Grow Great Leaders

Sarah Ball Advisors & Student Leaders, BASIC Crew, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

Leaders, what is your goal?

I love the topic of leadership. I listen to countless podcasts, read leadership books, and research leadership blogs consistently because I never want to stop growing as a leader.

One of my favorite leadership podcasts is by Craig Groeschel, the senior pastor of Life.Church. He did a series called, “The Six Types of Leaders,” outlining leadership tendencies, what kind of followers these types of leaders produce, and how to grow.

You can find part II here.

The fifth type of leader was “The Healthy Leader.” The Healthy Leader does leadership right, and produces faithful followers. However, the last type of leader is “The Empowering Leader.”  The Empowering Leader takes healthy leadership a step further and does not produce merely faithful followers, but the empowering leader produces other great leaders.

This is our ultimate goal with leadership, to produce other great leaders. Not to increase our numbers in our ministry groups or church, or even to get the word out about your ministry and become nationally and internationally well-known, but to impart and empower those we were entrusted to lead to become great leaders – even better than what we currently are.

How do we make the transition into empowering leaders?

There are four specific areas that we can focus on in order to grow into becoming empowering leaders.

Mentorship

Mentorship is vital in leadership. Not only should you be seeking out leaders that are ahead of you in life and ministry in order to be poured into, you should actively be seeking out those around you to mentor and invest in.

There is so much value in mentorship for spiritual reasons like encouragement, accountability, and prayer. But there are also more practical reasons for mentoring as well: feedback. When we have someone in our lives, whom we trust, we are able to ask the tough questions and receive the tough answers about who we are as a leader, how our organization is being run, and maybe even the mistakes we are making in ministry.

We tend to think that investing into others needs to be all encouragement with no constructive criticism, but we can still give (and receive) correction lovingly to help those around us (as well as ourselves) improve.

Jesus is a great example of this with Peter. How many times do we see Jesus lovingly correct Peter in his mindsets and ministry? A lot.

Jesus could have seen Peter’s mistakes and prayed for or encouraged him throughout them, but He didn’t! He corrected Peter because He knew that Peter was going to be that rock where His church was going to be built upon. Peter had to grow as a leader to get there, and encouragement and prayer was not solely going to do it. 

Vulnerability

Leaders who are open and honest about leadership mistakes they have made have a sense of vulnerability with those around them. This produces trust and transparency between you and those you lead. This also produces a healthy mindset in leadership that it is okay to fail, and failure is a part of the process.

Failure is inevitable, and dare I say vital. When we discover what fails in our leadership, we are closer to discovering what works. When we fail, we learn, we adjust, and then we try again. We should not hide our failures from our team, but be vulnerable with them.

Example

Leaders who produce other great leaders lead by example. We commonly hear the term, “practice what you preach.” When we lead others by example, we produce authenticity within our organization, church, or ministry.

Words mean nothing nowadays. We see pastors, politicians, and great leaders preaching for what they stand for, and what is “right,” but then receive word in the media that they were caught in an affair, with a drinking problem, or some other controversial scandal.

I’m not saying that people and leaders don’t make mistakes, but I am saying that people look at you as an example, and what they see you do: how you respond to that upset church member, the way you talk about other members of your team with frustration, the way you treat your spouse, and follow that example.

When we lead with integrity and through example, we are producing great leaders who will do the same.

Delegation

Healthy leaders listen to their team, but empowering leaders take listening a step further and begin delegating those ideas and collaborations to their team members. Often in leadership, we think that because we are the leader, we are the ones that have to do it all. This mindset is totally opposite of what empowering leaders do.

Delegating tasks to those on your team produces a confidence in them, as well as a trust that makes a statement. It also begins to foster that leadership gifting in them, fulfilling our goal to produce great leaders. I’ve heard it said that if you think someone on your team can do a task or project at least 60% as well as you can, delegate it to them. It may not be perfect, but the goal is not perfection, it is growth.

You can have control, or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. 

In order to develop great leaders, we have to make mentorship a priority, be vulnerable with our team, lead by example, and delegate to empower those on our teams. I can sum it up this way: If you want to develop great leaders, take the focus off of yourself and place it on those you desire to impart to.

This is our goal.

Jesus is our example.

About the Author

Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball graduated from Elim Bible Institute and College with a degree in Theological and Biblical Studies with a focus in ministry. It was at Elim where Sarah knew she had a passion for ministry and college students through the exposure of BASIC. In June of 2017 Sarah joined on staff with BASIC along with her husband, Elijah.

