Where Do Servant Leaders Come From?


ELI equips Christian leaders who lead differently because they see the world differently

In his New York Times best-seller Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek asks where leaders come from. Not just any leaders, but leaders who sacrifice for the good of the group - who lead by serving others rather than self-promotion. 

Whether intentional or incidental, Sinek preaches ideas about servant leadership that are in-step with Christ's example for the Church. Jesus is the ultimate servant leader, the leader on whom Glisson's sibling ministry, the Experiential Leadership Institute (ELI), is based. And when prevailing leadership experts of the day start preaching Christian leadership concepts - Sinek, Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, and others - we incorporate it into ELI's leadership development curriculum. 

The North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries family begins developing servant leaders with rising 1st graders at Grow Day Camps and rising 2nd graders at Glisson's Village and Outpost mini camps. That servant leadership continues across all ages of all programs as campers increasingly shift from the starting point of participating in Christian community to our aim of each camper helping produce Christian community by serving the needs of the group over his or her own.

And then, when campers are cognitively ready for it as rising 11-12th graders, we pivot; we lift the curtain, immerse them in leadership theory, and give them a chance to practice Christian servant leadership again and again while being mentored until it becomes so ingrained it's part of who they are; they see the world differently: it's not about them, it's about Christ's love for everyone. ELI is that pivot point. It's an intense, condensed, multi-week experience of what's been going on at Glisson for over 90 years: Christian servant leadership development. And what ELI offers for high schoolers continues for college-age young adults through Summer Staff leadership positions across Glisson, Grow, and ELI each year.

So to Sinek's question: Where do servant leaders come from? It's far from the only place, but this family of ministries has been a powerful answer for nearly a century - and we'll be at it again this summer. (Share On Facebook)
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