Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Kaléo 2018 

My name is Sarah McQuarrie and I was the recipient of the leadership award last year. There is actually so many things I could tell you, so I am going to try and choose some highlights here of what I believe I learned about leadership through the program, as well as what I believe will be helpful for you as you continue in it.

This is longer than my fellow award recipients, I realize, but I encourage you to set time aside to read this. Whether you feel like you are an amazing leader in the Kaléo Program, or whether you think that you are getting it figured out, I believe these ideas will help you grow where you are at, and are relevant for all.

#1. Leadership does not mean you get it right. I learned this both by examples of very humble leaders I have had in the past, and through some unfortunate experiences of living up to my mistakes. Humility, more than anything is a defining characteristic of a leader. Who are the people in your life that you look up to the most? Maybe it is a professor you’ve had, maybe your parents, or an older sibling. What makes them so great in your mind? I encourage you to practice the discipline of humility. There is a section about it in your spiritual discipline book and try not talking about yourself as you practice humility. This is in conversation, not bringing it back to yourself. This is also when you get it wrong, that you do actually call yourself out and not be afraid of the mistakes, because it is not about you guys.  Here is the thing, everybody else might not even realize that you are being so intentional about it - that can be humbling.
#2. Leadership is being intentional. Something about the program is that you guys are the program. Nothing that we did last year actually matters in comparison of this year. What we did when it came to relationships is not going to be the way that y’all are going to do it. The program facilitates this to happen, so allow it facilitate, and take advantage of the space that you have to do it how you would like. That is why is it so unique, and this is why it is a leadership program. It takes leaders to initiate, plan game nights during a super stressful week, plan prayer times or a hang out time with just the girls in someone’s room, and boys do whatever boys do when it is just them, etc.

#3. Leadership means using your voice. Peter warns us that if you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then you put away deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech (1 Peter 2.1-5). When was the last time you said something to make it sound like something else? Or that you said you believed something but have never followed through with your actions? Or looked at what someone else had and wanted it? Or was unkind to another being, whether or not you knew them? Or spoke sarcastically? If we say we indeed know the Lord is good, then these should not be said of us. Therefore, when I say use your voice, I mean in a way that calls out your peers in humility and with gentleness. I mean that when you have discovered truth from God’s word that you would be a man or women speaking from the authority of God. That our words would be full of truth. I have a quick example -

            My friend called me the other day and asked for advice. Before she told me the scenario she first said “I called you because I knew you would tell me what I needed to hear and that you would encourage me to be more like Christ” in that moment I realized that whatever I told her it needed to be truth. I wanted to live up to that, but had no idea what was coming at me. When she finished explaining I did not have anything for her but to remind her of the life that God had called her to. That God has called us to glorify him, and as I reiterated back to her her own scenario, she knew what she needed to do. I literally felt as though I had done next to nothing except remind her of what she already knew. But that was all she needed, someone to listen to her, someone who knew her. She did not need any crazy wise words from me, just to be reminded of what she already knew. I pray that all my relationships will be like that - two people trying to discover truth in the midst of life. Use your voice, and relay truth.

One last thing - I love you all. If you ever need anything, and I truly mean this, get in touch. You actually have a ton of recourses at your fingertips. So honestly, no matter what you are going through, whether you think it is normal and no big deal or super burdening, your leaders, myself, any of my past classmates, we actually are here to support you. Send your prayer requests, whatever it is.

        Praying for you all as you continue this journey.

                  - Sarah

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