by Bre Hallberg
Did you know that the fittest kids in America are graduating from Naperville high schools? According to the book Spark by John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman, this is not a random result, but an intentional health fitness model that requires students to exercise every morning within their target heart rate.
And not only are they the fittest kids, but upon graduating high school these kids are given both a diploma and a 14-page document that explains their physical goals, their accomplishments and what they need to do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an adult.
Past Orange Conference speaker and author of KidUnique, Dan Webster, was inspired. Dan loved that students had a chronicle of their physical goals and ways to continue to live a healthy lifestyle, but he wanted even more for the kids and students he interacted with.
“There’s a kid in your life you care about. It might be your own child. Maybe it’s someone in the class you teach at school or on the team you coach. It could be a kid in your youth group or someone in your neighborhood. I don’t know who it is, but that kid needs someone they can look up to. Someone who sincerely cares about them. They need someone to help them discover how great they are, how gifted they are and how bright a future they can have. You are that person but you need to learn how to connect with them in a way that will equip them to enter their future with hope.”
What if the kids and students that left our ministries walked away with not a report on their physical ability, but a confidence in how God made them and how He is growing them? What would happen if someone looked at our kids and students and instead of focusing on all the mess, they saw their potential and their strengths, helping them to understand who God created them to be.
How can we come alongside the kids and students in our ministries and help them to see who God created them to be, while giving them a sense of security based on who they are and who they are becoming, as they continue to grow a deeper faith?
That’s the power of Small Group Leaders—whether you’re a preschool, elementary or student ministry leader. According to Orange founder, Reggie Joiner, “When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time so we can help them build an authentic faith.”
It’s never been more important to lead small with the end in mind.
Discover more about KidUnique in this month’s featured resource from YouLead—a book preview, as well as Dan’s session from a previous Orange Conference Breakout Session.