The Walla Walla University Campus Ministries office hosted seven North Pacific Union Conference academy students from April 14-16 for the first ever Follow2Lead, a weekend ministry conference aimed at high school leaders of all types. The name Follow2Lead came from the notion that in order to be an effective Christian leader you must foremost be a follower of Christ, hence the emphasis in ministry at the workshop.
Follow2Lead began as nothing more than an idea, and staff at Campus Ministries deemed it time to kick off the pilot weekend. “It’s something that we’ve been dreaming for a little while,” Campus Chaplain Paddy McCoy said. “It’s kind of a twofold thing. One, to help them develop and grow their strengths, which will ultimately affect what’s happening on our campuses, and two, to grow some leaders that may head to Walla Walla someday.”
Five student leaders from Columbia Adventist Academy and two student leaders from Livingstone Adventist Academy gathered at the WWU campus for the weekend, each bringing a different perspective to the discussion. “Out of the seven, it was pretty diverse. We had some student chaplains, we had some class officers and presidents, and we had an ASB president,” McCoy said. The Campus Ministries team welcomed anyone with a capacity to influence others on their campus.
Prior to Follow2Lead, McCoy asked each participant to take the StrengthsQuest test, a Gallup survey that reveals people’s top five strengths. “According to the research that Gallup has done, even people with a basic sense of their strengths … have a higher satisfaction in life and they make more money,” McCoy said. The group took time out of the weekend to discuss each person’s results and apply them to their leadership position.
“They received a T-shirt, book, stickers, and tons of leadership resources that come with StrengthsQuest,” Assistant Chaplain Katie Palumbo said. After observing vespers, helping with Circle Church, and collecting ideas for their own campuses, the students hit the bowling alley to end the weekend with some recreation and relaxation.
“There was a level of intentionality that [participants] felt going back to their campuses that seemed to be new for them,” McCoy said. “Follow2Lead was an opportunity for them to see what’s possible, to see what someone else is doing, and to hopefully learn from that.” The success of the weekend affirmed McCoy’s hope to continue Follow2Lead in future years.
Posted May 9, 2017