08.27.17

Hi! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! Lots of classes are training and starting right now!!!! Please pray for each other!!!
 
I am praying for YOU right now! 
 
I am also praying for all those being impacted by Hurricane Harvey!
 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
 
Quotes:
Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims. #stonestreet
In preaching, the gospel shouldn’t be like the dessert at the end of the meal, but the salt that gives the meal its distinctive flavor. #wax
 
Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.  #chance
 
It is impossible to understand a culture without discerning its idols. #keller
 
 
FYI:
 
1. 10 Ways to tell if you’re a millennial mom… https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/10-ways-to-tell-if-youre-a-millennial-mom?j=5350015&l=512_HTML&u=81290567&mid=7000332&jb=233&utm_source=082517+Default&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly#
 
2. Millennial Moms… http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2017/08/3-keys-to-reaching-millennial-moms.html
 
3. Teenage Friendships that result in healthier, happier adults… https://qz.com/1059666/having-a-stronger-closer-friendship-as-a-teenager-predicts-less-depression-as-a-young-adult/
 
4. Homework help apps… https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/homework-help-apps?j=5350015&l=512_HTML&u=81290573&mid=7000332&jb=233&utm_source=082517+Default&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly
 
5. Sunday School Games: 10 Active Indoor Games That Help Kids Grow (below)
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
3 Big Keys to Connecting with Gen Z by Dale Hudson (Might give you an idea.)
Turn Up the Volume by Dale Hudson
Five Shifts that Lead Kids from Apathy to Ambition by Tim Elmore
Rescuing iGen: Teens Raised on Smartphones Need an Escape Plan by Eric Metaxas
 

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/54495/a-psalm-of-renewal?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=psalm_renewal-2193664&utm_campaign=fp-08/22/2017-2193664
 
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/68510/exalted-psalm-145
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Let God Use Your Strengths

 
“But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews . . . proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”  (Acts 9:22)

Psychologist Sheldon Kopp says, “All of the significant battles are waged within the self.” That’s true. The greatest of the battles people wage is against their own flaws and failures. To have an opportunity to reach your potential, you must know who you are and face your flaws. To do that:

  1. See yourself clearly.
  2. Admit your flaws honestly.
  3. Discover your strengths joyfully.
  4. Build on those strengths passionately.
You can reach your potential tomorrow if you dedicate yourself to growth today. Remember, to change your world, you must first change yourself.
 
33 Things the Holy Spirit Does
  1. He helps us (Rom. 8:26)
  2. He guides us (John 16:13)
  3. He teaches us (John 14:26)
  4. He speaks (Rev. 2:7)
  5. He reveals (1 Cor. 2:10)
  6. He instructs (Acts 8:29)
  7. He testifies of Jesus (John 15:26)
  8. He comforts us (Acts 9:31)
  9. He calls us (Acts 13:2)
  10. He fills us (Acts 4:31)
  11. He strengthens us (Eph. 3:16)
  12. He prays for us (Rom. 8:26)
  13. He prophesies through us (2 Pet. 1:21)
  14. He bears witness to the truth (Rom. 9:1)
  15. He brings joy (1 Thess. 1:6)
  16. He brings freedom (2 Cor. 3:17)
  17. He helps us to obey (1 Pet. 1:22)
  18. He calls for Jesus’ return (Rev. 22:17)
  19. He transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18)
  20. He lives in us (1 Cor. 3:16)
  21. He frees us (Rom. 8:2)
  22. He renews us (Titus 3:5)
  23. He produces fruit in us (Gal. 5:22-23)
  24. He gives gifts (1 Cor. 12:8-10)
  25. He leads us (Rom. 8:14)
  26. He convicts (John 16:8)
  27. He sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13)
  28. He empowers us (Acts 1:8)
  29. He unites us (Eph. 4:3-4)
  30. He seals us (Eph. 1:13)
  31. He gives us access to the Father (Eph. 2:18)
  32. He enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5)
  33. He casts out demons (Matt. 12:28)
 

Sunday School Games: 10 Active Indoor Games That Help Kids Grow 

These Sunday school games are active, fun and are played indoors. Plus they help kids grow their faith and work out the squirm!

