Who should be on your Journey Leadership Team?Phil Harbridge
The leaders you choose to be on your Journey leadership team can often make or break the experience. I’m well aware that there are several factors that go into the decision about who participates from a school/church administrative vantage point, but keeping these ideas in mind may enhance the process. Here are some time-tested suggestions for choosing the best leaders who will make your Journey truly memorable.
1. Someone who is a believer
This goes without saying if you are a Christian school seeking to inspire students, parents and staff with an experience that will make the Word of God come alive. Your leaders should be people who have a first-hand faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t assume all do. Ask, discuss, and discover the person’s journey of faith and how they embarked on the adventure of new life in Christ. This is foundational- the leadership team should be united around Jesus. Jesus is the reason for taking a Journey and the person whom the lands, history, and experience are about. Don’t short-circuit your Journey by having someone in leadership that doesn’t share that joyful relationship with you.
2. Someone who is passionate about the experience not someone
looking for a free trip.It happens. Even the best of leaders could be just in it for the shwag. Look for someone who gets excited about what it will mean for their teaching, their students or their own faith. Notice how they talk—if it’s frequently about the ‘good deal’ they’re getting as a leader…take a second look. If it’s more often about the impact the Journey will have on themselves and others…now you’re talking!
3. Someone who takes direction
You need to have people who can grasp the big picture and yet carry out the small details. As leaders on a team, there will be times when decisions have to be made and implemented. Simply agreeing with a decision isn’t necessarily being a leader— carrying it out, is. Look for someone who is able to carry out a decision with skill and authority.
4. Someone who’s personality adds diversity to the Leadership Team
Personality matters. A leaders’ personality can add a real dynamic quality to the leadership team. If you have a team that is exclusively driven by intimacy and creating relationship, you may have deep conversations but never move out of the airport. On the other hand, if you have a team made up of adventurous thrill-seekers you may end up losing some of your group along the way. Without trying to be too simplistic, it’s the whole Mary (be) and Martha (do) challenge. You need a balance (as much as possible) of personality traits that can provide a full compliment to the leadership team. There is an itinerary of your journey and people expect to follow through with that, but there should also be spontaneous fun, and growth as deep-spirited friends.
5. Someone who has a backbone
In a sense this goes along with #3, but needs added emphasis because you are journeying to places outside the North American bubble—we’re not in Kansas anymore! Your leaders must show strong, capable, authoritative guidance and direction. They don’t have to be all-knowledgeable about the places you’ll be, but they should command respect when mobilizing, moving and modeling. You can’t afford to have weak and ineffectual leaders.
6. Someone who respects other cultures
Chances are that if you’re selecting leaders from colleagues on staff, then they will have an inherent interest and respect for other cultures, but it’s important to remember that leaders set the tone for the journey. You want people who are naturally curious and teachable so that they model that same candour for all the others on your Journey.
7. Someone who has, and offers, creative ideas
It’s one thing to have a creative idea; it’s another to offer it. At times, particularly in the developmental phase before embarking on journey, you’ll need creative ideas for strategically preparing your whole group for the experience ahead. That’s where you need crazy imaginative people to offer imaginative ideas (that they’ll also help carry out) for the greater good, growth and readiness of the group.
8. Someone who’s not just a ‘big kid’
Teachers/adults can sometimes be the worst. When you’re in the Land, you don’t need a leader who is always climbing things and not interested in the Guides’ insight. You need leaders who will work with you not demand your parental supervision. Leaders set the tone, and your leaders should be people who inspire through attentive invested involvement.
BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY
Christian Journeys can help your School Trip more exciting, educational, and enriching! Contact Phil today and build a better Journey together.