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Worship in Truth and Spirit: Alumni Devotional – Andrew Sutton

My name is Andrew Sutton, I am on staff at Manna Church as the Events Director for Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg. In December of 2018 I graduated from GCD with a BA in Christian Leadership.

This opportunity to share is such I gift. I hope it blesses you and draws you closer to the Father. The topic I am writing on is worship and how God has been teaching me to worship Him in all I do and through all I do. 

The things which have led me to this place of worship is multifaceted. It is a combination of many things: personal devotions, fellowship, mentorship, personal study, interpersonal relationships, spirit development, pain, joy, sadness, success, failures, brokenness and wholeness, experiencing grace from others, betrayal and forgiveness. God working in and through all aspects of life to lead me into greater depths of knowing Him and worshiping Him.

Below I have listed some things I have done that have helped me develop more of a heart of worship for God. Here are four points that came to mind: 

1. Know God

Regarding knowing God more and seeing Him more clearly there are things we can action to do that. That is studying the Scriptures and looking to see who God, studying His character. Mediate on these Scriptures and seek the Holy Spirit to bring deeper revelation to us that we may know God more fully. 2 Peter 3:18, Proverbs 8:17

2. Be Still

Practicing stillness has helped me know God’s voice more clearly. It has helped to develop my spirit. Start with 5 minutes of not speaking, reading or allowing your thoughts, feelings, or desire to lead you down a wayward path in your mind. If I am having a hard time getting my soul to be still I will shift my focus to Jesus and the Cross. Psalm 62:5, Psalm 37:7

3. A lifestyle of repentance and confession

Living a lifestyle of repentance, and giving thanks to God as He reveals sin to us, so that we no longer walk in that which so easily entangles us,  preventing us from running the race He has for us. Acknowledge known sin, seek forgiveness and turn away from it. Isaiah 30:15, Revelation 2:5, Matthew 5:24-24

4. Practicing gratitude

Being intentional about looking at and for the good things God has given and is giving in my life. I take time to think about the things I have been given a positive light. Psalm 136

Begin the process of having your eyes open to see how God is moving in all things and thank Him for it. Knowing God, stillness, repentance, and gratitude can begin to change our hearts as we take them to heart and can be a catalyst for leading us into worship. Worship puts God in His rightful place in our lives which then allows us to operate more fully in the place He has given us. It changes us and then changes the world we live in.

May God bless you all as you seek to worship in truth and spirit.

Sincerely,
Andrew Sutton

Not My Plans: Student Spotlight – Sade’ Wilson

Not My Plans: Student Spotlight – Sade’ Wilson

by Frank Brazell

Sade’ Wilson, the child of Army parents, didn’t grow up in any one city, but she did grow up in one place— the Church. She started to take her relationship with God seriously at the age of 15, and after a conversation with a woman while at church, life began to change:

“I just started to have these God moments, day in and day out… I discovered God was real and I could have a vibrant relationship with him.”

Everything Sade’ had built during that honeymoon stage with God was put the test during her college years at a large state university. She was able to use that challenge to go deeper in her relationship with God, receiving life and strength at a time when so many buckle under challenges to faith. After college, Sade’ knew that she was called to serve the Lord in whatever it was that He called her to do. At the time, it looked like a career in the Air Force was where God had called her. Sade’ has a profound gifting for journalism, and with a family tradition of military service, joining the Air Force and working in Public Affairs seemed like the next logical step. That step was interrupted.

“I always thought, and I still think that [my calling] will be in the marketplace or out in the world. I never expected to be back in Fayetteville, working in ministry. All that was completely God.”

Despite having all the pieces in place to launch a successful career with the Air Force, God redirected Sade’ to theExperience College Internship, a one-to-two year internship in association with Grace College of Divinity. Even though she already had a Bachelor’s Degree from a prestigious university, Sade’ felt God calling her to more training for ministry.

