There’s a Shortcut to Your BEST Life!

Keller Williams Realty associates are giving back to their local communities by offering training to young adults from all walks of life. The program is called QL and it is geared specifically for those 18-24 years of age. Life is too short to miss out on knowing who you are and how to live your BEST life!

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Most people struggle to push beyond their frustrations because living your BEST life requires focus. It requires some “soul work”. It also requires personal growth and work habits but those come second. The reality is that we are essentially floating through life until we wrestle through the following concepts.

Your BEST Life

Once your “life filter” has been built, you will use it to weigh the importance of EVERYTHING. You will have a liberating level of clarity that most people walking the planet do not have. Don’t over-think this. In fact, you may already have a draft! If you are on social media and have created a bio (a serious one), you may have some clues there as to who you are and what you stand for.

We are ALL building habits

We assume change will involve pain. But the reality is that we are ALL building habits – many of them are just accidental. Warren Buffett said the “chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” He, of course, was referring to bad habits.  The irony is that the adage applies to good habits too. Habits are like gravity – once established, they pull you down a path. Our goal with QL: A World Changer Mindset is to draw 18 – 24 year olds into a conversation that most at that age are not having. A conversation about short term pain and long term gain.  A conversation that candidly lays out the implications of “not caring” when it comes to their post-school collision with life. Real talk. Life will happen and when it does, you will care.

A large percentage of young people in high school and college are preoccupied with gaining independence. They are tired of being told what to do. And yet, the path to that independence actually involves being able to tell yourself what to do. That’s called Self-Mastery. Make no mistake – we are all in the process of mastering something. Think about where you spend most of your time. Our futures happen over time by making lots of seemingly very small decisions that add up. Gary Keller refers to those very small decisions as “Quantum” decisions. Webster’s defines Quantum as “the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided”. The key to making large changes is to find the small pivotal “first” change and make that one. Then, find the next small pivotal change and make that one too. Keep things Small and Manageable. Otherwise life can get overwhelming and when it does, people have a tendency to give up and just go with the flow. The Q in QL: A World Changer Mindset stands for Quantum. If you are wondering, the L stands for Leap (note that Leap is an action word which points to the fact that action does have to be taken). If it helps, think of yourself like a powerful freight train – it takes a bit to get it started but once it is rolling it is very hard to stop!! Make sure you are on the right tracks though 😉 It would be a shame to master mediocrity…

When Gary Keller was in his early 20’s he journaled to track the tricks and techniques he used to navigate some tough, tough setbacks and challenges. Today we would call those those tricks and techniques “life hacks”. Ultimately, Gary formalized his collection of life hacks into a 2-day course titled Quantum Leap. QL: A World Changer Mindset was developed from that content and has been tailored specifically for young people in the early 20’s stage of life. Living life on purpose isn’t going to be easy but these life hacks helped Gary become a millionaire by age 29. They also became the foundation for Gary’s best-selling book, The ONE Thing. Please don’t mistake this for just being about money though. This course is primarily about a life of focus, purpose, abundance and giving. The “millionaire by 29” reference was included here simply as proof that these principles can pay off financially too. Which is a good thing! Because your BEST life is going to have to be funded. 

If you were an archer, QL would be those small adjustments that help you close in on the bullseye.

Your BEST Life

The QL Course helps you identify small intentional adjustments that help you zero in on the the life you were created to live.

Your BEST Life

This course will help you build a personalized road map for navigating the rest of your life. This roadmap will be built around some core concepts that everyone will have to wrestle through at some point. Through QL, you will be empowered to:

  1. Commit to living a life of significance
  2. Visualize a life that excites you
  3. Adopt the perspectives needed to optimize your potential
  4. Experience a shift in mindset that positions a “wealthy” life as a life with the resources to fund your personal mission
  5. Design your personalized success strategy

You will be encouraged to:

  1. Be You and Start TODAY (We will start here and write it down)
  2. Avoid Isolation (Identify the people you should follow and let them help you)
  3. Remember that Time can be your friend OR your enemy (You are going to test drive several simple tools to see what works for you)
  4. Accept that people have lived before you (Success leaves clues)
  5. Avoid lazy choices because they waste lives (Choices are something you CAN control)
  6. Treat Money as a tool that follows rules and funds lives (Not something that is bad or good)

This is a workshop and NOT a lecture because… We all need a gameplan!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the QL Course like?

The QL: A World Changer Mindset course is a day long interactive event covering topics such as life meaning, spiritual context, physical health, time management, funding your life and personal growth.  Think of it as a “Leadership Laboratory” – could get messy but we’ll have it mostly cleaned up by the end of the day 😉

Where is it held?