Do Not Fear Change

Ryan Raflowski Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

Has there ever been a time when you were driving down the road to get to a destination only to be stopped by the unexpected? Whether it be construction, an accident, or maybe something blocking the road it can have an effect on your day. You might have to wait because you are stuck in traffic, turn around, and find an alternate route in order to be on your way. If you are like me, then you may get a little impatient at the inconvenience.

Most of us humans tend to enjoy a degree of predictability in our lives. We know exactly how we like our morning coffee, the fastest and most efficient route to work or school, and just where that one comfy spot is on our living room couch. We like knowing what is expected of us in our jobs or in our classes, including what responsibilities are ours and how we may accomplish them. Though we may enjoy some spontaneous moments in life, there are many situations in which we thrive off of routines.

But…

Change tends to always land on our doorstep. We run out of coffee creamer, have to get a new couch, and have to take a detour due to construction. We know that these things happen, and we find ways to cope or adapt to these changes. This adaptation happens even though we are frustrated or confused because the bottom line is we have to get to work or class. We have to get our morning pick-me-up beverage somehow (or this day is going to be rough, am I right?). In some ways, we are forced to just “get over it” and move on with our day.

Well, what about the things in life that do not require an immediate response from us? Or what about the things in life where we can “get away” with things staying the same? You know things I am talking about—that thing that God has asked you to do, but you are just too scared? That change that needs to happen but you would like to hold onto predictability a bit longer? Perhaps you just are not sure how to go about it. Or maybe you know exactly what He is asking you to do and…you just are not going to do it?

May I suggest that we have all been here?

Well we have. Sometimes we just want to “be sure.” However this is, most times, an excuse to cling to our predictabilities. I always tell myself:

Delayed obedience is disobedience.

I am here to tell you today that God is interested in bringing you to a better place. It may be new or different, but His word tells us that His master plan is to “prosper us and not to harm us” (Jeremiah 29:11). Though it may seem like you are “losing,” God’s intentions are to give you something better or to bring you to a better place in your walk with Him. I think sometimes it is all about positioning us to receive the things He has for us, but we cannot always see it from this vantage point.

Maybe you…

  • Are not in the right relationship.
  • Are are meant for ministry and not what you originally planned to do.
  • Should consider the opinions or thoughts of your subordinates.
  • Need to take that next step that God has been asking you to do for a long time.
  • Need to make some different and more spiritually uplifting friendships.

Whatever it may be, let me offer you one piece of advice: if you are being challenged to make a personal change, share it with those around you. When we verbalize the things that God is calling us to do, our friends and mentors can keep us accountable. They can help remind us of what God has asked us to do, and even spur us forward in this truth! We need to be thankful for this accountability and not shy away from it. Our insecurities can sometimes be rooted in our own pride.

I will leave you with one simple but powerful reminder from scripture:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

 

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

 

About the Author

Ryan Raflowski

Ryan is a school psychologist and co-advisor for the BASIC Chapter at SUNY Oswego. He desires to see a generation of young people recognize God's purpose and plan for their life. He tries to live "Kingdom-minded" and longs to see revival fire sweep across college campuses. You could probably find him walking around town playing Pokémon Go with his wife Kdee or indoors with their two cats Oliver and Lupin.

It’s Sufficient

Anna Marie Magyar Advisors & Student Leaders, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” -2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Can I confess something to you? Just between us friends? I am on my fourth cup of coffee…Don’t judge me; it’s been a long week (it’s Wednesday).

This summer, I was believing God to provide in a big way. I reminded myself of his past faithfulness, agreed with others in prayer, and believed I had heard from the Lord that He would meet this need.

One night, I was struggling to go to sleep as “what-ifs”, and feelings of worry flooded my thoughts. I was restless and without peace. Rather than distracting myself with Netflix, I got out of bed and went to sit with the Lord. I journaled the simplest prayer, “Lord, I trust you, but, right now I need you to encourage my soul.”

I opened the Bible, awaiting the Lord’s response. I was planning to turn to the Psalms where I often receive great encouragement, when I opened to the book of Esther. Sensing there may be a reason for this, I began to read Esther 1, and wow, talk about a word in season!

In chapter one, we are first introduced to King Ahasuerus who was throwing a feast for all of his officials and servants. The guest list for this party included “military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces” (Esther 1:3b). This feast was seven days and was the continuation to 180 straight days of the king showing off his awesomeness.

