rebelling against low expectations

How and/or where can I gain experience in leadership?


KIM WRITES: I’m keen to cultivate leadership skills and gain leadership experience not only because showing leadership is important for my high school transcript, but also because I’m trying to mature in character and further live out 2 Timothy 4:12.

My problem is that finding an opportunity for leadership is already a hard thing! My family and I are still searching for a church to settle in, so I currently don’t have a way to show leadership in church.

Do you have any suggestions for ways I can show leadership elsewhere? I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts as I’m really struggling with this question.

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  • Hey Kim such a great question!! First off may a ask were you live? and second i struggle with this to. One place i found to lead in is my church. which has a student lead conference every summer called GoldRush! it’s not about Gold 🙂 but it’s a life changing conference for students by students. and so many lives have been changed through it and so many lives been given to the Lord. this last summer was my first time on the servant team and it was amazing, and so rewarding to lead my fellow teens. teens that are younger than me same age and older. i highly recommend getting involved with your church in any way possible. And if your interested you can come to GoldRush this next summer, you’ll never regret it. just let me know 😉 i hope this all helps 🙂
    May God Bless You!!

    • Hey Madeleine! I (unfortunately 😉 don’t live in the US. I live in–hum, trying not to get too specific here–I live around Asia. I’m afraid my family doesn’t have the budget for me to go to GoldRush…. But thanks a lot for your suggestion!! I like the idea of teens leading other teens. God willing, maybe I’ll set up something like GoldRush where I live, one day! 🙂
      Thank you! God bless you too!!

      • WOW! that’s cool 😉 i’m sorry you aren’t able to come 🙁 it’s really rewarding leading my peers. i’ve come to have a new found respect for them. and you never know how much you impact them. i love serving cause i love impacting people for good and sharing what i believe with them. i love doing that through dance cause i’m a dancer, i just don’t know how to use that talent to reach people besides at GoldRush. 🙂
        Your Welcome! God Bless!!

        • Hey, Madeleine! Some of my dance friends have gone to GoldRush before, but I haven’t ever been able to go because I go out of state to a dance intensive during that time. So I don’t know exactly what happens there, but I have heard lots of good things from the girls that have gone! I just want to encourage you in your dancing. God can open lots of doors to serve Him and testify about Him through dance. It doesn’t even have to be special events or something that feels really big. Recitals are another “performance” where you can both serve God and lead others. I say performance in quotation marks because I like to keep the focus off of performing (dancing for people) and focus instead on worshipping (dancing for an audience of One – God.) Even in classes and rehearsals you can lead. Praise the Lord with your tendu combination! 🙂 The Bible says do EVERYTHING for God (Col. 3:17, Eph. 6:7) so that means classes, too. Set an example by how you focus, respect your teachers, give 100% every time you run your dance. I have found, too, that the less I focus on perfection in technique and the more I focus on excellence for GOD’S GLORY that He honors that and I actually end up dancing better!! If you have the opportunity, I also recommend teaching or assisting in a class. I love teaching so much because you have such an opportunity to impact those little kids by example and with your words and just being able to demonstrate God’s love to them! Keep working hard, God will bless you diligence!
          – Amanda (Ps. 46:10)

          • Thank You so much Amanda that was so encouraging to me 🙂 i get so down sometimes cause i feel like i’m not doing anything to impact the world or to invest in the lives of the next generation. and what you said about giving 100% is so true and i’ve been trying to do that to not only work my hardest but give my best and do it unto the Lord and to worship him through that. Where do you take ballet at? and i might know some of your friends 🙂 i guess you live in Georgia then? I so encourage you to come to GoldRush it’s so amazing just skip your intensive 🙂 hehe thank you so much for your encouraging words. the struggle for me is that i want to use my talent for Christ but i don’t know were to do that. i want to impact the world through dance but finding places to dance at are few and far between. i know God’s given me this talent and i want to use it to impact the world for him!
            May God Bless You!! Thank You Again!!!! 😀

          • Oh, you are welcome! 🙂
            I know how hard it is when you feel like you don’t have a place or opportunity to dance for God’s glory and ministry as much as your heart would like to! I have been going through that recently as I just recently stopped dancing with the dance ministry I had been with for the past 5 years. It has been a hard journey, but God is teaching me how to be content where He has me and to praise Him in the little, in-between moments of life.
            Yeah, I live in Georgia. 🙂 I dance with Perimeter Ballet (out of Perimeter Church) It’s actually kind of far away from my house, but that is where we felt God was leading me to go dance so we just spend our lives driving to and from dance practices 🙂 Where do you dance at?? Have you ever gone to Project Dance Atlanta?