Not going outside can make kids stir-crazy. Stuck inside, they dream of a warmer season when they can run and play with endless energy outdoors. And then they enter your Sunday school classroom, after a week of being cooped up at school and home, with a God-given, wiggly case of the fidgets and squirms. So tap into kids’ natural energy and exuberance with these active indoor Sunday school games specially designed to let kids move while teaching them more about their faith.

Sunday school games: Angry Ping-Pong

Use this game to talk about the effects of anger.

You’ll need a Bible, ping-pong balls, fine-tipped permanent markers, slingshots, and a supply of cardboard building blocks.

Put kids in groups of 10, and give them a few minutes to build towers with their blocks. Then give each group four or five ping-pong balls. Have each person write at least one thing on each ball that makes him or her angry.

Say: Let’s play a game. Your team’s goal is to knock down any other team’s towers. Use the slingshots and the pingpong balls to do this, but stand at least 15 feet from any tower you’re aiming at.

Show kids this distance. Then say: Think about the things you wrote on your ping-pong balls. What things has that anger “knocked over” in your life or in others’ lives?

Read aloud Ephesians 4:26-27. Say: What does it mean to you that anger can be a foothold for the devil? What can you do to deal with your anger in a God-honoring way?

Sunday school games: Elephant Stampede

Use this game to discuss the benefits of teamwork.

You’ll need a Bible and one pool noodle that’s been cut in half.

Choose two kids to be the Elephant, and give them each one of the noodle pieces.

Say: We’ll work as a team in this game. Our Elephant will chase everyone else and try to tag you with a noodle. If you’re tagged, you become part of the Elephant by holding hands with the person who just tagged you with a noodle. The person who tagged you will hand you the noodle piece, and you’ll work with the rest of the Elephant to tag others, handing off the noodle piece to the person you tag. The object is to be the last person tagged.

Check for understanding; then let kids play. Afterward, ask: Explain what you enjoyed more—trying to escape being tagged or being part of the Elephant. What did you do to work as a team in this game? What do you like or not like about working with a team? Read aloud 1 Corinthians 12:20-25. What are the benefits of working as a team? What adjustments can you make to be a team player?

Sunday school games: Cotton Nose

Use this game to practice encouraging others.

You’ll need a Bible, masking tape, petroleum jelly, cotton balls, a table, and paper plates.

Have kids get in groups of five to eight, and put a dab of petroleum jelly on the end of each person’s nose. For each group, set a plate of cotton balls on one end of the table, and set a second empty plate on the opposite end of the table for each group. Then designate a start line and have each group form a line behind it.

Read aloud 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Say: Let’s use this game to practice encouraging others. This is a relay race, and your team’s goal is to get all the cotton balls on your plate to your team’s empty plate at the other end of the table. Only one person can go at a time, and you must use only your nose to pick up the cotton balls. Got it? Check for understanding. This is going to be tough, so cheer on your teammates as much as you can. Shout encouraging words, clap, and chant for your teammates.

Begin the race. Afterward, ask: When it was your turn to race, what encouraged you to do your best? What ways did you notice others encouraging their teammates? How can you apply this kind of encouragement to your life?

Sunday school games: Balloon Bop

Use this game to talk about keeping God’s commandments.

You’ll need a Bible, a beach towel, and 10 inflated balloons.

Say: Pretend each of these balloons represents one of the Ten Commandments. Let’s play a game to try to keep all 10 balloons in the air at once.

Have kids each hold the edge of one end of the towel and stand apart so the towel is taut. Then have the kids shake the towel. Encourage them to continue to shake it as you add each balloon—each time naming one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Continue for 30 seconds after you’ve added all the balloons, and replace any balloons that fall.

Ask: What was it like to keep all the balloons in the air? Explain whether that’s like or unlike trying to keep all of God’s commandments. Why do you think it’s helpful for your life when you keep God’s commands?

