Taking on the role of camp director was one of the most exciting, yet terrifying, steps on my ministry journey thus far. When I look back on the summer of 2014, answered prayers and lessons learned are the first things that come to mind. My fears were so perfectly met by the Lord’s provision and I learned many valuable leadership lessons through His answers to my prayers.
Here are a few of the lasting leadership lessons I learned last summer:
Learn from other leaders. Don’t let the experience of those that have gone before you go to waste. We can utilize the lessons others have learned from their biggest successes as well as their most disappointing failures. Take advantage of the experience of others and learn the lessons that they had to learn the hard way.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. Admitting you were wrong can be one of the hardest parts of leadership. Don’t be afraid to listen to the ideas of others and put them to use. Be willing to admit that your idea to play OMC in the morning on checkout day is absolutely ridiculous and listen to adults who tell you they would rather play at night (trust me).
Value your team. When I look back on the summer of 2014, I would not have survived without each and every member of my team. Realize that each person brings incredible value to your team and it wouldn’t function properly without each member. Be intentional in letting your teammates know that you value them. When people know they are important in relation to the end goal, they are able to catch the vision much faster.
Take care of yourself. It’s easy to pile all of the stress and responsibility of leadership on your own shoulders and not take any time for yourself. I found that it is enormously important to be sure you are being fed spiritually as well as emotionally. We cannot expect to pour out to others continuously if we are not allowing ourselves to be poured into. Leadership can be draining. Find that one person outside of your team that you can confide in and allow them to encourage you and remind you of why you do what you do.
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