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KLI: Retreat Kicks Off Seventh Year of Developing Young Leaders

Posted: 2/18/19 at 12:30pm. Article by Karin Goude.

Before the buzz of the spring semester began, nine young adults gathered in the mountains for a time of personal reflection and community building.

The 2019 class of the Kairos Leadership Initiative (KLI) kicked off the program year with their first retreat over the third weekend of January. This was the first in-person gathering for the student and staff team since the interview and selection process in October.

There is different energy when finally meeting face-to-face, and the cohesion of this year’s group was evident from the start.

There is different energy when finally meeting face-to-face, and the cohesion of this year’s group was evident from the start.

Nick Alley, a junior Philosophy major at Virginia Tech, shared how the weekend impacted him:

The first retreat for KLI proved to be a weekend full of information, community, and food! One of the things which I learned the most about is the way in which my personality lends itself to a certain area of sin. Another thing that stood out to me was the late night conversations with one another where we shared our stories, thoughts, and grew closer together. Overall, it was a wonderful time of fellowship that makes me more excited for the program and other times together!”

The KLI program’s design is to challenge young adults who are high potential leaders to discover their identity in Christ, realize their gifts and talents, understand their surrounding contexts, and discern their unique call to a life of mission.

Between the three key retreats of the year, they meet regularly with mentors and coaches to process and apply what they are learning. Additionally, they are given several books to read through the year and discuss as a cohort to grow spiritually in their walk with the Lord and be more effective leaders in their communities.

During the January retreat, the team focuses on the foundation of it all: our identity as sons and daughters of the Most High. The team used the tool of the Enneagram to help better understand how God has uniquely created our inner selves and personalities. JR and Amy Rozko, friends from Missio Alliance, joined us to lead these sessions. The Enneagram proved to be an extremely impactful tool for the students. Evelyn Kim, a Junior Human Development major at Virginia Tech, shares openly about how utilizing the Enneagram has challenged her in her faith:

“As I have reflected on my first KLI retreat, one thing that the Lord continuously convicted me of was learning that my core sin, as a two on the Enneagram, is pride and seeing how much pride has affected my life. I was constantly convicted of how pride motivates a lot of my actions, and how much I was in need of the Lord’s forgiveness over that. Another thing I learned was how my type of personality (along with my triad on the Enneagram) is in need of hearing God’s abundance of love be emphasized in the Gospel story. As a two in the heart triad, I struggle a lot with shame and often wonder what is so wrong with me. However, hearing of the simple truth that God has a relentless pursuit of love after me was just what I needed to hear.”

With this exciting kickoff of the seventh year of KLI, there is no doubt that these students are ready for the challenging and beautiful work God has for them and the Kingdom impact they will make through their leadership.

Pray for these nine students as they begin their journeys, and join us as we work to impact the lives of young adults across the world for the sake of the Gospel by moving missionally, developing leaders, and building community. Head to www.kairosinitiative.org to discover more about Kairos Initiative ministry opportunities.

Karin Goude is Program and Network Associate of the Kairos Initiative and is based in Richmond, VA.