A couple of years ago on our ‘annual’ grad trip we found ourselves in a very cramped van, an Alberta thunderstorm, and a left hand turn straight into a big Alberta half-ton truck. Now, normally when I find myself in Alberta and I begin to imagine the kind of people who drive these trucks, I imagine the typical oily rig-pig who would sooner shoot you then talk to you. Thankfully this was not the case.
With our mode de transportation now severely hamstringed our trip to West Deadmonton Mall seemed like only a bleak possibility. We were stranded in hickville Alberta with not a lot of money and almost no vacancy in the entire town. Finally, we found a little place that was way more money then we could all afford but, under the circumstances, it was our only choice. And so, like any ‘its your only choice’ options, we took the room…which turned out to be a huge blessing; once we had said that we would take it they gave us half price, moved us all into a room with a extra bedroom and a kitchen! Awesome! I felt ok. Except that I had to somehow get all of these teenagers home.
To make the story shorter then it is: between the free mechanic, an extra night on the road, an amazing breakfast that the grads all chipped in for, cooked, and then made us eat, it was, by far, the most fun I had ever had on a youth ministry trip. Not only that, but when I mentioned that I was writing a top ten youth ministry memories piece, a few people jumped in right away and said, “You’ve got to write about that grad trip!” It was amazing.
I learned a very important leadership lesson on that trip: Leadership and Community will not grow unless it is tested. Crises is the lifeblood that must flow through the veins of every effective leadership community. Crises shared together builds shared memory and experience that is among the most important aspects of ‘coming-togetherness.’ Crises creates the learning that we try and teach in workshops and on blogs. In fact, this trip impacted my style of leadership so much that I now do two things:
1. If I feel there isn’t a lot of crises happening – I create it, and
2. I’ve made road trips a mandatory part of our young adult leadership team: each person on our young adult leadership team is required to go on a roadtrip at least once every 6-months with people they have just met in the last 6-months. Awesome!
Check back for Number 9 Coming soon!
Technorati tags: youth ministry, leadership crises, leadership