Today we are taking a look at chapter ten of Think Orange entitled “Essential #5 Leverage Influence.” The contributor for this review is Diana Loach. Diana is the Director of Children’s Ministries at St. Giles Kingsway Presbyterian Church in Etobicoke, Ontario and has recently joined the team of Resource Consultants with David. C. Cook. You can connect with Diana on Twitter by clicking here.
One of the things that the church has very carefully done in past generations is to create learning environments. We have structured classrooms, and chosen curriculum resources that have our students work through their notes. Chapter 10 has the reader take a look at how we can “Leverage Influence” – a thought-provoking challenge to “create consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry”.
Reggie begins the chapter by having us ponder the mountain climbing teaching method that never has the student climb the mountain – just read about the fundamentals, hear from people who have been to the mountain top, and look at pictures from climbing expeditions. Why would one expect the book taught climber to be able to venture up the face of the mountain successfully. It just seems ridiculous, doesn’t it.
Yet, that’s just what we have done with our students experience of God. The truest way to learn where we fit in God’s Story is to actually find our place in it. I have long been a supporter of having teens work with the younger students in children’s ministry. It truly benefits everyone – the younger kids strive to “keep up” with the teens, and the teens develop leadership skills and get to see their faith grow through action. By engaging our teens in active ministry opportunity we ensure for them:
- a dynamic faith in God (that’s wonder).
- a personal identity in Christ (that’s discovery).
- a responsive heart toward others (that’s passion).
It is through these foundations that parents and leaders will “…see the Greatest Commandment show up in their kids lives, and by when that happens, the family wins, and the church has done it’s job.”
We are doing a great disservice to our youth if we never let them develop into the lamp stands that God has called them to be…if we teach them to recite the Great Commission, but never give the hands on skills to live that directive. It’s a little like climbing a mountain after only reading the handbook – we have to learn from someone who’s been there.
You can check out the other posts in this project:
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9