After one year of being equipped to lead through GCD and theExperience College Internship, Sade’ planned to resume her journey with the Air Force. Again, God had other plans.

While preparing to pursue her dream of being a Public Affairs Officer, Sade’ received offers to work in her local church, but knew that God was calling her to the Air Force. She signed up for the ASVAB. On test day, she walked into the testing site only to have the testing network shut down. She went back a second time, but her name was mysteriously absent from the roll call, and she again was unable to take the test. Several weeks later, rescheduled for a third attempt, but once again, her name wasn’t on the roll call. A call to her recruiter proved that her name had been submitted and she had been scheduled to take the test at that time, but she still was missing from the roll. Her recruiter had no idea why she wasn’t on the list, but she did.

God was calling Sade’ to something other than her planned career as a Public Affairs Officer— to lead people in the local church.

“I love the Church, but I didn’t envision myself working full-time, vocationally, in a church.”

After the third attempt to take the ASVAB, Sade’ was offered one final position in her local church. To her, God’s plan for her was clear, and she accepted a position as the Marketing Coordinator for a large local church. Now, there is no uncertainty, Sade’ is exactly where God called her doing exactly what He called her to do.

“God isn’t interested in what I can bring to the table. He is interested in who I am becoming.”

God already had a plan for Sade’. He gave her a set of gifts and a calling to lead people, but it was going to be on His terms, not hers. After everything, Sade’ is still a student with Grace College of Divinity, taking classes as a Non-Degree Seeking student in areas where she thinks she could use additional training as a leader, a Marketing Coordinator, and a daughter of God.

Charisma Media interview with Dr. Crowther: Training Emerging Leaders

Student Reflection: Dog Days of the School Year

by Sam Fletcher

My struggle throughout each and every semester has always been the mundane and the consistency of sixteen weeks out of the year. It can be slow and frustrating, and sometimes I would just like to be done. If every student who is in school is being honest, then they would agree that school is not the highlight of their day or week or month.  It is not for me. It can really be taxing! School is about character and building on the knowledge that you have as a student.  Every great leader is a good student. The character aspect of school is about doing what you do not want to do.  

If I’m being honest, school has never been a particularly favorite hobby but it has taught me so much about discipline, diligence, and excellence. As a millennial, I tend to focus on my feelings. I do not want to do what makes me feel bad. School is that thing! School has provided me an opportunity to grow in discipline.  The hardest thing about school is that it never goes away when you are in it! When one week is done, here comes another the next. School has provided an opportunity for me to grow in diligence, in that, when I get to it early, the easier it is!

School can be frustrating, but I guess, it is on purpose!

Sam is a 3rd-year Bachelor of Arts in Christian Leadership student, and a graduate of theExperience internship. He currently serves as the Student Ministries Assistant for Manna Church, Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.

Servant Leadership: Insights from a Leading Researcher

Looking at Jesus Christ as the basis for servant leadership, one could say that the concept of servant leadership has actually been around for centuries. Academically, servant leadership has emerged in the last thirty years largely due to the research and discoveries of Robert Greenleaf. Even more recently, Dr. Kathleen Patterson has been at the forefront of this leadership development; she describes servant leadership primarily as the leader being a servant first, then being a leader. A key distinction between servant leadership and other leadership approaches, is that the focus of the leader is on their followers, rather than on financial profit or organizational goals. True to the oxymoronic nature of the “Jesus way,” where humility leads to greatness, tithing leads to prosperity, and the least is the greatest of all, servant leadership places emphasis not on the followers serving the leader(s) but on the leader(s) serving their followers.

Dr. Patterson is currently a professor in the School of Business & Leadership at Regent University as well as director of Regent’s Doctor of Strategic Leadership program. In addition to being certified in Leadership Practices Inventory, Patterson directs Regent’s annual Servant Leadership Research Roundtable. She has won several awards such as Faculty of the Year and Chancellor’s Award, and she is involved with numerous leadership associations, The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and International Leadership Association, to name a few.  

