Every four years, we all are provided with the unique opportunity to observe the value and importance of being on a great team as the Olympics take center stage of international media coverage.   This year, I have tracked two 18 year olds (children of friends) who swam in Omaha trying to make the Olympic swim team.   Adding to the excitement, a good friend and participant in YBL Cincinnati has served the US Para Olympic team as an athletic trainer for their Track & Field team.  The performance of the world’s best athletes is inspiring to watch.  The personal interest biographies about some of the personalities are wonderful.  Observing and learning from the teamwork is especially motivating for many of us.

I have been particularly interested in the track and field events this year.  My older three children have grown into their teen years since the last Olympiad; likewise, they have participated in track for their respective schools.  My 7th grade son had the opportunity to compete on the 4X400 team.  As a sprinter this past spring, he worked primarily on starts and relay exchanges.  Most of his time at practice was spent working firing-out of the blocks and relay exchanges.  This is the exact space I am in, as I transition from seven wonderful years of serving on the Young Business Leaders staff to serving with Young Life.

Personally, I will be staring a new position for Young Life.  As the Global Advancement Coordinator, I will seek to connect alumni and friends of Young Life to the ministry they participated in as youth.  Through relationship and strategic programming, we will seek to connect their friends & alumni with their passions, and a mission that inflames that passion.  It is not often that we get to pioneer a work, but I will be “in the blocks” for Young Life.  Much like my son who practiced his starts at practice, I have the opportunity to “fire out of the blocks” in forming this new role.

When competing on a track relay team, there are several key factors that must be executed with precision to race effectively.  First, you need to have a clean baton exchange.  This requires staying in your lane, handing the baton to your teammate, and completing that hand off within the defined boundaries.  For YBL Greater Cincinnati/NKy, we have determined to finish this leg of the relay well.

We continue to pray for men, their workplaces, and their families.  Each Monday, we pray at a designated locale (this week it was Outbound Technology for instance).  We continue to reach out to men to share the great news of Jesus Christ. On Wednesday, July 27th we will host Dan Busken for our summer series “The Best of the City.”  Dan is the CEO & President of Busken Bakery, and he is excited share his life and how he discovered meaning and purpose in Jesus Christ.  He endeavors to lead his company from this place of deep abiding faith.

Thirdly, we have a boundary where I will pass the baton of leadership.  Rather than a staff person, I will pass the baton to two volunteer leaders of YBL – both named David!  These men will serve the small group leaders in Cincinnati as YBL retains a presence throughout the city.  They hope to lead networking opportunities, resource and encourage small group leaders, plus provide continuity for the ministry.   They will be on point for communication with our national office in Birmingham.  YBL in Greater Cincinnati/NKy will remain an affiliate of the national organization!

Where are you in your career?  How have you trained well?  Are you on a team that is performing at the top of their game?  Are you embarking on a new missions that requires an explosive start?  In a relay, you need to stay in your lane, see your teammate, make a clean exchange within defined parameters. Are you helping to advance your team in the race? How have you practiced starts and exchanges?  May we all compete well for an eternal goal.

Gordon Anaple, Cincinnati City Director