The Ambassador Program is an intense one year growth program. Participants learn to integrate their spiritual life into all other elements of life.
Some of the things learned in the program are; how to trust God more, healthy dependency on others in the Body of Christ, the value of serving others and the difference between legalism and grace. Participants also come to know themselves better and feel more confident about their value. They are more comfortable in looking at personal weaknesses without guilt and condemnation. They are more able to get help and support in those areas when needed.
Because the program is a year it helps people to build life changing habits that endure. The program asks participants to make commitments to the program guidelines that are usually a significant departure from their normal routine. The guidelines include reading the Bible, meeting with other participants and 10 hours of reaching out to others each week etc.
The participants work closely with a mentor team. The mentors are usually pastors or ambassador alumni. They meet once a week to talk about how things are going. Most people say this is their favorite part of the program. This is where the participants get refueled and get their individual needs met. It’s a time to talk about what the challenges have been individually or as a group. The ambassador team and the mentors give love, grace, and feedback to one another. Often there are structures created for the individual to support them in their growth or where they have difficulties. Each person gets to experience what it’s like to be supported by others and to see that they don’t have to do it alone. It’s the Body of Christ working together.
The participants meet 6 out of 7 days a week so there is daily support. They learn to work together as a team, how to be there for one another. They work on scheduling their commitments around their normal life. They make sure that the needs of one another and their relationship with one another are a priority but have to work that out with the normal demands of life. We’ve had people do the program who were single moms as well as people with high levels of responsibility on their jobs. This helps people learn how to successfully integrate their spiritual life with other aspects of life. Participants have universally reported that they have done better at their jobs and better with their children during the program than they did beforehand.
By making their spiritual life and growth a priority and working so closely with one another the participants build skills that are needed to be in a successful marriage one day. Working so closely with each other every day brings up conflicts and emotions. The mentor group helps the ambassador team to work through those things. They learn how to have difficult conversations that invite growth and closeness. Participants learn what their gifts and strengths are as well as their weaknesses.
Because the program offers daily support, many people have overcome addictions of drugs, sex and alcohol while in the program. We encourage people to add other support systems such as counseling and 12 step programs when needed. However it’s not appropriate for all people with addictions. Sometimes it’s more appropriate to participate in a recovery program first before entering into the ambassador program.
In order to enter the program a person must have demonstrated that they are willing to be coached and be to open about their lives. They must already be reaching out to others and have a reputation of being trustworthy and fairly responsible. Our desire is for the program to be a wonderful experience and to not be to be a challenge that is beyond the person’s ability. The program is meant to stretch people but it’s not appropriate for people who haven’t already begun working on some of the things that the program involves.
Being involved in the church Doulos program is a good way to get prepared to do the Ambassador program. If someone is doing well and comfortable with the Doulos program they could be a good fit for the Ambassador program. We work with people before they start the program normally for a few months to help them prepare and to better see if the time is right for them to participate.