The QL: A World Changer Mindset course will be held in various locations around the U.S. as Keller Williams Realty associates teach the concepts in their local communities.

How long is the course?

QL: A World Changer Mindset is a day long event and the pace is moving along! There is so much material to cover that the attendees are usually maxed out by the end of the day. The time will generally go something like this (subject to change):

  • Begin at 8:30 am SHARP (get your coffee and plan to arrive early for check-in)
  • Take a short break at 10am
  • Lunch with informal Q&A 12:00 – 1:00pm 
  • Take a quick afternoon break around 2:30
  • Wrap up around 4:30 p.m.

How much does it cost?

These events and course materials are being funded through attendee donations.  Donations begin at the base cost of the materials at $25 and go up from there.  The KW associates who are leading these courses are donating their time.

Why is it limited to young people ages 18 – 24?

That was precisely the period of time in Gary Keller’s life when he made some crucial decisions that led to him founding Keller Williams Realty – now the #1 Real Estate Company in the world. Just let that sink in… Gary chose to master a few simple things early on and over time those decisions added up to something that actually did change the world.  QL: A World Changer Mindset was specifically crafted for young people in this age range. If you or someone you know is a young leader age 18 to 24, this could be a very powerful step towards gaining control of your life and your independence. That should put you on the fastest path to your dreams. And, THAT would be a day well spent!

Is there a Dress Code?

Yes, sort of. One of life’s realities is that your appearance needs to fit the stage. This is a business-minded event and as such, it is not a flip-flops, shorts, sweats, hang out with your friends gig. Dress like you want to be taken seriously and you will be. Jeans are fine – the goal is comfortable “office casual” attire.

Do the sessions get recorded?

No. The courses are designed to be a safe, guided “laboratory” where young people can wrestle with their lives without the pressure of having to “get it right” the first time around. It is a safe place and if anything gets shared following the course (other than the group photo), it will be at the discretion of the attendees and they will be doing the sharing.

What if I have no dreams?

Oh, you have them. You just may need to uncover them. QL should jump start that process.

What if I just feel clueless at this point?

Perfect! That is just how Gary Keller felt at your age. You will hear lots more about that during the session. “Clueless” is merely the starting point on a journey. That label only becomes an identity if you stay there.

Other Questions?

Email me at and I will be happy to help!

Leadership and Passover

Leadership and Passover – some hard lessons

As a Christian, Passover has been meaningful to me both as the annual Jewish tradition that brought Jesus to Jerusalem and a chilling story from the Old Testament. Each Easter season, I find myself going back to the events surrounding Passover in both the Old and New Testaments because there are so many life lessons here.

Quick Overview

For those unfamiliar with the story, allow me to introduce the main characters. Moses was an reluctant man who was not confident in his ability to speak publicly. And yet he was drawn by God into confronting the most powerful world leader at that time regarding the issue of slavery and oppression – the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh was walking around like he was God. When approached, he was not buying ANY of what Moses was saying about God. He kept referring to God as if he was just one of many gods people find and worship. Pharaoh was also the head of the country and needed the slave labor for his country to function. The story unfolded like a modern day court drama where each side presented their case – except here, people were actually doing miracles and real plagues broke out.


Finally, there was what writers and movie people call an “inciting event”. It is now referred to as Passover. God had finally had enough of Pharaoh’s belligerence. It was time for His Jewish people to be freed. So God dispatched an Angel of Death to Egypt to kill the sons of the Egyptians. The Jewish families were instructed to put lamb’s blood on the sides and tops of their front door frames. If the door was marked with blood, the Angel of Death would pass on by OR pass-over. If there was no mark, there was no moving on. No passing-over.

The Day After

The day after Passover most of people in the land realized that there was something out there more powerful than Pharaoh. Sadly, there was a lot of evidence that day that Moses’ God had sent one final, devastating plague. Pharaoh realized it too. God flexed His will and got tired of putting up with a man who claimed there was no other greater… I am sobered by what that looked like but not surprised that Pharaoh got put in his place. It was a clarifying moment. The relieved Jewish families had clarity; sadly the grieving Egyptian families had clarity too. Pharaoh definitely had some clarity because after dragging his feet and flexing his power, he suddenly could not get rid of the Israelites fast enough. He breaks out the cash (gold and jewels in his day) and helps them pack! Pharaoh did not end up being remembered as the most perceptive man in the land. In fact, his claim to fame was a hardened heart which resulted in a hardened head.

