Letting New Leaders Carry the Vision

21 Aug


“What happens if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? Who can carry your vision for gospel movement among the youth in Phnom Penh?”

When a life coach asked me this question, it sparked a desire to truly become a leader who can multiply a movement. Since then, I have been on a steep learning curve, participating in a global peer-learning cohort for multiplying leaders, inviting strategic minds to speak into what I am trying to launch, and spending time with global leaders from whom I can glean.

After several months, I had compiled a number of strategic action steps. Who do I intentionally invest my time in? Where is the young leader who is ready to be launched? How do I facilitate their vision, not my own? How do I turn my statements into questions that give them permission to find their own solutions? How do I listen well so that I can capture their insights and help turn them into goals and action steps?

With a slight shift of leadership style, I began to see some beautiful things happen. God highlighted a young leader, Nadia (name changed), who accepted the challenge of stepping up as the head of our worship school. Nadia’s
background is very similar to many of the street kids in our program, and she wants to be used by God to see lives restored in the darkest places. She began to lead the children to pray for justice and restoration for their land, and, in a nine-month time frame, God responded to these prayers. Almost 20 children in our area were rescued from darkness. One mother who had sold her daughters became a Christian in the office of our center.

Now there are worship classes in four locations in Cambodia where future young leaders are encountering freedom and restoration in Jesus. Four former students of ours, age 14–18, have been promoted to full-time staff in our center, and they spend their days bringing the light of Jesus to kids on our streets.

Last month, we hired two young men to come alongside Nadia as leaders. These two 18-year-olds also understand loss. Their stories bring tears to my eyes. Nadia recently met with these two new teachers to talk about their vision, values, and goals for the school. I wept as I listened to the three of them excitedly share with me their plans for their own intentional development in the lives of the street kids with whom they spend time each week.

This is the vision statement for the School of Worship that they created. It now hangs on the door of our school, in Khmer and in English:

We exist to bring children into the Presence of God in worship to see transformation flow from within them to the streets so that the darkness leaves Cambodia and the dry ground becomes saturated with the Presence of God.

I’m shifting my focus from carrying my vision to becoming a midwife for the vision the Lord has put in these leaders. I have laughed as they share with me some of their dreams, for I have seen these same pictures in prayer:

  • A whole center in the darkest area of Phnom Penh that focuses on teaching, evangelizing, and releasing teenagers to be sent out all over Cambodia to share the gospel
  • New sounds, rhythms, music genres, and songs being birthed that the world has never heard before...sounds that cause the darkness to tremble!
  • No child left behind...every student that enters our class not only learning to lead worship, but being set free from any learning disabilities and disadvantages that have plagued their family lines.
  • Salvation moving from the child to his/her whole village.

What will happen when it is time for me to pass the baton? I praise God for the young leaders poised and ready. Even now they are taking their places, with God-breathed vision for gospel movement fueling their hearts for their own land.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alice Collier lives and serves in Phnom Penh with her husband and their three children. She helped to birth a school of worship among street children in one of the darkest areas of the city, and is a champion for the children’s prayer movement in Cambodia. Alice leads CRM's Prime Intercession team.

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