          • You inspire me!! I love you dear sister!! Never let your light fade away!! it’s bright and shining!! 😀
            Love You

  • Well what my pastor told me when I was getting some counseling several years ago was that the best place to learn leadership skills is in your own home. I would suggest practicing with your younger siblings or if you’re the youngest in you family practice with a niece or nephew. Once you feel you’ve done well with the people close to you, try maybe helping out with Sunday school at your church or other things like that.

    • I’m the youngest in my family, and my relatives live in another country. But thanks for your suggestions, Sydnie! I’ll definitely work on learning leadership skills in my own home! 🙂

    • Great thoughts Sarah! thanks for having the humility to share something that you struggle with. I guess I just felt moved to respond because I struggle with the same thing.

    • Thanks a lot, Sarah! That article on leaderships is fantastic — I’ll definitely try to implement it! 🙂
      P.S. I have the same weak spot as you 😉 Gotta work on having a good, enthusiastic attitude (Colossians 3:23)!

  • Some, such as firstborns, have an advantage due to their birth order. Others that don’t have that step ahead would be wise to find role models that inspire them. Read books on great godly leaders. There is a book called ‘Spiritual Leadership’ by Oswald Sanders that completely covers what is required for good leadership skills. Should be a must read for anyone desiring leadership. Maturity is a key element for leadership and that comes with time and experiences. But even though young, the in depth study in the Word of God and obedience to it will bring a sense of maturity beyond your years. I pray the best for you.

  • I dont think leadership is about showing something. It’s about doing something without being known at all. First thing first you gotta be the leader of your heart Kim. Its the hardest one you know.

    And i believe God has it’s time for you. You just gotta be patience because its the part of your leadership training.

  • I’m not an expert, but three quick thoughts: start with your quiet time (which takes self-discipline), make sure your chores are done promptly, and lastly: have you ever considered getting involved in a children’s ministry? If you pray about it and feel it might be a good fit you could get experience by helping at a Child Evangelism Fellowship Good News Club or an AWANA program.

  • Kim,
    Try finding out if there are any camps around where you live
    and see if you can be a leader there, and as everyone else
    has already said, when you find a church that you and your
    family decide to settle into, you can help out in Sunday school
    or run it.

    Yearly in New Zealand (where I live) a huge camp is held called
    Day camp. (I looked up Day camp and it said Day camp is run
    in lot’s of different country’s, so there might be one where you
    live) Day camp is a Christian camp that is three days long but
    you don’t sleep there instead you are picked up in the morning
    and dropped off at night back to your own house.
    This year there where 60 teen leaders 100 adult leaders and
    306 kids, Teen leaders are aged from 13 to 18, Adult leaders
    anything above (Not to old) and the kids from 6 to 12.
    Hope you find a church Kim.


  • Thanks, Sam! I’ll definitely try to lead by example! The tricky part is showing leadership in a way that I can put in my high school transcript….

  • In terms of trying to mature and live up to 2 Timothy 4:12, I think lots of others have addressed it – start at home, it’s all about your heart, not a position, etc.

    In terms of actual experience you can put on your high school transcript… well, my first thought is to start/lead something yourself. Start a book club (hey, maybe you can start with Do Hard Things! :P) or a debate club, head a fundraiser, organise something for charity/kindness (like grabbing a bunch of friends and doing a performance in a nursing home). Or get amongst what someone else is doing and see if you can take a lead there (like becoming a leader at an after-school-care program. I’ve done that.). If you can, get along to a camp you can be a leader at. It must be hard without a home church yet (praying you find one!), where you can do things like lead bible studies, or junior youth group, or help out in kid’s church. But as soon as you find a church to call home, find out what you can do and do it!

    Love your heart, Kim!

    • P.S. I’ve written this coming from an Australian city-girl perspective, so I’m sorry if it doesn’t apply to your situation. It totally may, and that’s awesome, but I just wanted to say I do realise not everyone is in the situation I (and a lot of people on this site) are in.

  • Hi Kim,
    Well, I know a lot of people have been talking about leading by your example and with your words and actions. That is very true, leadership (like so many other things) start with your heart!
    I wouldn’t be afraid to start small. Matthew 25:23 says, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been
    faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    Look for opportunities to step up in activities you participate in. Once you find a home church that will be one place to definitely lead. Are there groups or projects at your school that you could help out with? If you are homeschooled, do you have a support group that does events? Are there hobbies or other activities you enjoy doing that have the potential of needing a leader for something? Is there something you are passionate about? What could you do to help yourself and others grow spiritually/change something/impact others around you – it depends on what it is you are passionate about as to what your goal would be and how that would look practically. Be creative! 🙂 There maybe something hiding in plain sight! And ask God, He can open doors for you to be able to lead in ways that you never imagined!!

