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Kairos Leadership Initiative Prepares Students to Lead

The 2015 Kairos Leadership Initiative class.
The 2015 Kairos Leadership Initiative class.

Posted: 6/2/15 at 8:10am. Article by Nathan White. Photos by Lauren Terrill. 

Kill Devil Hills, N.C. – Last week, the 2015 class of Kairos Leadership Initiative (KLI) students and their leaders held a week-long retreat along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Together, they worshipped, prayed, learned, and fellowshipped together, with all enjoying a chance to breathe after finishing final exams just a couple weeks prior.

Students had morning and evening sessions where they learned about God, leadership, and themselves.
KLI leaders facilitated morning and evening learning sessions for the students.

Kairos Leadership Initiative is a year-long program for college-aged young adults who are high-potential leaders in their communities. They come from all walks of life and vocational calling. The prayer is that the participants will make a greater Kingdom impact wherever they are and whatever their vocational and volunteer context.

KLI is designed to help those leaders identify their identity in Christ, their personal strengths and gifts, and discern where God is calling them to serve their communities as leaders.

The experience includes a weekend retreat in January, a week-long retreat in May, and coaching and mentoring opportunities throughout the year.

Charity Roberson, Equipping Coach for the BGAV, led a session with the students.
Charity Roberson, Equipping Coach for the BGAV, led a session with the students.

Led by Baptist campus ministers along with guest teachers, the students participated in several learning sessions each day that cover different aspects of leadership.

In one session, Darrell Cook, campus minister at the Virginia Tech Baptist Collegiate Ministry, challenged students to recognize and accept significant leadership and ministry moments in their everyday campus life.

“You are leaders with a calling on your life,” Cook said. “As you minister, you will walk through valleys where you’ll want to step out, but you need to press on. God will provide.”

Students worshipped together on the beach.
Students worshipped together on the beach.

Kadeem Gittens, a student the University of Mary Washington, thoroughly enjoyed Darrell’s session. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was taking tons of notes tonight.”

John Upton, Executive Director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, met with students one morning and reflected on leadership lessons he’s learned from his personal journey.

John Upton, BGAV Executive Director, teaches his top 15 leadership lessons.
John Upton, BGAV Executive Director, shared his top 15 leadership lessons.

“When you’re in leadership roles, you’ll go places and do things you never imagined,” he said. “I didn’t choose this life. God chose me for this.”

“This week has definitely stretched me,” said Margo Diehl, a pre-med student from James Madison University. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”

Retreat leaders broke the students into three groups with rotating responsibilities for planning meals and leading prayer and worship times. During the afternoon, students had opportunity to enjoy the amenities of the beach-side location.

“This is such a great group of students,” beamed Susan McBride, team leader for the Emerging Leaders team of the BGAV. “We seem to have found a rhythm in finding top-notch young leaders.”