Use this game to teach kids how important it is to support each other as Christians trying to spread the good news about Jesus.

Bible Connect: Mark 16:15Romans 1:16

Stuff: You’ll need candy bars and clear packing tape.

Play: Before kids arrive, tape candy bars onto the wall high enough so kids can’t reach them without standing on chairs.

Tell kids the object of the game is to reach the candy bars without the help of furniture or other people.

Let kids try to grab the candy bars. Once they’ve given up, have them form groups of three and work together to reach the candy bars. Two kids can form a step by locking their hands together and lifting the third person high enough to reach a candy bar for all three.

Cool Down:

Ask kids to compare their first attempt to reach the candy bars with their second. Ask: What ways do you tell your friends about your faith? Why is it important to work together and support each other as Christians? How can you support a friend this week?

Sunday school games: Protect Me

This game teaches kids that it’s important to surround themselves with good influences for protection from temptation.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:132 Corinthians 6:14

Play: Ask for two volunteers-one to be the Tempted and the other the Temptor-in a group of no more than eight kids. The object of the game is to protect the Tempted, who’ll stand in the center of the group’s tight circle. The Temptor tries to tag the child in the center by reaching through the circle. Kids in the circle can maneuver to keep the Temptor out, but they must stay locked arm-in-arm. When the Tempted gets tagged, new kids get to be the Tempted and the Temptor.

Cool Down: Ask: How have you been tempted this past week? How does having Christian friends’ support help you resist temptation?

Sunday school games: Snowball Fight

This game reminds kids of the power of God’s grace.

Bible Connect: Isaiah 1:18

Stuff: You’ll need newspapers, masking tape, a timer, and disposable wipes.

Play: Form two groups. Divide your classroom into two equal-sized areas with a masking tape line. Give each group an equal amount of newspaper. On your signal, let kids make newspaper “snow” balls and quickly throw them back and forth at the opposing team for two minutes. The object is to get more “snow” on the opponent’s side when time’s up.

At the end of the game, have kids collect the newspaper and place it in your church’s recycle bin. Have kids clean their hands with disposable wipes.

Cool Down:

Ask: How did your hands look after the snowball fight? How is the newspaper like sin? How are the wipes like God’s grace?

Sunday school games: Sock It to Me

Just as socks protect our feet, kids will discover that God protects us.

Bible Connect: Psalm 91:14-15

Play: Ask kids to sit in a tight circle and remove their shoes. Choose two kids to be It. They’ll sit on their knees in the center of the circle. The rest of the kids forming the circle must stay seated with their feet in the center of the circle. The object of the game is for the It kids to take off the circle kids’ socks before those kids can get the It kids’ socks off.

Cool Down:

Ask: What kinds of things are you exposed to in the world? How are socks like or unlike God’s love? How does God’s love protect you from inappropriate things?

Sunday school games: Belly Laugh

This silly game reminds kids that God loves a joyful heart.

Bible Connect: Psalm 9:2Psalm 28:7

Play: Have one child lie on his or her back. Then have another child lie with his or her head on the other child’s belly. Have the remaining kids lie down with their heads resting on another child’s belly.

Choose one person to start the game by shouting, “Ha!” The next person will shout, “Ha, ha!” and each child continues to add a “ha” as they work around the group. Sooner or later the group will burst into laughter, with heads bouncing off bellies with joy.

Cool Down: Let kids take turns telling a funny story or joke. Tell kids that God wants us to experience joy every day through fun and laughter.

Sunday school games: Pressure

Getting “pushed around” by others in this game lets kids think critically about peer pressure.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:13Ephesians 6:11

Play: Form groups of eight. Have seven kids form a close circle with their arms on each other’s shoulders. One child stands in the middle, crosses his or her arms, and tries to keep his or her feet firmly in place on the ground while the circle presses in. Kids in the circle work together to force the child to give up his or her ground. Give every child a chance to be in the middle.

