Arriving at King’s Fold for Encounter 2, I had a sense of anticipation. I was looking forward to seeing my fellow CRESTmates and spending time with them, and this Encounter did not disappoint! After catching up during supper and our evening orientation, we jumped right into an epic game of team Dutch Blitz.

This Encounter, Driving Forward with Your Values, had us spend most of the first day knowing why we care. Its a time to reflect on our values and our purpose. So much of our leadership comes out of what we value, and whether we have a purpose for what we are doing. Without identifying our values and purpose, we lose a lot of our motivation and drive. When we are clear on our values, know who we are, what we want, and where we stand, when there’s a clear, burning purpose for our lives, we are energized into action. We know why” we are doing what we are doing. Without this, we lack the ability to adequately inspire the people we lead. We each individually need to know our values and our purpose and inspire ourselves before we can inspire others. This is why CREST focuses on clarity with myself before I can have clarity with others.

The next part of the Encounter focused on building trust with both yourself and others. A big realization for me through this was that trust starts with myself, and seeing how easy it is not to maintain that trust. We also spent time discussing how we can lead from our centre, through an assessment we did before coming to the Encounter, where we see our natural strengths and the movement of our strengths. This movement helps to identify the areas where we may be expending our energy living outside of the strengths God designed us to have.

CREST also brings in an aspect of Spiritual Formation by beginning each day with discussing the biblical perspective of our leadership and our relationship with God. I find these times to be refreshing as it’s so easy to stay inside the box we have grown up in. Its an opportunity to look at our world with fresh eyes and to understand the differences of others. Having a time of worship on the last morning where we had one of my fellow students play the guitar in the King’s Fold chapel was a time of remembering how awesome it is to worship God. With many of us involved in ministry, we often don’t get that chance.

As the Encounter came to a close all too soon, I felt an inspiring sense of community and connection with these people, where we come from different backgrounds, have different stories, and likely would never have met without coming to a program like this.