We are deep in the throes of summer now. You can barely remember the mounds of snow we shoveled just a few months ago. I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and warmer temps. Summer brings a sense of freedom and a carefree spirit. At PLCC, we have been spending time on Sundays discussing Super Heroes. It has been a chance for many of us to reminisce about our childhood days. On July 6th, we are taking a look at Captain America. I had forgotten his story. He was just a small boy trying to enlist in the armed services during World War II. Every branch rejected him because of his small, sickly stature. Then, one special unit decided to give him a chance. It was an experimental unit. Steve Rogers would be subjected to special medical intervention that would transform him from lowly Private Rogers into Captain America.
We have all faced rejection at different times in our lives. We have been told we are too small, too tall, too smart, too quiet, too loud, or too inhibited. But God sees us differently. God looks at the heart while the world judges us from the outside. God knows us because He created us. And God desires for us to partner with Him to do great things. God is able to make a weak man strong! Do you believe this? Do you believe that God can turn our weaknesses into strengths? Do you believe that God has called and set you apart for the Kingdom?
I hope you will hear this today. God has shaped you and called you to be the person HE wants you to be. God makes weak men and weak women strong! Be transformed today by the power of God.
Sunday, I shared the “unheard” story of David & Goliath. Hear Malcolm Gladwell tell the story.
Last week I spent some time in our local upper elementary school, Cooper Elementary. I had been invited to participate in their Leadership Day. They initiated a student leadership program a few years ago based on Stephen Covey’s book. The Leader in Me. And, for the last three years, they invite leaders from the community to come and see what is happening within the walls of their school. I was impressed!
We have been trying to make a connection with this school so that we could encourage the teachers & students. Yet, I was the one who was encouraged. The teachers and administration have taken Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and applied them to their school curriculum. Every aspect of teaching includes these leadership principles. They have, in effect, empowered the students to be responsible for themselves and to hold one another accountable.
I watched as these 5th and 6th graders showed more leadership skills than many adults. They were involved in the school leadership at every level. They had a fully developed student council. They had established accountability partners. And they were tracking and setting goals for themselves in each major life area. I had to keep reminding myself they were only eleven and twelve years old!
In the last portion of the day, we had an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a few of the students. Each student would explain their Leadership Binders to us. Each binder told a story of what was happening in their lives and how they were taking responsibility for their choices. These students confidently engaged me as an adult. They took ownership of their lives and their choices. I began to ask them questions that were “off topic”. I asked them questions like “what are you reading right now” and “what is your strongest/most challenging subject”. I was impressed with how they were able to go with the flow of the conversation. They gave thoughtful answers rather than canned responses. They had learned to think and reason and make good choices.
Now, to be fair, these children were still children. They gave developmentally appropriate responses. They still get in trouble. They are still immature pre-teens. But I saw that our children have more potential than we think they do. They want to be empowered to make good choices. And they want to believe they have some control over their future. I think we owe it to this generation to empower & believe in them.
I am encouraged today that our world still has a future. God is not finished with us yet. And He desires to give all of us a hope and a future. Let’s win in 2014 by encouraging this next generation to be the leaders God has destined them to be.