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.

Unqualified

I’m Unqualified

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 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 Michael Polzella.

Michael has been involved in leadership at both the Suffolk County Community College and St. Joseph’s College BASIC Chapters. After transferring to St. Joseph’s in Spring 2012, Michael planted the BASIC chapter in Fall 2013 and currently remains active as the group’s Church Advisor.

Have you ever felt like there was something that you wanted to do or something that you felt like you HAD to do, or even, something that you felt that God wanted you to do but didn’t feel like you have the proper qualifications to fulfill the role? If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, then I want to remind you that you are not alone. If you answered “no”, I know you’re lying—or not human.

As leaders, it’s normal to sometimes feel inadequate in our own abilities. So, what do we do when we don’t feel adequate enough? Pray. Pray for God to show up in the situation… and He will.

Let me just take a minute to share a personal story of how God intervened in my weakness. After being involved with BASIC College Ministries at Suffolk County Community College and completing my Associate Degree, I transferred to St. Joseph’s College. At the time, I felt like God was impressing on my heart to start a BASIC chapter at St. Joseph’s.

I found out that the school currently had another campus ministry already there. When speaking with the club’s executives, I was told that the school wouldn’t allow a BASIC chapter there since its mission and vision is almost identical to the other ministry. That’s where the story ends, right? Well, not exactly.

I eventually got voted onto the leadership team at that ministry as the Secretary.  When that term was up, I felt that God wanted me to run for President and make a few changes. Over time and prayer, the group ended up going in a different direction and became a BASIC chapter like I had hoped from the start!

At this time, I knew God was calling me into leadership, but I didn’t feel qualified to do it. Yes, I am a pastor’s kid; yes, I’ve sat through 100,000 sermons; yes, I’ve heard a million prayers — but I still didn’t feel qualified to do what I felt God was telling me to do.

While talking this over with one of my friends, Will, the vice president-elect for that school term, told me something that changed my perspective on the whole situation. He said, “God doesn’t call the qualified… He qualifies the called.”

Steven Furtick of Elevation Church said something similar in his book (Un)Qualified (awesome book if you get the chance to read it):

“If you look at the great men and women of Scripture, you find one common denominator: they were all unqualified. God has a habit of picking people who have been passed over.”

Wow, that’s powerful stuff. So, what did that mean for me? It meant that I didn’t have to feel confident in my own abilities because I was confident in God’s ability. I am just the vessel that is used by God.

So, to wrap up this story, I ended up becoming president of BASIC’s newest chapter in the fall of 2014. Unbeknownst to me at the time, God was not only orchestrating my love for BASIC back in 2010 while I was a student and the ability to lead through the transition, but He also paved the way for me to become the Church Advisor for the St. Joseph’s BASIC group in the spring of 2016.

Through all of this, God has shown me that we must rely on His power and not on our own. When the time comes, God will give you the qualifications needed to complete whatever task He’s impressing on your heart to complete.

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

Twitter

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.

Love Your Enemies

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

I don’t have to look far to find someone who is frustrated, disillusioned, annoyed, or downright angry in our current social and political climate. People are losing friends over Facebook, losing respect for peers over their party affiliation, and losing hope for the future of our country.

This is perhaps even more emphasized on a college campus, where ideas and opinions are supposed to be allowed, listened to, and respected. Tension is high and patience is at an all time low. Maybe as a campus minister or student leader you have felt overwhelmed and at a loss. What can we do? How do we deal with opposing views in our own leadership team and group? How do we lead students in peace?

I know I certainly don’t have the answers, but thankfully we serve a God who does. I have been drawn to the verses in Luke 6. In this part of scripture, Jesus is teaching to the multitudes. In this crowd were his twelve disciples, as well as people who had traveled miles and miles to hear what Jesus had to say. Jesus had just finished going through the beatitudes(giving hope to those who are poor, hungry, and hurting) and the woes (warning those who are rich, prideful, and ungrateful) when He makes a pretty radical statement.

“But I say to you who hear. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27-28

In our current context, I couldn’t help but feel the good, but powerful, sting of his words. Jesus calls us to something greater. He shows us how to deal. I wanted to break apart this verse and make it real for us today.

