Posted on : Tuesday June 11, 2013

By Shannon Baker

Laboratory tests are often part of a routine checkup to look for changes in one’s health. Results of these tests help doctors diagnose medical conditions, plan or evaluate treatments, and monitor attempts to cure diseases.LeadLab-banner300

Doug DuBois, director of Amped Ministry, the student ministry of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, is also interested in results. He takes seriously the need to train students to be solid, healthy Christian leaders.

So he offers Leadership Lab, student leadership retreats focused on building the next generation of student leaders. The retreats allow students to participate in activities and workshops designed to develop their leadership skills by experiencing the concepts firsthand and helping them focus on leading like Jesus.

DuBois recruits Lab participants from the reCHARGE student camps, where students in grades 6-12 are invited to optional specialized leadership training sessions at 6:30 a.m.

To DuBois’ great surprise, dozens of students show up to the early morning training, which opens the door for invitations to the overnight retreats, held twice a year, in January/February and May.

An average of 45 students, representing at least 12 churches, have attended the first five Leadership Labs, which includes workshops led by secular and church leaders who have demonstrated proven leadership in their contexts.

Past speakers include David Lee, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware; Casey Cavanaugh, a student leader at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.; State’s Attorney Charlie Smith from Frederick County, Md., and Earl Gray, Connections Pastor at The Church Severn Run in Severn, Md.

As part of the training, teen leaders help plan reCHARGE activities. In January, they come up with ideas for camp recreation projects; in May, they perfect the rules; and at the camp, they actually lead the projects.Gather 2 Scatter logo300

“This is one way to train our next generation of camp leaders,” explains DuBois, noting the value of hands-on learning and responsibility.

Future in-depth training opportunities will include biblically based topics, such as conflict resolution, team building and other subjects to help students “take their leadership role to the next level.”

DuBois is teaming up with Leader Treks ( to provide intensive training on strength-based leadership, spiritual gifts, and the five foundations of leadership: consistency, championing people, persistence, focus and wisdom.

In addition to the retreats, DuBois sends out a weekly leadership email to over 200 students, the majority of whom have come through the Leadership Lab. Over 15-20 people respond each week to the challenges DuBois poses in each email.

To learn more, contact DuBois at or visit online at