Known for her pioneering research on servant leadership, Dr. Patterson’s expertise and wisdom in this field will greatly benefit leaders today. For more information on Dr. Patterson and her development on servant leadership, click here.  

article by Rachel Choi

GCD School of Leadership

 

GCD School of Leadership


This school consists of the Certificate in Church Leadership, Certificate in Christian Leadership, and the Associates, Bachelors, and Masters of Christian Leadership. This school focuses on equipping students who are interested in leadership in any context, whether that be in the church, non-profit organizations, or wherever the student feels called to lead. The courses for this school are aligned in four specific disciplines: Biblical and Organizational Leadership, Biblical Studies, Theology, and Practical Ministry. Students interested in this specific school will be required to complete 30-120 credit hours depending on their program and they will be required to fulfill GCD’s Christian Service requirement. Some of the Bible and theology courses in the undergraduate School of Leadership include Introduction to Theology, Hermeneutics and Old and New Testament Survey, but also this school includes more specific classes on leadership such as Collaborative Teams and Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Mentoring and Coaching, and Introduction to Organizational Leadership.

 

Student Experience: Rossana Allup

Bible College Stuednt

“Leadership is a complex and passionate process that involves the influence of a leader on a group to achieve a common goal. The leader has to employ his time in working for a present that builds the future. This level of understanding requires the ability to look beyond the horizon and to consider the skills, tools and changes that are required to reach that vision of the future. There are not a specific set of traits and abilities to be a leader, these varies depending on the circumstances. Leadership is a process that is getting more importance with the time. In my opinion, all the changes that are having place in the world are demanding leaders with character and emotional intelligence.”

      “Also, I am passionate about the issue of emotional intelligence. I remember several occasions when I thought how useful it would be if a certain leader realized the power of doing things with the rest of the group, leaving behind his ego and personal interests. At the time, I did not have the knowledge of the ‘right way’ of doing things, but I thought there had to be another way of leading a team. The world would be quite different with spiritually mature leaders. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity of being in GCD Master Program because it is giving me the tools and the knowledge to go further and to become a better individual and an effective leader who works and acts in a way that honors God.”

 

Jesus as a Leader

jesus-as-a-leader-chess-leadership

          People are always looking for someone to follow. We are sheep in a pasture looking for a shepherd. We may find a shepherd in the President. We may find a shepherd in our parents, or boss. As Christians, though, we recognize Christ as the ultimate shepherd. As He says of Himself in John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

 

       Christ as a leader exemplified three traits — compassion, charisma, and confidence. It was through these three traits that Christ led his disciples to advance the Church.

 

Compassion

          To lead someone we must be able to show compassion. In Matthew 15:32 Christ says And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” If our students, employees, peers, etc. believe that we do not care about them, they are less willing to follow. Compassion also builds trust. If someone believes you care for their well-being, then they will respond more positively to feedback and critiques.

 

Charisma

          Charisma is the passion and power behind a leader; it is what draws people to them. Christ had an infectious spirit. Thousands of people would come great distances just to see Him and hear Him speak. Others quit their jobs on the spot to go and follow Christ. Matthew 4:20, speaking about the disciples, tells us, Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

 

Confidence

          Christ is a perfect example of confidence. He was assured in what He was teaching. Even as a young child He had no problem being bold and confident. In Luke 2:46-47, we read that “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” As a 12 year old He was bold enough to stay behind and lecture the elders at the temple.

 

        Christ was a compelling leader. He inspired others and gave value to those who felt worthless. Christ did not think little of His people; He made them feel important and encouraged them. He led with compassion, charisma, and confidence. His leadership impacted nations and saved souls.

Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

 

Transformational Leadership from a Christian Perspective

Transformational Leadership from a Christian Perspective

 transformational-leadership-from-a-christian-perspective

What is transformational Leadership?

