Celia has worked one summer as a FUGE Bible study leader, and this summer will serve as a missions mobilizer. Currently, Celia is a student at Lee University in Cleveland, TN pursuing a degree in Communication Studies and Christian Religion and she is also the Children’s Ministry Intern at First Baptist Cleveland. Celia loves reading, road trips, and watching Friends.
I knew I was a leader. I was well aware of that. I had been told that for as long as I can remember. Every committee, office, club…you name it, in which I participated, I was the president. I loved being in charge, and I really loved having a title. Not until my two weeks as a Student Leader Apprentice (SLA) did I learn just how skewed my definition of leadership really was. I spent two weeks of my summer of 2013 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the summer before my senior year of high school, and my mindset has been radically changed in three specific aspects ever since.
The first thing I learned during that summer was the importance of intentionality. For example, when we pass someone and say, “Hey! How are you?,” do we actually care about their response? Do we stop to listen and have a genuine concern for their answer? At SLA, I was taught to stop what I was doing and listen wholeheartedly. We were taught to be intentional with each other, with staff, and with campers not only in conversation, but in our day-to-day tasks and in our worship. One night, we [my SLA leader and my six SLA-dies] sat around a table after worship. We shared everything ranging from what we were struggling with, to what our hopes and dreams looked like, to our fears. This humid summer night was the first time I experienced true intentionality in a place of authentic community. They cared for me, they cried with me, and they listened to me, but the huge step for me was that I felt the same way for them that they did for me. I had become so content and complacent but that night, with those girls, and most importantly because of who Jesus is, I let go of that apathy. Jesus calls us to be real, even when it’s hard.
The second thing I learned was that titles really do not matter…at all. Yes, it’s cool to have one and it might make you feel better about yourself, but if you are not living up to the expectations that the title holds, then what difference does it make? This realization hit me like a ton of bricks: If you are “too good” to be wiping the tables after a pizza party or cleaning up the craft supplies, you might need to recheck your thinking. I had been so caught up in having a fancy-schmancy title that I forgot the heartbeat of leadership; being a leader is not about a title or a position. Being a leader is about being a servant. You can’t have good leaders if they are not good servants first. I only wish I had been taught that sooner!
The third thing I learned was if I see a need, I should fill that need. If there are chairs needing to be stacked, or a student sitting by herself, or a water cooler needing a refill, go do it. No grumbling, no fuss, no recognition. Just do it—right, Nike? The “see a need, fill a need” policy stands out because it is so incredibly simple.
These three lessons I learned during my time at SLA have stuck with me for the last two and a half years, and I’d be willing to bet that they will last a lifetime. These lessons can be applied in friendships, the workplace, ministry, and especially being a staffer with FUGE Camps.
I worked my first summer of camp at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina in 2015. These foundational truths about leadership, serving, and loving that I learned previously helped tremendously in my first summer of working camp. I’m thankful for all that my time at SLA taught me.
For more information about SLA and to apply, please visit http://www.fugecamps.com/sla/.