At that time, Queen Vashti was hosting her own party for all the ladies. However, at the end of the seven days, King Ahasuerus decides to show off what he felt was very beautiful to “behold,” Queen Vashti in her royal crown.

When she refused, the king was furious and embarrassed. Those closest to King Ahasuerus essentially looked at him and said “So you just gon’ let her do you like that?” The Bible states King Ahasuerus’ response was to “give her royal position to another who is better than she” (Esther 1:19b). This is what opened the door for Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl whose influence as queen would lead to the rescue of God’s people.

After I read this, I was hit with the question “where was Esther in all of this?” I doubt she had any clue she’d end up as queen and the great impact she’d have on her people. I am sure she had no idea we’d be reading about her life thousands of years later.

And this is when the Lord spoke to my heart.

Through this story in chapter 1 of Esther, the Lord showed me how He is opening doors for us before we even have a clue we will need them. Before we even pray to God for something, I believe He is making moves to meet our needs, teach and grow us, and to use us in mighty ways for His kingdom.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

In our greatest need, to be made right with the Lord and have relationship with Him, He pre-planned and set into motion the answer to this need. Friend, I do not know what you are going through right now. I am unaware of the healing, restoration, or answers to prayers you are waiting on. I may never know the dreams you are consistently bringing before the Lord, waiting on Him to bring them to pass. But one thing I am absolutely confident in is God’s undeniable faithfulness to meet all of your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Let me encourage you to be honest with the Lord. Ask Him to give you hope, strength, and grace in every season. Share your heart with a trusted mentor or friend who can pray with you as you hold on to the promises of our God. Press in.

He is faithful. He has opened doors before we ever knew we needed them. He will do it again.

The Lord was opening doors this summer I did not expect, and He provided in a big way! I am thankful for this, but honestly, I am more thankful for what I learned about His character in the waiting season.

About the Author

Anna Marie Magyar

Facebook

Wife. Cat mom. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and all things Disney. I was a student leader in my BASIC group at the College of St. Rose and have continued to help out with the group after graduating.

Tabling 101

Sam DiStefano Advertising & Recruiting, Advisors & Student Leaders, Event Ideas, Planning, Resources 0 Comments

I know what you are thinking, tabling? Really? I know, I know.  In the world of social media and well designed flyers, who needs to table? Well my friend, YOU do.

For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, tabling refers to setting up a table outside of your dining hall or in your student union to advertise your group. Many groups miss out on this awesome opportunity to easily reach their campus because they just don’t know how to do it well.

Tabling is important because it is a free and easy way to advertise that takes just a little effort on your part. Think about it. Most schools allow groups to reserve tables as often as they would like. That means every week you could be meeting and talking to new students that might not ever have wandered into your weekly meeting on their own. Here are a few tips to take your tabling to the next level.

Make it a Habit

I challenge you to make tabling a regular part of what you do on your campus. It’s easy to table at the student activities fair, or the first few weeks of school, but often tabling drops in importance as the semester goes on. When we make tabling a habit, your campus will start recognizing your group name and have a better understanding of what you do. No matter how big or small your campus is, regularly being out there making connections makes a difference.

Get Creative

Tabling doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to just be passing out flyers for your group. Brainstorm ways for your  table to stand out. Do you want to do a Midterm Munchies giveaway and pass out snacks during that week with encouragement? Do you want to make an interactive board and ask passing students to answer questions about life and purpose? Do you want to play games and engage students about the Bible or spiritual questions they might have (click here for a fun game idea)? You know your campus best, so engage students in ways that they would be most intrigued by.

Students always love food and they love free!! Check with your school’s tabling rules and use your budget to help you make your table the coolest around. Think of key holidays ( Valentine’s day, Christmas) and times in the semester (midterms/finals) to reach the most people. Tabling can be a creative tool to love and serve your campus. Check out more ideas here.

Make it Nice

Listen friends, aesthetic is important! Take the time and effort needed to make your table look presentable. That means getting a tablecloth that fits and isn’t dirty. That means having a sign that doesn’t look like a kindergartener made it. That means having a nice and neat table. It might not seem like a lot, but when you put in the extra effort to make your table look appealing, you will see an increase in your table traffic. A clean and well designed table communicates to your peers that you have integrity in all that you do, even the little things.