  • Hey Kim, great question. I really enjoy studying leadership, and I’m always looking for other ways to practice it. As Christians, it’s important like others have said to make sure that we lead ourselves in a godly life before we can expect God to entrust us to lead others correctly. Some basic essentials would be reading the Bible, meditating on and obeying the Bible daily, praying without ceasing, and honoring parents and authorities in all our responsibilities. Some things I’ve done or am doing that God has used to teach me about leadership are: write a book; start a blog, Bible study, potluck and sports night, evangelism night/day; launch a business, join a network marketing company with good leadership training; learn a new skill to teach to others; volunteer/serve in your community/church; and disciple newer believers formally by a regular get together, or informally through conversation by asking questions and sharing Bible verses.

    Asking great questions is a good start – Keep seeking godly counsel and I know you’re going to do great!

    “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” -Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)

    God bless,

  • Been meaning to chime in since you posted this and without doing my homework and reading all previous comments, here goes:

    Being a good leader begins with being a good follower. Practice obeying the leaders in your life and learn to listen closely for God’s quiet voice. Be ready to follow Him, wherever He may lead. Give Him a blank check and expect Him to call you to go where you least expect.

    Next, I hear the ‘struggle’ in your voice and I pray for peace and trust instead. God is certainly big enough to prepare you for the job He has for you. Our efforts to ‘groom’ ourselves for His service often build pride and slow His process down. Read Brother Lawrence, The Practice of The Presence of God. Here is a man who’s work was lowly in food service, but who served God well, right where he was planted. Know that He has you right where He wants you right now. His plans can take many years to bear fruit. Look to Him every day and He will lead you.

  • I would see if your church has places open where they would be willing to place you. I know that working alongside adults in a sunday school classroom has helped me a lot!

  • Hey!! 🙂 That is so awesome!! I’m sorry it took me so long to answer you back, I’ve been super busy and kept meaning to reply but… 🙁
    Anyways, I can’t answer all of your questions right now because I don’t want to say exactly where I am and whatnot, but I am working on starting a blog soon and as soon as that is set up I will have a more public email address that I can give to you so that we can talk more! 🙂
    I am homeschooled 🙂
    I have been dancing for 12 years, and I am in level 5A. We do have our Christmas show coming up, maybe if you asked some of the people at church they might be able to tell you about it? Or I can give you details on it once my other email address is up!
    Oh, I know Stillpointe! 🙂 I actually saw Ms. Rebecca at Project Dance! Were you by any chance at that dance day over the summer where they had all the classes and then danced on the grass at that shopping center??
    Sorry again that it took me so long to write this! I hope we can talk more soon!!

    • oh it’s ok 😉 That’s so cool!! oh my goodness yes i can’t wait for your blog 😉 and i’d love to talk more!!
      i’ve been dancing for 11 years and i’m 15. i’m in level 4B and yes i will ask them 🙂 i’ll come if i’m able. wow that’s cool!! and yes i was were you the one that had the tennis ball? or were you somone else? i can’t remember 🙁 but yeah i was their on dance day i can’t believe we were in the same place and we’ve met again!! imagine that!! lol. 😀
      God Bless,

      • Hey!!
        Haha! Yes, that was me! That is so funny, there are several places now where I am know by my injuries.

        My dad just got me my email yesterday! So here you go:
        [email protected]

        The blog itself isn’t actually up and running yet, but the email works! 🙂

          • Hey yes i did i’m so sorry i haven’t responded life has been busy of late. 🙁 i’m so sorry!! i will respond later today 🙂
            God Bless,

          • Haha! 🙂 okay it is fine! I literally JUST sent you an email to see how you were! No worries, I understand busy!!

  • We have a Christian campsite not far away(about 350kms), that runs all sorts camps, from ski camps (it’s on a lake so that would be water ski;) to craft camps. There are kids camps that Teens have the opportunity to help lead the younger kids & if you have a craft you are good at you can teach it to others. There is lots of prep for these but it’s often done as a team, so more experienced ones can help the lesser experienced. Lots of different churches use the camp & lots of the camps are multi denomitational
    You could have a look around for something like that
    But like so many of the others have said, the best leaders are those who can serve others 🙂

  • For leadership training and experience I would highly suggest joining an organization called Civil Air Patrol. It is for ages 12-21. You study leadership like a school subject and get many, many opportunities to get leadership experience and do hard things. I highly suggest you look into it.

  • 4 years ago, my private Christian school started The Micah Conference. It is a conference in mid June where high school students get together and hear about what they can do to change the world for the better and have conversations with other students about this. This conference is four consecutive days long and at cairn university in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and we bring in speakers from all around the country. This year we had 78 students attend and we got to hear from Andy Crouch, the editor of Christianity Today magazine, about what our true purpose as youth is. A cool thing about us is that we are totally student organized and we really understand how to make it a fun time. Please contact us if you want to know more!

    [email protected]

    Or visit our website:

  • I would look into joining your local 4H group. It has helped me become a great leader and whether you live on a farm or in the city you can join. There are so many opportunities to show leadership and become a better leader in society. It has changed my life.

rebelling against low expectations

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