Helping Students do Great Things…

Today I watched this video on cnn.com (below), and I was amazed by one high school students dedication and passion to make a difference in the world. As I watched, I was struck by two major revelations. 

First, I can’t underestimate how God will use me to challenge students to do something great. In this video, Emily Blake shares of how a speaker at a camp challenged her and others to, “not just be good students, but to do great things for God”… As I paused to consider this today, it made me wonder whether or not I am always expectant that God will do grand things with the words HE gives me? How about you? Are you expecting students to respond, or are you hoping they will? There’s a difference isn’t there? As speaker and teacher of God’s Word, I need to be reminded that there is power in His Word and promises. When I teach, I should expect God to do great things…

Second, it was a good reminder to me that students will often approach me with grand plans to change the world and make a difference… it’s means everything in how I respond. As adults in their lives, it is often easy to simply explain away an idea with a dose of reality from the ‘been there seen that – it won’t work’ reaction. However, her parents and Compassion International did more than simply give her a chance with an idea. Not only did they believe in her, they saw fit to come alongside her and help her navigate the steps she needed to take. It reminded me that I must not only encourage, I must also equip and empower.

 

Let’s face it, will all our students attain what Emily Blake did? Who knows? On average, probably not. However, I believe it means so much to students when we challenge them to raise the bar and do something amazing. It is also imperative that we support them as they try ideas in a safe environment. The steps (and how we support them in these steps), are crucial in this cynical world that always seems to have a way to dispel dreams. They may not be world changers today… but what they experience and how they are equipped and encouraged today means everything for what they attain tomorrow…

One Response to Helping Students do Great Things…

  1. Sara G June 8, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Once again you nailed it Phil! And sad to say, how many of us have seen youth pastors, churches, even ourselves be threatened by the “success” of their ideas or to fear that their ideas might fail and how that will make us look as their youth leader or church? Why is it we see failure as such a bad thing and are more worried about our reputation than about robbing our kids the opportunity to learn how to use failure for greatness. The greatest gift we can give? The freedom to fail offering teachable moments to learn from those experiences in an equipping and encouraging environment.

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