“I was asked to share my story, my concerns, and my beliefs about education. No one outside my family had ever asked me about my outlook on education. I realized I had a voice – an authentic, small but strong voice with a valuable perspective on students’ needs. Somehow I understood how to paint a picture with words, a picture that pulls people into my world with students.” (Crabtree).
Both the Ally and Advocate badges inspire different reactions within each of us, but we all have a unique voice to share these reactions. How can you act as a leader within your current community? Your future community/schooling system? Think of the ways you can use your voice to share your thoughts and inspire change within all aspects of life as well as the education system. What will you do?
How can you act as a leader? Well, I would like to consider myself a leader, for one. I know that it is a calling upon my life to lead others, but not out of selfish ambition or out of pride, but actually out of humility. This school year, I have been leading a LifeGroup with Antioch Community Church, within their College Ministry – and it has been fantastic. I have grown so much as a leader because I no longer hold the same definition of a leader as I did a few years ago.
I have always been called a leader. In high school, I led clubs and organizations, group projects, drama performances, a newspaper team – I have had my fair share of acting like a leader for others. However, this was an authoritative role. I was the boss, per se, and, although I grew to be friends with many of my classmates, I was considered as their superior, whether I acted like it or not. That’s what “being a leader” meant to me because it was all I really knew.
But this past year of leading in my college ministry has changed my perspective of what it means to be a leader. First off, it doesn’t make me any better than anyone else. We are all growing and learning. I consider myself to be at a point in my life where I feel equipped and led to lead others, but it doesn’t mean that I know everything or that I have all of the wisdom about anything and everything. I make mistakes, I say things I shouldn’t, but I retrace my steps and then move forward.
When I think of being a leader to my friends, which are all in this college ministry, I think of how I can support them. We are all experiencing the love of Christ and are learning what that looks like and seeing how it is soo different from the way everyone else lives. So as someone learns something new, I get behind them and support them in their process. I help them see where they can grow and invite them into the process, but I am not excluded from this process, whatsoever. I respond as equally as everyone else does because there is something there for me. I remember being arrogant, almost, in high school because I thought I knew everything and that I had all the wisdom. But when someone had something to teach me, I would get offended because I knew everything, and this advice wouldn’t actually help me. It did – but I had to throw off my pride and choose to sit in a place where I could learn from those around me.
I constantly learn from those I lead, and it isn’t about the leading or having a place of leadership – it is about the people and investing in their lives. I hope to continue this leadership because I feel led to be a leader, but in a way that uplifts people in their walk with Jesus.