Your Story: Terry Bley, Nappanee Missionary SOAR Program

Under your shoulders. Dear young people of the entire world, weigh the responsibility to transform tomorrow's world into a society where peace, harmony and fraternity reign. 
-- Bishop Carlos Belo

Youth have the ability to revolutionize the world, this is one reason we chose to partner with Pierceton Woods Academy (PWA) in the Fall of 2015 to share their newly built indoor and outdoor ropes course. This was an exciting venture for us as it opened up the possibility of climbing and team building through high and low ropes, even in difficult weather. We were thrilled when, in the spring of this year, a local ministry training opted to use this venue. Nappanee Missionary Church, chose uLEAD’s PWA venue to kick off their summer training.

The Soar program at Nappanee Missionary is more than a simple internship. It is an opportunity for college students to “taste and see” different areas of Church ministries. These areas include, Kids and Youth ministries, worship and adult ministries as well as serving in various other ways. They are not only given the chance to experience the day to day work of church ministry but also get to be part of larger events. Hands on ministry opportunities are a large part of the May-August program, but intensive discipleship is also an integral part of the summer.  With this type of ministry training SOAR leader, Terry Bley, Associate and Life Development Pastor at NMC wanted a way to kick of the summer that helped to unify the team from day one.

This is where a ropes day with uLEAD came in. “This was just the second day of our program, we wanted them to see how they worked as a team and what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Bley commented. The uLEAD staff planned a day filled with opportunities for the 2016 SOAR team to learn more about one another and each step into their leadership role. The day included challenges in which one student was given a limitation ie. not talking or not being able to see, while the group had to work together to accomplish a task. The day also included discussions on what was difficult or challenging about certain tasks. These challenges as well as the discussion allowed the SOAR students to quickly recognize strengths and growth points in themselves as individuals as well as the group at large.

Perhaps the biggest reason Bley chose to work with uLEAD at Pierceton Woods was the indoor climbing coarse. “The indoor portion was the kicker, it put my mind at ease to know that we had a place to go if the weather wasn’t nice. The weather happened to be great, but if it hadn’t been we still would have been able to climb and that gave me a peace of mind.”

It was great to work with Terry and the Staff of Nappanee Missionary Church. With over 20 years of experience discipling the next generation of leaders through the SOAR program, Terry knows what it means to raise up servant leaders.  The climbing day was a great jumpstart for the summer and made sure the students were all starting on the same page. “I didn’t have a framework of what to expect but we were very happy with our time with uLEAD.” Thanks Terry and team for working with us this year and allowing us to share your story!