Carissa is fairly new to Club Beyond, and has a true passion for teenage girls wherever she goes. I noticed in her current position with the on-post elementary school that she had a deep love for students that peaked my interest and asked her to come to a Club meeting to check us out.  After that first time at Club, Carissa was hooked. She noticed some of her students she had years before, making it a perfect combination.  As Carissa has developed as a leader, she has embraced the whole ideal of relational ministry to our teenage girls. She brought to the attention of the leadership team the importance of a girl’s day just like we had a guy’s day in a previous month. She worked together with another leader named Katrina and they put on an event that reached girls in a way that brought them all together on one page.

Carissa recently approached me asking if she and Jenny could get together and have lunch, allowing them to visit outside of Club Beyond.  “Is it ok that I changed the game around a bit this week?” Garrett was asking me this as he organized things for a Sunday afternoon game during our group study time. Garrett is another leader who is relatively new to Club Beyond and has a heart for students to come and enjoy a safe place where they can call home away from their own home. When Garrett originally began working with us, he excelled as a quiet leader where he would keep watch over the whole group and basically be a safety person, ensuring there was watch over the whole group each time we got together. It wasn’t until very recently that Garrett with the eager initiative and precise ingenuity lead the group in more active games outside.

Leadership teams don’t happen overnight. They take much prayer, patience, and time. Recently in a meeting with our main Chaplains on a Monday morning, a devotional was shared reflecting light on the story in 2 Kings 5, specifically how Naaman wasn’t willing to be humble when he needed healing. He was highly regarded and a key leader of the time, but not willing to hear how he could be healed from his leprosy. The devotional ended commenting what is a ‘must’ in being a leader in whatever we do: flexibility, teach-ability and humility.  Personally, I can be quite the type-A mentality and have learned through our blessed leadership team that when I let God run the show through our leaders, anything is possible.

Our leadership team has flourished in so many areas with each individual person being crucial to the success of Club Beyond.  They are starting to plug themselves into pieces of the weekly Club meetings along with discussing amongst themselves about starting small groups and spending time with our students away from normal Club events. This is where you call the ‘rubber hits the road’ mentality. God is immensely great – this is living proof with our leaders here. I am indebted to them for their passionate hearts and desires to pour their own time and lives into our military youth.

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