Be Ready

You may think there isn’t much to tabling, but that just isn’t the case. Not only should you be prepared practically with all the materials you need to set up your table, but spiritually and mentally as well. Pray before you and/or your team tables. Ask God to give you open doors and divine connections. Your attitude at that table speaks volumes to your peers. Are you engaging with people? Are you friendly and kind? Are you genuine? Students will just walk by unless you are willing and ready to break the awkwardness and grab their attention.

Tabling might be one of the most overlooked resources we have on our campuses today. I hope you will use tabling as a tool to reach more people on your campus and get them thinking about God.

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About the Author

Sam DiStefano

Twitter

Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

The In-Between

Anna Marie Magyar Personal Development, Resources 1 Comment

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” -Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

It is in those moments, the chaos of the still in-between where you’re not where you were, yet not where you want to be, that the Lord does some of the most miraculous, beautiful things.

I can attest to the Lord’s faithfulness to fulfill all of His promises to me. However, I can also attest to the Lord being faithful to work in His own timing. That means some things take longer than I may like them to, causing a struggle and tension between where I am and where I want to be. It’s the waiting season. What are some of the things you are waiting on? Grad school acceptance? Financial aid? A future husband or wife? A restored relationship? Your coffee to be finished brewing?

It is very easy to feel discouraged, frustrated, or be inactive during the waiting season. However, I believe that in this beautiful struggle of the in-between is found an invaluable time with the Lord that if we would be open, the Lord could do something He would be unable to do at any other point in time.

So, what do we do in this still-waiting season? Think of Joseph. Joseph was given two dreams from the Lord (Genesis 37:5-11) that one day he would come into a position of great power and authority, so much so that his mother, father, and brothers would bow before him.  Before the dream came to be true, Joseph was rebuked by his father, betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, thrown into prison, and more. These things all occurred during Joseph’s waiting season.

Joseph very easily could have become frustrated with God, questioned the dreams he was given, refused to honor the Lord during this time, or walked away from God completely. The temptations to do so were certainly there.

Yet, Joseph chose to believe in who his God was and His promises rather than in the chaos surrounding him. As Joseph pressed through, remained faithful, and continued to honor the Lord, God began to show Himself to be sovereign and faithful in ways Joseph would not have seen if he had not endured the waiting season (Genesis 42:6-Fulfillment of the dreams).  

I don’t believe that our Lord just allows seasons of our lives to pass by unnecessarily. I don’t believe that He brings us through the waiting without purpose, or to leave us disappointed, discouraged, or disheartened. No, rather I believe He brings us through these seasons to show us something, to teach us something, to reveal more of His character, or to help us grow. Although the waiting season can be challenging, if we are willing, God will use them for our good (Romans 8:28).

I’m prayerful that you will see the Lord’s faithfulness in each season. I encourage you to, like Joseph, remain prayerful, honorable to the Lord, and not to standstill, but to utilize this time to see God be faithful, close to you and so very compassionate.

He’s in the waiting.

About the Author

Anna Marie Magyar

Facebook

Wife. Cat mom. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and all things Disney. I was a student leader in my BASIC group at the College of St. Rose and have continued to help out with the group after graduating.

Super Simple Bible Study

Super Simple Bible Study

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

I never grew up going to Sunday school, but almost everyone knows the song, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” At the risk of sounding ridiculous, the lyrics are actually pretty profound. Somewhere along the line, we have made cool one-liners and little sound bytes a substitute for you know, ACTUALLY reading our Bibles. If we did, we would find that the good book does indeed tell an incredible story of redemption and love. The word leads us in wisdom and has the power to transform our hearts and minds.

Romans 15:4 says, “Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.”

So if you are anything like me, knowing that we should read the Bible isn’t the problem, it’s how to do it well. Where do you start? How do you understand what it means? How do you make sure you are interpreting it correctly?

I have done some research and asked some questions. I wanted to find the MOST simple and easy way for leaders and students to read the Bible and lead Bible studies with confidence. The following five questions can be utilized on any passage of Scripture and can easily be used for one on one situations or in a large group setting.  They are not my own, but versions of them have been floating around the internet for some time (If you know please let me know so I can kiss them with thankfulness!)

  1. What does this passage teach us about God?
  2. What does this passage teach us about man?
  3. Is there a command to obey, an example to follow, or a promise to claim?
  4. How does the truth of this passage differ from what we see in culture today?
  5. How can I specifically apply this passage to my life?