Cool Down: Have kids discuss how they experience peer pressure at school. Kids can brainstorm how they can work together to tackle negative peer pressure. Talk about the importance of relying on God when the pressure is on.

Sunday school game: Unlocked

Use this game to encourage kids to be patient and listen for God’s instruction.

Bible Connect: Isaiah 30:18

Stuff: You’ll need two combination locks, two colored dot stickers with matching paper, candy, and a kitchen timer.

Play: Before kids arrive, place one sticker on the back of each lock. Hide the locks in the room. Print the corresponding combination numbers out of sequence on the lock’s matching paper, but keep both correct combinations with you.

Form two teams and give each team the scrambled combination numbers. Tell teams they’ll race each other to find their corresponding lock and figure out the correct combination. The first team to return with an open lock will get a reward. But first, teams must choose one of two strategies they’ll use to win:

  1. On “go,” a team will race to find its lock. Once they find the lock, they have to work together to decipher the correct combination using the scrambled numbers on the paper.
  2. Or, on “go,” a team will delay their search for 30 seconds (giving the other team a head start), but you’ll give them the correct combination to their lock. That way, all they have to do is find the lock and open it.

Once teams have chosen their strategy, give the signal. No matter which team returns with an open lock first, reward everyone for their efforts with the candy.

Cool Down:

Ask: How did your team’s strategy work? Why did you choose that strategy? How is this game like or unlike being patient and listening for God’s instruction?

Sunday school games: Focus

A new twist on this favorite game shows kids that God’s blessings are everywhere-all they need to do is look.

Bible Connect: Matthew 7:7; Romans 2:7

Stuff: You’ll need paper, pens, and a tray of theme-related items such as office supplies, candy items, or craft supplies. You’ll also need an assistant.

Play: Give each child a piece of paper and a pen. Tell kids your assistant will walk around the room with a tray of items. Kids’ task is to write down what they see (be precise with your wording here). Have your assistant walk around the room with the tray, allowing ample time for kids to write down the majority of items on the tray.

Once kids have viewed the tray, have your assistant leave the room. Then tell kids they can use their notes or memories to answer questions. Ask questions related to the assistant such as: What color were his shoes? Was she wearing earrings? Was he wearing a watch?

Then call your assistant back into the room to reveal the answers. Kids will realize their focus on the tray contents was so narrow that they missed the obvious.

Cool Down: Ask kids to discuss things they focus on, such as fear, jealousy, or grades. Challenge kids to name things they may miss out on when they focus on one thing or only on the negative. Remind kids that when we focus on God first, we’re able to see all he’s blessed us with each day.

Sunday school game: A Hill of Beans

Use this “hill-of-beans” game to teach kids how lies destroy trust.

Bible Connect: Proverbs 12:22Ephesians 4:25

Stuff: You’ll need pint-size Mason jars with lids, food-service gloves, and plastic tablecloths. You’ll also need one pound of each of the following dried beans for each group of five: black beans, red kidney beans, barley pearls, pinto beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans, lentils, yellow split peas, green split peas, and black-eyed peas.

Play: Form groups of five and give each group a pound of each bean type. Place the tablecloths on the floor for each team’s workspace. Have kids wear food-service gloves and on your signal, work together to build the largest hill of beans in five minutes. When time’s up, kids can gather the beans and fill the Mason jars. Attach this recipe to the jar for kids to donate to a local food shelter.

Cool Down: Kids can discuss how building a hill of beans is like or unlike telling a lot of lies. Talk about what happens when lies pile up and how lying has negative consequences. Talk about how lies break trust, and ask God to help kids be honest and trustworthy.

Sunday school game: Apples and Oranges

This crazy game will help kids discover everyone is important in God’s family.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Stuff: You’ll need an apple and an orange.

Play: Form a circle. One child will pass an apple to the right around the circle. Another child will pass an orange to the left around the circle. The key to this game is that kids can’t pass the fruit with their hands. Kids can use their feet, elbows, or knees to pass the fruit. If someone drops the fruit or it touches the ground, the child must close his eyes to continue playing. Play continues until only one person with his or her eyes open remains.