Choosing a Legacy

Leadership was evident in both Moses and Pharaoh. Listening is a choice. Obedience is a choice. Moses was obedient – Pharaoh was obnoxious. God used them both. Seriously though… who wants to be the one that God uses to point out what NOT to do? Today, I am thankful for the Bible because it is timeless and I am learning from both the good and bad leadership examples. I am also reminded that God’s justice can seem painfully slow many times and yet it can also seem startlingly swift. My guess is that the Passover was still a HUGE relief – even after over 400 years of slavery under the Egyptians.

So, here’s to being used by God – in a good way!

Living Science Graduates of 2013, the Choice is Yours

My Choice is Yours speech for the Living Science graduates of 2013

Mr. and Mrs. D:

Thank you for letting me join in with you this year in the Servant Leader program. It has been such a rewarding experience to walk alongside you guys and the young leaders at Living Science as Christ-like ideals were pursued. But, it is not just the Servant Leaders. Each and every one of the students here makes their own unique contribution here at Living Science. This year was a hard road to travel at times. Following Jesus wholeheartedly is never going to be the easiest path.  Combining that with academics results in something like the elephant graveyard in The Lion King – “Far too dangerous, only the Bravest Lions go there”.


I want to thank you for choosing to send your children to Living Science. Perhaps more importantly… I commend you for all those moments when you chose to keep your children at Living Science. There are cheaper, less demanding, less strict options out there. We live in on the southern edge of Sandy Springs – NOTHING about Living Science is convenient for me. We, like you, have chosen to give our children more than just academics. I pray God will bless you richly for your sacrifices this year. Your decision to entrust your children to what God is doing at Living Science could last for generations. I believe there are very few schools out there weaving servant leadership into the fabric of who they are.

Teachers, Staff and Volunteers:

I do not know how you do it!  While these young people are awesome and lovable – they ARE on an involuntary journey of learning which requires obedience and submission. They do not always handle that with grace. Strong leaders have strong personalities. You bore the weight of that every week in the classes and God was right there with you. I pray that God rewards your willingness to teach because your availability was your worship. I hope you believe it was worth it. In fact, I could stop right here because my availability is my worship as well. I am here, dressed and speaking. Speaking at a graduation ceremony sounded like a fun idea when my ego said yes a few months ago. That’s, ok. God is faithful – He will not waste your time this afternoon. I am confident there will be something in here you can use.

Fellow students, siblings and friends:

Today is for the Graduates. Thank you for being here to support them! One can never have too many cheerleaders in life. I once heard best-selling Author and Leadership guru, John Maxwell, draw a contrast between “Lifters” and “Leaners”. You see, the “Lifters” are the cheerleaders. They are the ones who encourage us. And the “Leaners” are the ones who make our life harder than it has to be. Teasing us, picking on us, stepping on us to get somewhere. Those are the “leaners”. Hopefully you have lifted more than you have leaned.


You are beginning an important transition. I have no way of knowing what this transition will look like for you. One thing is for sure: Whether you are headed into a gap year, off to college, into the workplace, on to the mission field… you are about to do life differently. More “independently”. So I want to read you a story from C.S. Lewis’ book The Silver Chair:

This is a story about a girl named Jill. Jill had been showing off and there was an accident. Someone ended up going over the edge of a cliff and all she heard was blood curdling screams. Jill was crying uncontrollably. Finally, when she could cry no more and she realized that she was very thirsty. In the distance she heard what she thought was the sound of water flowing… perhaps a stream. The wood was so still that it was not difficult to decide where the sound was coming from. It grew clearer every moment and, sooner than she expected, she came to an open glade and saw the stream, bright as glass, running across the turf a stone’s throw away from her. But although the sight of the water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned into stone, with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay a lion.

It lay with its head raised and its two fore-paws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once that it had seen her, for its eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away – as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.

“If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,” thought Jill. “And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.” Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she had tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it. How long this lasted, she could not be sure; it seemed like hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if only she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.

“If you’re thirsty, you may drink.”

For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” she realized that it was the lion speaking.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion. 

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. “Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion – no one who had seen his stern face could do that – and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping up water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You didn’t need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once.

