“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

In this week’s reflection, I’m seeking hard-earned wisdom, ideas and advice from our friends worldwide who read this.

What is a book, article, app or similar resource that has helped you to grow as a family member, leader, or follower of Christ?

I ask because we are focused on building a network of leaders among our 800 scholarship students who share a lifelong commitment to:

  1. Love God with their whole heart, mind, body and soul;
  2. Love their neighbors like Jesus loves them; and
  3. Raise their family to do the same.

We are improving our leadership development and spiritual formation curriculum across all six of our partner communities, starting at the high school level.  We’d love to hear from you about what has been most helpful in your experience. 
Let me be clear.  We’ve got gold in the teams who lead our work. They have been working for years on how to offer the very best of themselves and the best resources they have to help our scholars grow.  This past week, I was in Guatemala and Nicaragua, and I’ll be in our other three nations over the next few months.  We want to lift up their best practices while bringing others to share with them. 
Please let me know what training, book or resource has meant the most to you.
As just a few personal examples,

  • Taking the StrengthFinder assessment in 2010 opened my eyes to how my strengths helped—and hurt—the teams I led, and I have tried to build teams leading from their strengths ever since.
  • Twelve years after our wedding, I read Sacred Marriage, where the author asks, “What if God designed marriage not to make us happy but to make us holy?” That question, and that book, completely changed my perspective.  I’ve become a better husband and father as a result.
  • Inspired by our scholars’ book club in Ethiopia last summer, I read Atomic Habits.  Since then, I’ve enjoyed a good run of “stacking habits” like praying, working out, and learning Spanish.

I’m sharing these examples with you to prime the pump.  It would mean a lot to us to hear real-world experiences of what has worked best for others. Please respond to this email to let me know what has helped you become a better family member, leader, or follower of Christ.

Only God knows what I was trying to do here. Our scholar got the goal!

Mike Tenbusch, IntSam President

Mike joined IntSam in 2018 after two decades of leading social change in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. He’s a University of Michigan Law grad and author of The Jonathan Effect: Helping Kids and Schools Win the Battle Against Poverty. He and his wife, Maritza, have three children who keep them young.

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