Love

Jesus calls us to love our enemies. The word Jesus used for “enemies” in Greek means hateful and hostile adversary or foe. I have seen and heard so many hurting people lash out with very hateful and hostile comments and remarks. In the moment, it may feel good to have the last word, but that is not the way of love. In 1 Corinthians 13 we get a biblical definition. Love is patient and kind. When someone is pushing your buttons, are you quick to listen and proceed with kindness? Love is not arrogant or rude. The next time you want to shove facts and statistics in someone’s face, remember that Jesus calls you to be humble and polite. Love also does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful. Very interesting. Are you willing to lay aside the fact that you might be “right” to show someone that you really care? These things are obviously challenging, but we are able because Christ enables us.

Do Good & Bless

I know, pretty crazy. Sometimes it is hard enough to look someone in the eye who has said something hurtful, let alone go out of your way to do good for them and bless them! Jesus gives us this standard because He is wise. His heart for us is to love Him and love others. When we are confident that God sees our hurt and the injustice, we can have peace and walk in freedom because He is ultimately the judge.

God wants us to have His heart for the people around us, especially those who hurt us. When someone takes a position that seems in opposition to everything you are or posts a video hating on what you believe, Jesus wants to come in and change your perspective. When you can see that person as an individual just like you with hopes, fears, and dreams, I pray your heart softens. When you compliment and encourage your enemy it is very disarming and unexpected. Often (but not always), this opens up the way for genuine communication and relationship. Then it is no longer about what you can prove, but instead about how well you can love them despite the differences.

Pray

This is probably one of the most powerful of the four and the last mentioned. We know from Ephesians 6:12 that our “battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The person who is opposing you isn’t really your enemy at all. The beautiful thing about prayer is that God uses it two-fold. Not only are our prayers powerful and effective to change things in the world, but they are equally as effective at changing us. When we get serious about asking God for his guidance, help and love for the unlovable people in our life, we are radically changed from the inside out. It is in prayer that Jesus reveals more of who He is to us and shows us how to walk in peace despite the chaos around us.

I hope that this encourages you. Read Luke 6:27-36 and reflect on Jesus and His intentions when He shared this with the crowd. You are God’s strategy of hope to this weary world. Love well.

 

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.

Fix Our Eyes

Sam DiStefano Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

If we are honest, sometimes life just feels like it is too much. Too much to handle, too much to carry, too much to feel, too much to figure out. The weight of our circumstances can hang heavy on our hearts. It’s a universal feeling affecting God’s people from the very beginning.

I don’t know what it is for you. I don’t know what season you are working through and what mountains are before you. I don’t know if it is waiting, or risking, or changing that is next for you. I find myself in a season of pressing and of pain. I find myself in a season where there seems to be more questions hanging around then answers. And when my heart and my head went dizzy trying to figure it all out, God spoke something so simple and sweet.

Fix your eyes on me.

It was only five words, but they brought me to my knees. It was stern but soft. This is the call; when you are afraid, when you are anxious, when you are unsure, lift your head and take the time to meditate on who your God is.

The God who is wise beyond our understanding and perfect in all of His ways.

He is the God who makes no mistakes. Paul writes in Romans 11:33, “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!”

The God who is good. ALWAYS.

Exodus 34:6 says, “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” He defines goodness for us. He assures us in Romans 8:28 that even our pain is good: “God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love Him.”

The God who is unchanging.

What God has said and who He is cannot be changed. We have peace and security in this reality. He hasn’t given up, He doesn’t change his mind. “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” Malachi 3:6

The God who is powerful and in control.

Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” God is a good King. He has all authority and all control and uses it for His glory. He is working in your life and nothing is too big or too hard for God to overcome.

The God who is faithful.

Perhaps the truth I have clung to most closely in this season. God will never leave or forsake you and nothing you do can change His mind. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Something powerful happens in the human heart when we acknowledge the Lord for who He is. It is when we stop frantically looking at our problems and fix our eyes on Him that peace replaces anxiety, assurance replaces doubt, and overwhelming love replaces fear. He is with you, He is for you. Fix your eyes on Him.

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.

Campus Ministry Today

Free Resource And Download

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Resources 0 Comments

 

I wanted to interrupt our normal posting routine to make you aware of a new resource. It’s called Campus Ministry Today and it’s put together by a number of influential leaders in the field of campus ministry.

It’s a collection of blog posts, books, podcasts and tools from various college ministry leaders across many topics such as discipleship, evangelism (including specific posts for different demographics), weekly meetings, mobilization, etc.

Right now if you subscribe to their weekly newsletter you’ll receive an email every Monday with fresh input and resources from their team. You’ll also get a free download. It’s a six week Bible study called “Who Am I?” for helping your students find their identity in Christ.

Go check it out and let me know what you think!

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

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.

About the Author

Chris Zeigler

Twitter

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.