along in our series, here is a word from last year's leadership award winner, Ian Friesen.
Hello Kaleo 2014-2015! I am so excited for the cool amazing ways that you will see God work this year! As a former student I remember many people telling me this at the beginning of the year and it caught me off guard. I was really uncertain as to what I was getting myself into, but what an amazing year! God did so much that I was able to see, and much more that I was too proud to open my eyes and see.
As you have heard the Kaleo program has a focus on leadership development. Some of the greatest personal spiritual growth for me occurred in the area of leadership during the Kaleo program. The term 'leader' has a much more dynamic meaning than you may now know. Your typical leader as someone in an authoritative position of power with people under them is quite narrow minded as you will find out. Apparently the introverted, quite spoken, and non trend setters can lead in ways they don't even know they are doing!
Leadership is a really unique and fascinating concept. I am excited for all that you will learn about it this year! How one human can have such a powerful effect and impact on another human, to the extent that is possible, is beyond me. People of complete opposite character types and personalities can lead in the same powerful, effective way. The perfect mould for a leader that you envision is only one of many moulds. This is exactly where you can see God do only what God can do; use the weak to lead the strong. Weak as in muscle, sure but that is far from the point; weak as in shy, absolutely; weak as in not courageous, for sure; weak as in afraid of uncertainty, certainly; weak as in opposite of what the world would call a leader, indeed! As you dive into service, classes, out trips and so much more keep your eyes open to see how God uses people to lead others, including how he uses you to lead others. Godly leadership takes strength, but only the kind of strength that God gives will suffice for the job. Please, I urge you and myself, don't think you can do it on your own.
For me personally, and I believe for all people, the key to leadership is a servant heart! Servant leadership cuts through barriers and obstacles like a hot knife in butter. Jump in and serve God! Allow God to use you however He will as you lead others this year and on!
A note of caution and encouragement on this topic. Leadership is not for the weak, meaning it is challenging in so many ways: intentionality, integrity, prayer, planning, flexibility, humility, pressure, trust, faithfulness, competence, time, effort, the list goes on. As a leader it sometimes feels like you are always giving. This is the challenge...and the reward, it is more blessed to give than to receive. That being said the rewards are very much present and leadership is very worth it. That is, if you are leading others towards holiness and Christ likeness, directly or indirectly. Godly leaders rely fully on God's strength, not their own, to do the work of God. That is where the strength comes from. Keep your eyes open for how your leaders, Andrew and crew, rely on God's strength. You will learn a lot from them. Then, as you lead others, the privilege is on you to rely on God's strength.
So take courage, be bold, and go to God for help! Seek Him and ask Him to use you to lead others towards Him. Soak in what you are taught about leadership. Enjoy the somewhat terrifying, yet oddly fun, games with so called leadership lessons. Practice leading, in different styles too. Be prepared to be put in tough and uncomfortable situations, but trust me from my experience that it is worth it and you will grow in really cool ways toward Godly leadership. I'm so excited for each of you to grow in this area and I am even more excited for when the leaders of Kaleo 2014-2015, you guys :) , go out into the world as missionaries with servant hearts ready to lead others towards intimacy with Christ!!