Cool Down: Ask kids to talk about what was easy or difficult about the game. Ask kids what it was like to play with their eyes closed and how that affected the game. Help kids make the connection between this game and God’s family. Celebrate everyone’s contributions and emphasize everyone’s special role in God’s family.

Blessings, Kendall

08.27.17

3 Big Keys to Connecting with Gen Z by Dale Hudson
relevantchildrensministry.com

Gen Z.  They are the largest generation on the planet and are a force to be reckoned with.  Their spending power is estimated to be over $44 billion.

They are our mission field and if we want to reach them, first we’ve got to know how to effectively connect with them. We’ve got to figure out what they want, how they want to interact and what they value.  Let’s take a look at 3 big keys to effectively connecting with Gen Z.

Gen Z is mobile first.  80% of internet users own smartphones.  And for Gen Z, smartphones are a way of life.  They use their smartphones to interact with their friends, parents and other contacts.  If you want to connect with them, the pipeline is their smartphone.  Ministries must provide mobile apps, experiences and communication.

Think about it… 

How can you deliver mobile discipleship tools?
How can you let kids integrate their smartphones into the lesson?
How can you equip kids to share their faith using their smartphones?
How can you help kids invite their friends to church through their smartphones?

Gen Z is looking for examples of authentic faith.  Gen Z is growing up with digital content coming at them 24/7.  This is causing them to navigate through messages with precision.  They are not easily fooled and know how to spot hypocrisy.  To earn their trust and respect, you must go above and beyond to show them what genuine faith looks like.

As they grow up, they will lean heavily on each other for advice when making decisions about where to go to church, what leaders to trust and what to invest their time in.  83% say they trust their peers’ opinions more than they do the messages that constantly bombard them.

Think about it…

How can you model genuine faith for Gen Z?
How can you leverage peer-to-peer recommendations and advice to connect with Gen Z?
What are some things you can do to earn the trust and respect of Gen Z?
Gen Z is not concerned with the name on your church sign.  It started with Gen X then accelerated with the Millennials.  Now Gen Z is continuing the trend of not making their church attendance decisions based on what the name of a church is.  They are highly unlikely to pledge their allegiance to a church based on the fact that “our family has always been part of this denomination.”

Ministries can’t assume that kids will attend their church as they grow up just because their parents did.  If another church better meets their needs, that’s where they will go.  I know this plays right into the “church consumer” mentality, but it’s something churches can’t ignore.  The good news…it causes churches that really want to reach Gen Z to change and make needed adjustments.

Think about it…

Are we only relying on our past to reach today’s kids?
Are we willing to change and adapt to reach Gen Z?
What will we do to attract and keep Gen Z?
I think you can sum up how to connect with Gen Z in three words.

Access – we must provide access to our ministry through mobile platforms.

Authenticity – we must live a genuine faith that will earn the trust and respect of Gen Z.

Adapt – we cannot rely on the past, we must adapt and change to meet the needs of Gen Z.

08.27.17

Turn Up the Volume by Dale Hudson
relevantchildrensministry.com

We live in a noisy day.  The average person has up to 10,000 messages coming at them each day through mobile ads, TV, internet, radio, people, pop up ads, etc.  Together all of these messages form a noise barrier that makes it hard to get one message to rise above the other.

And many of the messages coming at kids are the wrong messages.  Messages of wayward ideas, wrong priorities and false doctrine.  Messages that say God is not real.  Messages that say there is no absolute truth.  Messages that say do whatever makes you happy.  Messages that say the Bible is just another book.

How do we penetrate the hearts and minds of kids and families with our message?

If we are going to get the message of the Gospel and the truth of God’s Word to rise above the noise and be heard, then we must TURN UP THE VOLUME.

In the Bible, we find a group of men who turned up the volume so loud that they were accused of “turning the world upside down.”  This group of men raised the volume of their message so loud that it literally changed the world!