You see, you are about to come face to face with the same harsh reality Jill faced… There is no other stream. I believe following God’s calling in your life feels a lot like this story. Whether you suffer from a case of “Ya’ll watch this”and your pain is self-inflicted OR suffering finds you in some seemingly unfair way… You will thirst for meaning. You will search for purpose. You will search for truth. You will search for God’s will in your life. And, many times – perhaps MOST times – it will not be clear. You may have to drink water next to the lion that could eat you. Because there is no other option… Trusting that above all else – That God is FOR you. That he really can work all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

You will make choices and those choices will have consequences. Some of those consequences your parents won’t be able to fix. You are taking over more control of your life now. Something no doubt you have been craving – perhaps even demanding… Here’s the sobering part: Jill is not the hero in her story. In fact, she is more like the villain. Your parents and teachers are not the villain in your story either. In fact they have most likely been coaches and cheerleaders. The very things you may have been seeking to elude, may have actually been a hedge of protection… protecting you – from you.

I know many of you have been told you are special. Unique. Gifted. That you were created in the image of God. This is all absolutely true. It’s true for you – It’s also true for everybody else in this room. The only question is who you are going to choose to be. Choose wisely.

The cold hard truth is that You are really just going to be “average”. It is my job today to be the one to tell you that. I posted that I was speaking at graduation on my Facebook page and asked my friends what theme they would pick if they were speaking today. I got some pretty scary answers. “You can only be a freshman once but you can be a senior as many times as you would like”… “Marry into wealth” (from a guy)…. “How to win the lottery”… “Survival tactics”. Men and women, be CAREFUL who you listen to. My word – it’s a jungle out there. There IS a lowest common denominator out there —–don’t — be —- it!

  • “Average” is not necessarily a “BAD” thing. Average 5 Navy Seals – you get an elite soldier. Average 5 inmates and you get someone with a criminal record and lots of stories. In basketball, there is a starting 5. They are better than the average players. Their average is higher. It doesn’t mean the other players should be discarded OR that they can’t play basketball at all. It just means that the team wins more often with those 5 players on the court. Once you get beyond pee-wee ball, the goal is not to be fair and let everyone play. We don’t live at “the fair”.
  • The goal is to be the best you, you can possibly be.
  • In sports, the goal is to win. In business, the goal is to make money. In life, I believe, the goal is to become fully who God created you to be. To love Him and “image” His son Jesus Christ. Don’t that word “image” throw you – it just means reflect or act like. Imaging Jesus Christ, is going to take some backbone though! Keep in mind that when given a choice, the world preferred Barrabbas over Jesus. Following Christ may also take getting back into a corner with no other option like Jill in the story. I know that is how I first gave in. Realizing that there is “no other stream” – no other path that would satisfy. I am STILL learning that lesson. Those are the days ahead for you too. First you make your choices – then your choices make you. Choose wisely.

I believe the answer is not a strategy or a system or a plan. I believe the answer is a handful of “who’s”. You can take a lesson or two from Horton here. Listen for them! Build a circle of close friends charging in the same direction – with the same passion. Not, defaulting or drifting to where you fit in. Parents are always concerned about who their kids hang around with and for good reason! Jack Canfield said “You are the average of the five people you hang around most”. Personally, I take Jack Canfield with a grain of salt but what he said has a ring of truth to it. Psalm 1 warns us about it right out of the gate: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers”. You will be defined by the company you keep and the books you read. Choose wisely.

At my company we talk about “Running with the Thoroughbreds” Let me tell you, that is a funny clever little saying until you start eating thoroughbred dust. Mrs. D says “there is no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone”. Running with the Thoroughbreds will show you what you are made of. As daunting as it is, it will pull you further that you will get on your own.

There is a difference between business success and character though. Some have referred to those you listen to most as your “Mental Committee”. When Followers of Christ seek out mentors they sometimes refer to them as their “Spiritual Board of Directors”. Regardless of what you call it, you will be an average of those that influence you.

You will be an average of those who influence you… So you may have to fire some people. Your life is on the line here. Choose Wisely. If someone in your life is always negative, you don’t have to disown them. But for Heaven’s sake – get them off your Mental Committee. Seriously, I mean it. There is a reason they tell you on airplanes to put the oxygen mask over your face first – and then worry about helping others. If you don’t, you will probably pass out before you can be of any assistance. People will die – starting with you. There is a reason that lifeguards approach drowning victims carefully. If they don’t, both of them could end up dead. You are going to have to use your head! Surround yourself with your very own “dream team” – you are going to need it!

If I were to put a business spin on this, you are about to inherit a subsidiary company called “You, Inc.” Part of a larger company called “God, Inc.” Your company was founded by God some 17 or 18 years ago and has been run by your parents so far. As the new interim CEO, you will report to the parent company and a local Board of Directors. Like most CEO’s, people are counting on you to lead You, Inc. well. If you don’t, someone WILL step in. Why??? Because you were not created for consumption – you were created for contribution. You see, You, Inc. is about a whole lot more than just you. You, Inc. exists for the God and His Great Commission.

