What do Lisa Blystra, Marlae Gritter and Lori Ray have in common? All three have significant ministry roles and all three say they developed leadership skills in Coffee Break. I asked them to share a few things they learned about leadership from Coffee Break. Here’s what they said:
Lisa Blystra, President/CEO of Crossroads Prison Ministry:
“Coffee break provided me with an opportunity, as a very young leader to lead right from where I was. The Bible studies were written in normal, everyday language which was not only meaningful for those in attendance but also for myself. I loved the robust and rich discussions that took place as people got to know each other. Coffee Break became that comfortable place where we could exchange life stories in community… where I could share my faith in a way that brought encouragement and renewed hope to those around me.”
Marlae Gritter, Director of Global Advancement of Moms in Prayer International:
“I learned to be a good listener and not to dominate the conversation.
I learned how important encouragement and the incredible power of investing in a woman's life (first personal). If she knows you care and are willing to listen to her story and her culture and her language, she will respect you and let you lead her. Another way to say it would be that I learned to be a 'student' of each woman first - and then it gave me the right to be the leader."
I learned to be prepared to lead and to expect it would be good and it would be hard. That's just what leadership is.”
Lori Ray, Executive Director of Oceana Love Inc.:
“....I have been serving as the executive director of Love INC of Oceana County in Michigan for the past 5 years. Prior to stepping into this position I had the privilege of leading many discussion groups through Coffee Break Bible Study. I am grateful for the opportunities Coffee Break has given me to develop leadership and interpersonal communication skills, as well as deepening and strengthening my faith. Using inductive methods in our study groups has taught me the benefit of asking good questions to draw out thoughts and ideas. The disciplines of preparation and intentional community have also impacted the way I lead and how I prioritize things. Through Coffee Break and our small group discussions I have learned so much about trusting God and looking to him for wisdom and direction. I know I am a better leader for our organization because of the time I have spent with Coffee Break.
What about you? What have you learned about leadership from your experience with leading Bible discovery small groups? What leadership tips are imbedded in these testimonies?