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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.

In His Image… Student Thoughts on Christian Spiritual Formation

In His Image… Student Thoughts on Christian Spiritual Formation

Graduate student Lacey Chavira shares her thoughts on Christian Spiritual Formation. Lacey is currently working on her Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degree and has been with GCD since Spring 2019.

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In order to understand spiritual formation’s connection to character we must first look at the concept of the imago Dei in which God’s design for mankind was made in his likeness, in his image. This is initially discussed in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female he created them.”

Even though the image of God’s likeness in us was corrupted as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, through the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross it was fully restored.  When Jesus came to earth, he was God in human form, the ultimate example of character, in God’s image and likeness. He is who we aspire to be like through the process of spiritual formation.

Our hope, goal, and desire is that through the power of the Holy Spirit are being transformed into his likeness, becoming one of ultimate character through his example. Paul discusses this transformation process in Romans 8:29: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He also discusses this transformation in Galatians 4:19: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…”

As we can see, character is a direct result of spiritual formation, always being cultivated and nourished as we press in and seek God. We are daily having to crucify our false self, filled with fleshly things, in order to be refilled with God’s love and empowered through the Holy Spirit to become more and more like God, our true self, all that is holy.

Student Spotlight: I was in prison and you came to me

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.”

 

Transformational Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations

 

Transformational Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations

 

Transformational leadership is a rising form of leadership. This is not only a popular form of leadership, it is effective and specifically for non-profit organizations. So, what is Transformational Leadership and why should your non-profit organization embrace this form of leadership?

First, let us do a quick overview of Bass’ transformational leadership theory.

Idealized Influence:

Every person wants a leader that they believe is worthy of following, leaders who lead by example and who embody the values and vision of the organization. These types of leaders influence their followers to also become individuals who demonstrate high levels of respect and integrity while embracing and internalizing the values and vision of the organization.

Inspirational Motivation:

Not only should leaders embody the values and vision of the organization, but they should also share it in an inspiring way, providing both meaning and challenge to the followers.

Intellectual Stimulation:

Do you always do the same thing you always did just because you have always done it that way? Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” A transformational leader uses their intellect to creatively problem solve and to develop creative ideas for the future.

Individualized Consideration:

Considering each individual within an organization or group can be difficult. While the leader is embodying the organization’s values, the leader must also consider each person that makes up the organization, encouraging and helping each individual according to their individual specific needs. This focus is not simply for transactional purposes, but to strengthen the individual which will grow them, and ultimately will build up the organization.

Why does this type of leadership work so well with non-profit organizations?

–          The leader working for a non-profit organization has a value and vision of an organization that is transformational in itself. Non-profit organizations are in the business of change for a purpose, and often those working with these types of companies have a higher purpose, a passion to make a difference and are doing so through working at a non-profit organization.

–          Non-profit organizations are all about bringing meaning and challenge to others. Many of these organizations would not exist if they were not able to do this. Some accomplish this through helping find a cure for cancer or stopping child trafficking; non-profit organizations tug on the hearts of people today to make a difference for ourselves, for others, and for the future.

–          Non-profit organizations must continue to creatively problem solve and to develop creative future ideas to be able to figure out how to cure cancer, how to stop child trafficking, and many other problems today that continually increase and must be addressed.

–          Many of these organizations were developed because of the individual. It is not about the comfort of the many, but the needs of the few. As societies come together and help those in need it strengthens the individual and the entire community.

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.