Staff training is so close. Intense discipleship training is on the horizon. What will you teach? Observation and experience tell me that a lot of staff will be taught learning styles, social styles and leadership styles along with a lot of age group characteristics. All helpful, but will these train a counselor to impact a life? Ministry happens when the love of God actively gets applied to another person’s life, or Christ love personified in camp by the counselor or staff.
I Corinthians 13 often viewed at the surface level never gets a deeper look for the character changing impact it should create in our lives. With a deeper look, it provides practical character training for staff for leadership and counseling that you can refer back to all summer long. Christ love is the greatest motivating power in the universe. It’s at the heart of the gospel.
From the book Leading With Love by Alexander Strauch, consider the practical impact of teaching these character qualities of Christian love to your summer camp staff.
- Love is patient: In light of Christ’s patience toward us, who are we to think that we cannot patiently bear with the weakness and failures of others – or the wrongs they have done to us?
- Love is kind: Kindness is the readiness to do good, to help, to relieve burdens, to be useful, to serve, to be tender, and to be sympathetic to others. “Kindness is love in work clothes.” Leadership without kindness is disaster.
- Love does not envy: Envy is totally incompatible with love. It destroys love, and with it a leaders character. Love is large-hearted, other-oriented, content, and full of good will toward others.
- Love does not boast: Boasting does not build up or serve the Christian community. It does not honor Christ. Rather, it intimidates and it divides people. Love promotes and praises others. So that those who are possessed of Christ’s love delight in focusing attention on others.
- Love is not arrogant: Hardly anything is more contrary to the example of Christ than arrogant self importance. Amy Carmichael said, “Those who think too much of themselves don’t think enough.” Teachers of God’s word must be humble servants.
- Love is not rude: The verb for rude conveys the idea of acting disgracefully, contrary to established standards of proper conduct and decency. Thus inappropriate dress, inconsiderate talk, disregard for other people’s time or moral conscience, taking advantage of people, tactlessness, ignoring the contributions or ideas of others, running roughshod over other’s plans or interest, inappropriate behavior with the opposite sex, basic discourtesy and rudeness, and general disregard for proper social conduct are all evidence of a lack of love and have no place in the church. Loving people are considerate of how their behavior affects others, even the little things.
- Love is not selfish: If Jesus had sought His own advantage there would have been no cross. Loving leaders put themselves out to serve others…people in need; they are self-forgetful and ultimately self renouncing.
- Love is not provoked: It is not irritable, not easily provoked to an emotional state of anger. Those who control their anger control potentially explosive situations and bring healing to damaged emotions.
- Love is not resentful: It does not hold grudges and does not keep list of evil. If we refuse to let go of emotional hurts, if we enjoy nursing old wounds, if we feel compelled to get even with our enemies, we will be devoured by bitterness, anger, and forgiveness. Love makes a point of forgetting wrongs suffered.
- Love does not rejoice over evil: W. Graham Scroggie said, “What a man rejoices in is a true test of his character. To be glad when evil prevails, or to rejoice in the misfortunes of others is indicative of great moral degradation
- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things: Love is tenacious. Unloving people are week because they are the ones who are controlled by their petty, self centered cravings. Faith in God’s ultimate triumph and in God’s good intentions for His people gives realistic optimism even in the face of repeated difficulties and disappointments.
Here is a book well worth the purchase to bring depth to your staff training and ongoing discipleship. The principles will guide to staff lives well lived and provide an excellent foundation for counseling the situations that come into to camp each week. How could I Corinthians 13 be used to change you staff attitudes?
Leading With Love by Alexander Strauch, 2006, Lewis and Roth publishing, Littleton Colorado.