Time to Stretch

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Last week I took a group of students on a trip and stepped out of my comfort zone.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with someone who talked about his having to learn to excel at programming for events because he couldn’t play an instrument. During that conversation I realized the opposite was true for me.

I got my first guitar in 7th grade. I formed a “band” in 8th grade, and have been playing in some capacity ever since. Music has always been part of what I do in Youth Ministry programming.

In other words, I have never had to learn how to effectively program, meaning I found a growth area–something I wanted to add to my leadership toolbox.

Let me take a moment to acknowledge programming is bigger than running a game. It’s the total package. Programming builds the total experience. But, for me, I’ve got to start somewhere.

As I was preparing for our trip last week, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try to do something other than music in our programming. In the fall, I attended a conference where we played “Extreme Bingo”. I downloaded the file from Download Youth Ministry, and tried to prepare myself for what came next.

At the end of the night, “Extreme Bingo” was a blast. I had a student leader take the role of number caller, and we played 5 rounds. The kids had fun. I had fun. The adults had fun.

My thoughts today, however, are not about how I did it, but that I did it. I recognized an area in my leadership that needed growth, and decided to challenge myself to do it. I have not arrived as a master programmer, nor will I ever, but I have taken the first step to improve.

So much of leadership boils down to knowing where we excel and where we fail. I do not have to be the best at any one area, but I have to be willing to try and willing to bring in people to help.

So, what about you? Where are you stretching yourself to grow? What do you need to add to your leadership toolbox? If you were to sit down and self-evaluate, what risk do you need to take? Are you willing to take it? Who can you bring along to help you take the risk?

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