That’s it! Can you believe it?! I love these questions because they are super simple. They are easy to model and easy to reproduce. This is a good place to start if you want to grow your Bible reading muscles or if you would like to start your own Bible study! These questions help us figure out what the word is actually trying to communicate and leads us to a place of personal application.

Do you have a go to Bible study? What are your favorite questions to ask while you are reading the scripture? Comment and share your experience!

 

About the Author

Sam DiStefano

Twitter

Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

New Year, New Vision

Anna Marie Magyar Advisors & Student Leaders, Event Ideas, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning, Resources 0 Comments

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19

Hello, friend! I hope this blog finds you well and with a great big cup of coffee! I would be dishonest if I did not share with you that as I write this it is currently 8:00 at night, and I am enjoying the most delicious vanilla sweet cream cold brew!

As a sixth grade teacher and a volunteer serving in college ministry, the summer presents itself as an invaluable time. I am intentional to rest and recuperate, but also in preparation for the new school year. I begin to pray and ask the Lord what new and exciting things He will do. I celebrate as I recall His marvelous works the year prior, and recount the ways He provided, opened doors I thought were sealed shut, and gave us opportunities I could not have asked nor dreamt of.

I also bring to the Lord the areas I may need wisdom in, situations I felt were challenging, and things I feel we need to do differently or completely get rid of. Without failure, the Lord meets me in this time of dreaming and visioning for the new year. I am filled with a new hope, new excitement and joy, and a new vision for how we can show the unconditional and unimaginable love of our God to our campus.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:5

As the topic for this blog began brewing in my mind, I was reminded of James 1:5. For so many of us, we expect the same from the Lord that we have received or encountered with people. Circumstances with influential people in our lives begin to influence the lens through which we see our Heavenly Father. It becomes easy, even natural, to question if we deserve what we seek from the Lord, or if Jesus is truly faithful to give as generously and freely as He has promised.

It is for this reason I am so thankful for the Word, and the wisdom James received and shared. The Lord is faithful to give to you generously and without finding fault; not because He gains anything, but because He made you, He loves you, and He is pleased with you. If you question this, I challenge you to put it into practice. Seek the Lord, be open to Him doing a new thing, and watch as He amazes you with His faithfulness.

I am so excited for the new things the Lord will do this year. I am seeking Him as I embark on the new challenge at my job in doing math centers to improve learning opportunities for my students. Excitement fills me as the leaders and advisers of Saint Rose BASIC begin a whole new structure to our weekly meeting schedule (read on below if you are interested to see what this format will be). And I am filled with joy and wonder in the new thing the Lord has for you!

My friend, I want to encourage you that there is new vision for your future, your family and your life. The Lord promises to do a new thing, and I believe that is possible for you regardless of your season of life. I pray you seek His face diligently knowing that although change may seem difficult at times, you have a God who is so passionate about you that He would never leave you nor forsake you in the midst of these changes (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5).

Saint Rose Basic Meeting Schedule: Fall 2017

Starting in the fall, we will run our meetings in a four week rotation, as follows:

Week 1: Meeting will include a worship set of three songs and a message from an in-house speaker, like our advisor. A student leader will be asked to take notes on the message to share a summary of at the next week’s meeting.

Week 2: We will have worship, most likely a shorter set to account for time, and then the student leader who took notes the week prior will come up to briefly share a summary of week one’s message. This is done so that anyone who missed the week prior will not be left out of the small group discussions we will be transitioning to after the summary. Small groups will be led by student leaders who will have focus questions that will build off the week prior. We will end our meeting with a social activity of some kind.

Week 3: During this week, we will have a typical worship set of three songs, and a guest speaker. The plan is to get guest speakers from our sponsor church to help our students get even more connected.

Week 4: On the final week, we plan to have a fun get-together. We chose to incorporate this into our meeting schedule for several reasons. Firstly, many of our members already plan to attend the BASIC meetings Thursday nights. Trying to plan an event on another evening often loses several people who can’t come because of classes or other commitments. Additionally, our leaders work so hard and pour so much of themselves into the bi-weekly leaders meetings, weekly BASIC meetings, getting together with students, and their own personal to-do lists and responsibilities. Oftentimes planning additional events on top of this can be too much for our leaders. We’re making this change to avoid burnout in our leaders, and to prevent what is supposed to be a good thing becoming a burden upon them.

Words cannot express how excited I am with the changes we are making! I hope to update you on the progress of this shift in the future. 

