Lessons Learnt @Youth Camp 2010 - Part 3

10:57:00 AM

Sorry for the delay! This is our last post on Event Planning. We have already discussed a lot of the essentials i.e Preparation and Planning along with Delegation and Team Work. Let's take a look at what else comes handy for an event preparation!

Lesson #5
Lead by Example

There is a theory that I ascribe to. A leader is a leader not just onstage when they make a public speech or something of that sort, but a leader is one who does his or her life correctly backstage!

It was Albert Schweitzer who said, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."

I have heard of the saying that leadership is more caught than taught! People are always observing you and if you are a leader then they are watching you more closely than you know. They learn more not from what you teach them with words but by what actions you show them from your own life. The more you exhibit your private life correctly, the more respect, trust and influence you gain with them as their leader.

During this camp preparation, there were always too many things on my mind. Since we were working together, I would often be around people most of the time. I would often present myself as a tired worn out person. I would try and avoid conversation as much as possible. There were even times when I almost lost my temper because of the stress. I believe that leadership is influence. Leaders are meant to inspire and influence. Being tired, I was far from being inspirational and therefore influential! Definitely not the ideal role model for a leader!

I realize that in leadership, stress is a battle that one will often have to face. And if its not faced correctly, it can have its effects. Learn to deal with the stress factor. How do we handle stress? There are many ways prescribed but here are two that I have found useful:

  • Learn to relax and keep filling the mind with positive thoughts. Meditate on them and believe that all things will work out well. Psychologist William James observes, "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
  • Always open up and share your innermost struggles with a close friend whom you trust. I suggest sharing it with your spouse if you are married; else share it preferably with a person of the same sex. Sharing out relaxes half the stress that is built up within.

Lesson #6
Appreciate, appreciate, and appreciate always!!

 This is something that I had done over and over again right from the start of  the camp. I almost never stopped! Even if it were a small thing, I would bring it up and thank them profusely for it.

I want to quote psychologist William James again, "In every person from the cradle to the grave, there is a deep craving to be appreciated."

When we take timeout to appreciate someone for their involvement and participation, there is a stronger growth in the relationship we have with that person. Appreciation always brings out the best in people. And when that appreciation is coupled with acceptance, love and encouragement, the bond between the team members grow and it creates a supportive environment.
Here are a few tips on how to appreciate people: 

  • Observe constantly.
    • Always watch and pay attention to what everyone is doing. It helps us to find key moments where appreciation can be truly given. 
  • Appreciate sincerely. 
    • When giving appreciation, never give it for the sake of giving, but mean every word that is said. Let it come from the heart. 
  • Appreciate specifically. 
    • Don't appreciate generally. But specifically point out what was it that they did that made the difference. 
  • Appreciate privately.
    • Do take time to appreciate privately. Let them know personally what it meant for them to contribute to the event.  
  • Appreciate publicly.
    • Appreciating privately encourages people but appreciating publicly affirms them. Both are necessary. Always take time to appreciate them in front of other team members.

Lesson #7
Bathe the whole event in prayer.

I have mentioned in my earlier posts, that I am a person of faith. My faith is the most important thing in my life. But I am sensitive to the fact that others may have a very different point of view. I don't want to push my faith on anyone. 

 I have mentioned this as the last lesson for this very reason. My hope is    that as you read this lesson, it will encourage you to explore the faith aspect of your life.

 Steve Meeks observes, "Corporate prayer brings corporate power."  I believe that when we pray, we allow God to intervene into our situation. And when we pray in agreement with like minded people, there is a multiplied flow of the power of God. We can see the situation turning around like never before.

We had many roadblocks leading up to this camp and even during the three days! There were pit stops literally at every juncture. We had a list of prayer points and had motivated everyone to pray. We met once weekly and many people were praying personally too. One week just before the camp dates, we decided to meet up together every day and pray. When we came together and prayed every day, we saw many roadblocks disappear. It’s true that there is power in united prayer.

Here are a few tips on getting prayer mobilized:

1.Pray yourself.
It has to start with yourself. If you don't pray as the leader, then the others won't either! Pray for a spirit of prayer to come upon the people. And the important thing is to keep persevering no matter what.

2.Get support of other leaders.
Talk to the other leaders involved in the event and get their support for encouraging prayer. Get them to pray as well.

3.Have a list of the issues to be prayed.
Always have a common list of the issues to be prayed about. This will create an idea of what are the issues that are being faced and it will bring about a greater sense of unity and oneness in prayer.

4.Create opportunities to pray together.
There are many ways to create opportunities to pray together. It can be two by two meetings, chain prayers, group prayers, phone prayers etc. Always provide a variety for people to pray so that everyone can get involved in at least one.

5.Maintain report and have feedback.
As a leader, report answers to prayer and have a feedback of what is happening all around. Short testimonies to answered prayer can be highly motivational.

On the whole, the camp was such a breakthrough. We saw the hand of God in every situation. Many people experienced God face to face and many lives were changed. It was truly amazing!
We are looking forward to the youth camp this year. If you are somewhere near Cochin, Kerala in the month of October this year, you are most welcome!

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