Transformational Leadership is a type of leadership used to grow and transform a community. It is a process where a leader can connect and interact with their followers and transform their lives by increasing the level of morality and motivation. This type of leader focuses on the  mission of the organization by motivating their followers through role modeling the vision, challenging each individual to grow and ask questions, considering the needs of the individual, and inspiring the employees through motivation to reach their fullest potential. Often this type of leader is charismatic and enthusiastic since they are focused and passionate about the mission of the organization. In the Christian world, an example of a transformational leader would be a worship pastor who motivates the worship team to improve their skills with different ways of rehearsing or performing. A transformational leader would be someone who encourages a person to become better for the sake of the whole team, like a mentor or an accountability partner.

A transformational leader is a good listener who does not judge your situation but encourages you to keep going and tells you to never give up. This is a leader who is focused on the mission, calling, and vision of the organization.

In Manna Church and Grace College of Divinity (GCD) we are blessed to have different transformational leaders who encourage us, the youth, to work hard for our dreams and to not give up on them. They motivate us to not quit and keep pushing through until we reach our calling as a group and as individuals as well.

A great example of a transformational leader from the Scriptures is Abraham; was one of the best transformational leaders in the Bible. He became a great transformational leader by creating a vision, having courage and confidence, caring about people, and having a strong sense of justice.  The founder of the Experience, Shawn Withy-Allen, GCD and Manna Church’s Christian internship program, often says, “Teamwork makes the dream work.

Ever since Jesus’s time we have had transformational leaders. Let’s be transformational by actively advancing the Kingdom of God in both our personal and professional lives while inspiring others (transforming them) to do the same. If you want to learn more about leadership and how to become a transformational leader, you can do so here at GCD through the Associate of Christian LeadershipBachelor of Christian Leadership, or the Master’s of Christian Leadership Programs.

 

What makes up a Christian Leader?

What makes up a Christian Leader?

What is a Christian Leader?

 

 Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character”      — Warren Benni

    At some point in your life you will be required to lead something or someone. It may be a group project in school or an assignment in the workplace. Whatever it may be, you will have a defining moment to step up and be a leader. To do this effectively you must know 5 key traits of a fruitful Christian leader

Traits that a fruitful Christian leader needs are:

  •  Positivity/optimism—– hopefulness and confidence of the future

  •  Integrity— doing what is right when no one is looking

  •  Communication— the ability to convey a message clearly

  •  Confidence—-a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

  •  Humility—- modest, not arrogant or prideful, not lacking in self confidence (humility is not to be confused with insecurity)

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
               — Abraham Lincoln
 

WHY DO WE NEED THESE CHARACTERISTICS TO BE GOOD LEADERS?

    To keep your team on the right path you must be optimistic even in the face of opposition. When you are thrown a curveball you react in a positive manner to keep your team spirits high. As a leader you must be the one most excited about your project and vision. Your team’s energy is always one level below your own.

    You must also have integrity. As a leader you will be held to higher standards, you will be living in a glass bowl. If you do not have a good moral compass and sense of integrity then you will not be respected. Without integrity your promises hold little value.

    Confidence is key to leading. To cast a vision or purpose effectively you must have confidence in yourself and the direction you are going. At the same time humility is essential. Without humility confidence simply becomes pride or arrogance. No one wants to follow an arrogant leader. Humility however does not mean that you must be insecure. You may acknowledge your skills and talents without bragging about them. Arrogance and insecurity have no place in leadership.

     Philippians 2:3–
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves

    Finally you must have good communication. Everyday you use different communication skills. Whether it is through phone calls, social media, or face to face you will communicate with someone everyday. Good communication is helpful when you are trying to accomplish a task or cast vision to a group. Without the necessary communication skills you will lead everyone into chaos and nothing will be accomplished.

    1 Timothy 4:12–
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 

    Anyone can and will be a leader. You will face a situation when your character will be tested and you will be required to lead. In such situations these 5 basic character traits will be a key foundation for your success.

“No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.” 
                     — John Morle

Written by Belle Szalkowski