I love my job for so many reasons but one of the best part of it is just the privilege to train young student leaders and our next generation of campus missionaries. Early on as a student from UPLB, I was brainwashed by my leaders in church ( in a very good way naman) to love my nation and serve it, training the next generation is I believe one of the best thing we can do to be a nation builder.
A lot of my time as a campus missionary is spent on mentoring and coaching leaders, last Wednesday was no exemption. A week ago, Che and I had set this appointment to catch up and really just to speak to each other’s lives, so this schedule was quite ordinary or so it think. Che is currently one of our homeroom teachers for the School of campus ministry, every year she gets the privilege to train around 60 upcoming campus missionaries from all around our nation.
During our conversation her words struck me “tao ka rin pala,ate!” (You’re a normal person after all!). She was telling me some challenges, concerns and frustrations and was wondering if I also have those times. “ Why of course I do!”- if I would indulge myself my concerns and frustrations would be quite a list, but let’s not focus on that s my “positivity theme “ would be stressed let’s focus on today’s lesson:
There is great value in being vulnerable appropriately!
In today’s world, leader’s are shown to be very strong, smart sometimes borderline bossy and domineering. They are portrayed as highly skilled, gifted and has a can do it all attitude. Which in a sense is good but the only problem is that its not realistic! That’s why I really love how the bible portrayed all its leaders-flaws and all. You know its real its happening and you have no unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
We need to learn how to be vulnerable appropriately as a leader:
1. to show times of weakness and challenges (specifically those they can relate to) and ask for prayers from the people we are mentoring and discipling e.g.
a. difficulty of doing 121 and following up people
b. frustrations of counseling a person who keeps on going back to their sin
c. challenges in consistently prioritizing our quality time with God
2. to communicate well trying times and moments when you makes mistakes in an uplifting manner saying: its ok to make mistake and learn to bounce back from it e.g.
a. moments when my parents would get sick and we are having financial challenges and my faith dwindling
b. times when I made a bad decision as a leader and suffering from the condemnation that follows
3. to learn what to say and which group of people to say it to so as not to stumble younger believers
4. to speak our challenges without gossiping others or making them look bad to the people you are training
5. to share some things we are frustrated about and share the right response that God has already instructed us to do. #filterfilterfilter
Being vulnerable inappropriately happens when:
a. we talk about specific people and their flaws instead of the circumstance we are in; do not gossip about people!Do not make the excuse of using a prayer point to talk about other people faults.
b. we are foolishly displaying our what my boss would often refer to as “dirty laundry” and hoping that the student will understand “we are only human “; do not expose yourself unnecessarily.do not share to them all the morbid details of your past; do not make them aware of the things God has protected them in-be responsible!
I hear this sometimes even in preaching, that in sometimes in our desire to relate and communicate well with students, we tell them everything.
c. we are exposing unresolved sins and asking advice from people way younger than us instead of seeking help from our own leaders, more mature Christians who will walk with us to victory
d. we are emotionally ranting everything –anger, hatred and all instead of processing it first with God and again telling this to the right people
I remember one time we I had a coaching group with my student leaders at Mcdo 32nd, it was February and I was about to share about being “above reproach” and loving purity. Lo and behold, right in the parking lot. I saw a guy I haven’t seen in a decade-my ex-high school boyfriend gash! (pls. don’t judge me haha) I was shocked and flustered- this man is a tangible reminder of some of my bad decisions when I wasn’t yet a Christian. He’s there and was talking to me and asking my number, and everything else was happening so fast at the same time. The girls noticed my agitation. I took a moment to go out, prayed and quickly quieted my soul as I was talking with God. Quickly dialed the number of my mentor and processed everything with her and prayed together.
I went back to my coaching group, told them who that guy was, shared some of my bad decisions in high school and made it a jumping point of our topic. They appreciated my honesty, we were laughing about it afterwards, they are actually teasing me. The upside of that incident was them also honestly sharing their struggles emotionally. I thank God for His grace and wisdom that night, it could have gone wrong in so many different ways, but He has made me steady.
Learning to be vulnerable accordingly would take some quite time to master as I did learned it the hard way, but I hope and pray that you would take up the challenge in adding this up to your list of things to learn. We believe in you!