Go back and re-read the parable of the talents. In Matthew 25: 14-18 Jesus describes God, Inc. “like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. [one might say He put them in charge of subsidiary companies called Servant 1, Inc., Servant 2, Inc. and Servant 3, Inc. ] To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner. The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent. The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Another translation goes like this: “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

It really is pretty simple.
Listen to what Romans 12:1-2 says:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
The Message (MSG)

Here’s the deal:

1. Jesus earned his spot as the Chairman of the Board at You, Inc.

You see He didn’t wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for a sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatsoever to him. Romans 5:8

2. Make sure your mission is the Gospel.

Mark Batterson made a point in his New York Times best-seller The Circle Maker “God is not some genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. If it’s not, you will end up walking in circles.”

3. Make sure you remember who and whose you are:

You are free from condemnation.
Rom. 8:1 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

4. Make sure you chose your Closest Companions Wisely

5. Be careful who you follow – Video, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Music, etc.

I want to close with Psalm 26

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

That way you will be able to say “To the extent I was able, I Chose Wisely.”

An Impressive Mobile Leadership Laboratory

Living Science Expedition 2012Living Science Home Studies Center is a resource we use to supplement our home schooling program and it is one impressive Mobile Leadership Laboratory.  Although we initially sought out Living Science for their science program, I have been blown away by their mentoring culture.  It pervades everything they do – and they do a LOT.  One of the larger endeavors they undertake is an annual week-long expedition to the eastern coast of Georgia.  I have heard about them for years but let me assure you, there is no substitute for experiencing this first hand.

PREPARATION: Preparation for the expedition starts months ahead of time with the Advance Team consisting of the teachers and senior high servant leaders.  They scope out the location, make the schedule, plan the events and practice teaching the exercises.  There are science skills to be learned,  equipment to assemble and pack, skits to be developed, songs to be practiced, drama sets to build, auto convoys to plan, planning meetings to be held and students to prepare.  By the time the expedition starts, the senior high servant leaders are ready to lead, guide and mentor the students through the exercises for the week. The logistics will have been handed off to the servant leaders so that the teachers can observe and engage each student team throughout each exercise in a much more effective way.

LAUNCHING An Advance team arrives a few days early to set everything up so it will be ready for the students when they arrive.  This involves a packing day where everyone brings their luggage and the trailers get carefully packed for the journey.  It turns out that things work best when the luggage gets there ahead of time.  An inventory can be taken so word of missing items can be passed back to Atlanta in time to bring them down on the launch day. It is always a bit of a mystery as to whether everything will fit or not until the last item is tucked away.

DRIVING DOWN: The departure day starts at 4:45 am which means one has to get up around 3:30am to get to campus on time.  Three groupings of cars are assembled and the secret seating charts are pre-assigned.  In fact, students change vehicles every stop on the way down and there are three stops 🙂 It is a bit chaotic but the mixing makes for all kinds of new friendship moments.

ONSITE: Once the three travel convoys arrive with the students, the magic starts to happen! Students are immediately assigned to rooms overseen by dedicated chaperones and to one of the 8 Teams led by a couple of dedicated servant leaders.  All the chaperones, drivers and servant leaders communicate via walkie talkies so everyone is in constant communication.  Launching the crew to a beach location for an exercise feels like mobilizing a SWAT team – it is a beautiful thing to experience because it shatters many of the preconceived teenage stereotypes.  Trust me, teenagers can mobilize themselves very effectively if they want to.  Unfortunately, we have all heard the horror stories of the huge party at someone’s house while the parents are out-of-town.  Leadership IS happening… The key is to harness the leadership for good by getting these talented young people to “want to” in the right direction.

WORSHIP, DRAMA AND PRAISE TIME:  There are times for singing,  skits and worship in the evenings.  By now you may have guessed… Yes, led by the student servant leaders.  This is no accident either, these servant leaders are being coached, assisted and guided by the Living Science leadership constantly as responsibilities are handed off and managed.  The proof was in plain view though.  The expedition was a success, things flowed as smoothly as large group activities can and by all accounts the students had a blast.  I suspect most of this enjoyment stemmed from the fact that things ran smoothly most of the time so people were not frazzled by behavior issues and unnecessary emergencies.

The Living Science annual expedition is a big time Mobile Leadership Laboratory. That is the best way I can think of to describe it and I am glad we are a part of it.  I need the mentoring myself!