About the Author

Anna Marie Magyar

Facebook

Wife. Cat mom. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and all things Disney. I was a student leader in my BASIC group at the College of St. Rose and have continued to help out with the group after graduating.

Purpose Through Passion

Purpose Through Passion

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

One of our desires at BASIC is to be relevant and connect you with content that is going to best help you as you serve your campus and ministry context! In an effort to bring in fresh perspective and new ideas, we have asked a few student leaders and advisors to share their voice! We’ll get to hear from one of them each month. This week, we have the honor of hearing from Kaitlyn Puukila.

Kaitlyn PuukilaHey guys! My name is Kaitlyn and I am a recent graduate from the University at Albany, where I served as BASIC President for 2 years. Although it came with some challenges, I loved every second of it and have seen God do some amazing things through BASIC. Now that I have joined the world of jobs and bills, I am SO excited to be here to share just a few thoughts with you, in hopes of giving you some encouragement… so please read on!

“The word passion comes from the Latin root pati-, meaning suffering, or enduring. Passion is, at its core, a form of pain that demands it be quenched.”

–Vivek Haldar

 Passion is one of God’s greatest creations, and is what helps us make a difference in the world. Passion is what drives a soldier to defend his country, or a man to protect his family. Passion takes away the fear and creates courage when you need to start a new chapter in your life. Passion is the verb that drives you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do.

So what are you passionate about? Is it dancing, singing or writing? Do you love animals or learning about new cultures? Do you have a passion for leading on your college campus? 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s very grace.” But where to start? I have a gift and a passion, but how do I use it in my daily life to serve and bless God? 

The Bible says in Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your heart.” Did you know that not only does God want to give us the desires of our hearts, but He’s the one who put them there? When we get to know God’s character and who He is, that’s when the desires of His heart become our own. Don’t get me wrong, it would be pretty sweet (pun very much intended) to say “please” and get giant bowl of ice-cream anytime I desired it. But what does passion have to do with knowing God?

When we start to desire the things God desires like love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and wisdom, that’s when God can use you no matter what you’re doing. Think of it this way, if God can use us when we have nothing to offer, imagine how much more we can be used when we ask Him to work through us in part of our lives where He’s created us to be passionate! Not only can He use us, but it brings Him joy to see us want to know Him better and use the gifts He’s given us.

So if we were made to be passionate, then why do we sometimes feel like we need to give up on the things we love in order to be a “good Christian”? Our culture wants to put God in a box, so it’s easy to start thinking He can only work through us when we are in church, at a bible study, or at our Basic groups where people already know about God. That is far from the truth though, and in fact quite the opposite. When we have a heart to serve, it’s not about leaving behind things we are passionate about. It’s about letting God be a part of those things and allowing Him to use your passion to speak to and love on people.

If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, that’s okay! Take time to learn about yourself and ask God to reveal your passions to you. This site here is a great resource to do just that. God is not limited by your daily routine or by your adventurous lifestyle. There are no boundaries to how He can use you. All He requires is your willingness and a desire to know His heart, and that’s when you will begin to walk out your purpose through your passions.

About the Author

Sam DiStefano

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Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

BASIC Live - Free online ministry leadership training

Free Ministry Leadership Training

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Planning, Resources 0 Comments

One of the biggest challenges in ministry, and especially college ministry, is the challenge of raising up solid leaders. In college ministry it’s an ongoing process because of the high rate of turnover. So, when you do find leaders how do you train them and get them prepared for ministry in the fall?

It’s because of these challenges that I’m really excited to tell you about our 5th annual leadership event, BASIC Live, coming up on April 22nd. This year we have an incredible lineup of speakers. The even better part is, this training is completely free and you can view it online from wherever you’d like or join a Hot Spot in your area to watch with other leaders!

If you can’t join us the day of, there’s a way to sign up to watch afterwards. On April 22nd, the broadcast starts at 1 PM eastern time and will run till about 4 PM with breaks in between sessions. The Hot Spots start at noon with lunch provided.

Throughout the day we’ll be hearing from speakers like Onterio Green, young adult pastor at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ church. We’ll also hear from life coach Cindy Scott who will share coaching tips for working in teams and about how God has designed us. And there are so many others who will speak on topics of worship, raising up student leaders, discipleship and general leadership principles. 

It’s going to be an incredible event! To learn more, find a Hot Spot near you and to register check out the BASIC Live page.

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

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Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.