Inspiring New Leadership For Old Challenges: Part 1


Today we are going to meet the interns for the summer for Transformation Leadership.

Jeremy Elliott is the person who will head up our interns for the summer. He was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. For the past couple of years, He’s been working leadership and development in the restaurant business. Transferring to what God’s purposed for his life, and the direction He has set forth into the passions that drive him are welcoming with Transformational Leadership.

Jeremy is excited about leading the interns–leading the leaders as a trickle down effect–and look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.

We’re focused on the new iBook we’re getting ready to work with, which is the digital version of the youth workbook that we have available for those looking to make the leadership development with the eight core values that Transformational Leadership is doing. You’re able to get that iBook at the Apple store, which is so pertinent to reaching the kids these days. We want to make sure that we’re able to reach them at their levels. Creating the apps and the iBooks are great ways to meet their needs.

Next is Niki Jo Moore. She’s about to get married and is one of our interns. We’re excited to have her working with us on several different things. This summer we’re doing so many different levels of training and development.

Niki comes to us from Colorado Christian University, which is awesome. She’s a recent graduate.

Niki Jo has said that this is an incredible opportunity that she felt couldn’t have come at a more convenient time. She was about a week away from graduating college and asked God what was next because she haden’t planned the next step, but she knew he had. Within a couple of days, she received emails about our internship position opening with Transformational Leadership Forum.

Niki Jo spent her entire college career in various leadership positions, mainly working with the discipleship program at Colorado Christian University. She felt this was a very natural transition to go from the college world to now using the gifts and passion that she already has in a new way.

Next up is Thailia Rodrigues. She is a junior at the University of Northern Colorado and was born and raised in Denver.

Thailia is really into non-profits, working with youth, and leadership. She feels this will definitely prepare her to continue leading and to lead leaders, and trickle down in the future in whatever she’s doing.

We also have Lauren Orozco. Lauren also just graduated from Colorado Christian University and has a passion for youth. Kind of like Niki Jo, she got an email two weeks before school was ending about this opportunity, and God opened that door. Lauren comes to us from Houston, Texas and is enthusiastic about continuing her passion for youth in the urban context.

Another addition is our resident visual and technical artist on the team, Derek Hill, who came to us by way of being active in the urban community and church. He has spent time bringing ministry to the necessary technological advances that are currently taking shape in all our lives. He is excited to bring his creativity to the team, and can’t wait to build on his own spiritual foundation through transformation.


We have a new website for Youth with a Future. What we’re looking to do is to start slowly contacting the youth and making sure they have ways of reaching us in their own transformation and their own curiosity about what we’re going to be doing to show them the tools that we have.

Please contact us. We’d love to hear your questions or get in contact with you. Our website is www.ywf.tlf8.com. We’re excited about growing that and reaching kids where they are.

We do have a Twitter site for Transformational Leadership, and we’re doing a lot of great things. We put the interns to work doing videos for our page. We’re really excited about getting a lot of new things out to people so that God can work in their lives the same way He’s working in ours.

We live in an amazing city right now, and there are many cities we want to touch. God has called us to reach urban youth, and the way we’re going to do that is through new technology, more websites, and forums. Things like photo shoots in the city and developing a new video are what will help us go the extra step in doing what God has asked us to do.

Being able to be a part of that was an incredible opportunity and it was a great way to start our time as a team and beginning the summer.
We were able to partner in the evening with the Whittier School and the Antioch Community Church to do some volunteering. Right as we were at our third leg after inadvertently becoming models and actors for God, we were able to go and get some interaction. I think that was most important.

I’d like to ask the question, what does leadership mean to you as an individual?

I heard many years ago that leadership is smelling like your sheep. That has always stuck with me.

Leadership is not something that’s high and lofty above the people you’re leading. It is right next to them and living life with them, whether that be the good parts of life or the bad. Sometimes that means the dirty, messy spirituality and sometimes that means smelling just like sheep. That’s the imagery I like to think of when I think of leadership.

Leadership is leading with people and above people. I think it’s taking what you’ve learned from people who’ve led you and teaching that to others. I also think that you can learn from those you lead. I think it’s a cycle–especially with youth. You can learn from them, and they can learn from you.

It’s relationship–just getting to know people and them getting to know you.
Leadership is embracing our uniqueness and going from the foundation of where God has put our gifts and being able to strengthen other people and communities around you.

The sheep part for me is catching people where they are, moving forward in a purpose that God has for our lives, and doing that by example and listening. The best leaders are great listeners.

As we move forward this summer, we might be able to–in our own lives–better define what leadership is and have that opportunity to lead others. We’re Transformational Leadership, so our objective is to be involved in helping other transform their own lives so they can transform the lives of others and, of course, the situation in which they might find themselves.

Matthew 9:35 says:

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

As Jesus finishes here, he has been teaching and preaching in the cities. When I think about what we’re getting ready to do, we’re going to be involved in the cities. I think that’s where God will have us focus this summer.

Jesus must have been lifted up so that he could see the multitudes and, in seeing them, what he saw was people from all walks of life. He didn’t differentiate between groups. What he saw was people who had a need.

Sometimes, we as leaders want to identify a group that we can better lead than others. In some cases, that might be true. Jesus looked out and saw a multitude of people who had great need. He felt for the people. As leaders, we have to feel for the people. We have to be where they are. We have to have that compassion for others. To have compassion is to feel what they feel and be moved by what is affecting their lives. Jesus is moved by what he sees and identifies that.

When I look at this passage of scripture, I see a few things. I see Jesus looking at people and their needs. He’s walking into the cities and touching the lives of other people. He’s meeting their physical needs by healing. As leaders, we’ve got to be very conscious of what moves Jesus. Is the same thing that moves Jesus also what moves us?

Is it just a job or something we can do for the summer? Is it really wanting to feel what Jesus felt and be conscious of the needs of the people that are in the city that will cross our path.

I see some very valuable lessons in this passage just to deal with people themselves. It’s not necessarily being a leader leading the folks, but just seeing the needs of the people that Jesus speaks to.

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