I had the great privilege of helping out with a high school retreat at my church this last weekend. There were many great blessings and moments throughout the weekend. I want to pick out and share a few simple moments that really stuck with me and reminded me of what it means to be a leader.
I saw a young woman go and sit by someone who was alone. They stayed there and talked for quite a while and there were lots of smiles and laughs. This reminded me that leaders are able to find and bring out the best in everyone, even those whom most people would pass by.
I heard a young man share that this was both his first and last retreat since he is a senior. He shared his regret that he would not be able to go on more retreats and encouraged the other retreatants not to pass up any opportunities to go on more retreats. This reminded me that leaders learn from their mistakes and share those lessons to help those around avoid the same mistake.
I had a great conversation with an athlete who has suffered several injuries and who has taken on more of a coaching role in the meantime. This reminded me that leaders will follow their passion and do not let obstacles keep them from being involved and contributing.
I heard a senior affirm several younger students and encourage them to step up and take on leadership roles. This reminded me that leaders empower others and call their people to be the very best that they can be.
I saw retreatants cry together when remembering the sudden loss of a classmate last year. This reminded me that leaders have great empathy.
I heard members of the retreat leadership team share their own stories and lessons from their lives. This reminded me that the best way to lead is by example.
I saw some of the retreatants serving food at mealtimes. This reminded me that the essence of leadership is service.
I saw these high schoolers having fun with old friends and making new ones. This reminded me that teamwork is what makes everything possible.
I got to have many great conversations with the high schoolers over the course of the weekend and I learned a lot from them. This reminded me that leaders are always learning and are humble enough to learn from those they lead.
Finally, I simply had a blast on the retreat and saw so many people around me who did as well. This reminded me that leadership is a joyful, exciting, challenge for both the leader and the led.