WOW! A Rainy, soggy, foggy weekend. Sleeping in tents. And, snow and ice on upper Roan Mountain, NC on the last day!! How did we manage? Well, the first Servant Leadership retreat for the 10th and 11th graders at TBC started with a safe arrival through much rain Friday night, then really began with a wonderful mid-morning full course breakfast by Chef Christian on Saturday morning, followed by a work/discussion session on defining and identifiying traits of a servant leader. During this session we began to understand what true listening means as a servant of God. We then made a short excursion to Linville Caverns for a guided tour, then returned to the “Davis Resort” for lunch and another session on servant leadership. This session was unique in that the boys and girls were separated to discuss what gender specific leaders during the life of Jesus did as servants in the Bible. This was a great opportunity for the gender student groups to be more intentional identifying individuals in the Bible that they could look to as a models of servant leadership and how the leaders during the days of Jesus can help us understand this servant leadership concept better. The roles and perspectives of these leaders, whether subtly or intentionally directed, are Biblical references for the students to learn from. The afternoon was so soggy that we just did an outing to a local general store in Roan Mountain to support the economy and get out for a bit. After a great dinner, championed by Chef Christian and his assistant Chef Ashley, of grilled hamburgers, fire pit hotdogs, and baked broccoli and carrots and corn on the cob, we had another session on identifying the communities that students participate in and their roles as leaders in these communities. It is amazing how many different ways our students serve outside of church and the leadership roles they have assumed in these communities! It is just so rewarding to have conversations with our students and have their perspective on different aspects of leadership. They get it….Then Sunday morning, after another super breakfast planned and prepared by Chef Christian (and various adult assistants) the last session was on servant leadership in our own student ministry. WOW! Our students are so observant and have some great ideas of what is good and what needs improvement and how they can serve so that individuals in our student ministry can have a closer walk with God!! They were intentional and very specific in identifying behaviors that they can assume to be better servant leaders, having a sense of accountability and respect for what student ministry at TBC needs to be. The relational growth that developed with those in attendance at this retreat was just heartwarming and I cannot wait to see these servant leaders in action these next 2 years!!
As we left Sunday morning, we went on a journey up the mountain to see the mountain beauty at the peak. What happened next, we were not expecting. We were stopped dead in our tracks in our vehicles due to ice on the road. For safety, we stopped and turned around, but the majestic and beauty of that moment is one no one will ever forget. The fall colors down the mountainside, with the winter ice on the sunlit trees up the mountain, was a gift from God that was, simply glorious and breathtaking!
In retrospect, maybe this was another perspective on servant leadership; a road in life that gives us many options, choices and opportunities; we just have to recognize that as individuals, we have to do what is best for others, not what we may have set out to accomplish ourselves. That, is servant leadership.