Paul and the other followers of Jesus lived in a day that was very similar to ours.  A world of many messages.  There were hundreds of different “gods” clamoring for the hearts and minds of people.  In fact, they even had a shrine to the “unknown god.”  It was a noisy, noisy, noisy day.

So, how did Paul turn up the volume so loud that it changed the world?  Was it through his wisdom, great preaching skills, charisma or natural abilities.  No.  In fact, look what he says.

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.  For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.  I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.  And my message and my preaching were very plain.  Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.  I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”  2 Corinthians 2:1-5

Paul and the early believers turned up the volume through the power of the Holy Spirit.  It wasn’t through clever speeches or extraordinary wisdom, but through God’s power working through them.

If you are going to turn up the volume and get your message to rise above the noise, then you must operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.  This means before you minister publicly, you must get alone with God and ask Him to anoint you and work through you.  You must beg the Holy Spirit to do what you cannot do…change hearts and lives.

Look what Matthew 6:6 says.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

If you want to turn up the volume front stage, then you must turn up the volume backstage by spending time alone with God.

Notice what our calling is in Mark 3:14.

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.”

See the order?  Your first calling is to be with Jesus.  To walk with Him.  To talk with Him.  To move into a place of total dependence on Him.  After that, you go out to do ministry.  If you skip the first part of your calling, then the volume will not be turned up in the second part of your calling.  

God wants to use you to turn your community…your city…your church upside down for Jesus!  He wants to make the message of His love and forgiveness so loud that it rises above the noise and is heard by the kids and families He has called you to reach.  

Walk with God.  Spend time with God.  Beg the Holy Spirit to anoint you afresh with His power.  Depend not on your own strength, but on His strength.  Before you stand to teach, get on your face and ask the Holy Spirit to turn up the volume.  Before you walk into that classroom, fall down and ask God to work in power and might.  Before you serve, get into the Word and let it fill your heart and mind.  

Let’s turn up the volume so loud through the power of the Holy Spirit that it cannot be ignored by Gen Z and their parents!  

08.27.17

Five Shifts that Lead Kids from Apathy to Ambition by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

This month, I have spoken to thousands of teachers and parents, as schools kick off another year. One phrase I have heard as much as any other is:

“I just wish we could get these students to be more ambitious.”

Ironically, while so many faculty, staff, coaches and parents desire this outcome, we are often the culprits that prevent it from happening.

What do I mean by this?

I have written in the past about an idea that’s been the topic of teacher training for the past few years. In a word, it is “metacognition.” Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is the “secret to and the driving motivation behind all effective learning,” says the National Academy of Sciences. It is all about the teacher or leader transferring the ownership of what’s happening to the student. Instead of prescribing each step of the process, it means enabling them to figure it out themselves. But, alas, most adults in this generation don’t want to take that risk. It wouldn’t be safe for the students and it wouldn’t make us look good. The truth is, however, “students learn better when they ‘own’ the work themselves.”

The Equation

Consider this fact: People are never more incentivized to care for something than when that “something” belongs to them. If it’s something they paid for, somehow the value goes up—their cell phone, their car, their clothes, their learning. Now transfer this concept to a classroom, where a project is assigned. The more a student “owns” their learning, the more they learn. By encouraging students to own their learning:

  • We decrease apathy in the young person.
  • We increase ambition for learning and growth.

What hinders metacognition? An over-functioning teacher or parent who is the only one doing the metacognition and owning the issue:

  • EX: Mom asks her child to do a chore, but he doesn’t do it or doesn’t do it well, so she steps in and does it herself. The son assumes it’s Mom’s problem.
  • EX: A teacher who loves to instruct, so he consumes most of the class time talking. In the end, students grow lethargic and disengaged.

We live in a day when adults are consumed with child safety and insuring our kids get the best advantages possible. So, we control everything. Kids are in supervised activities most days. While this makes us feel better, it often decreases their “ownership” and certainly diminishes their ambition.

Make These Shifts in Your Leadership:

1. Don’t think CONTROL, think CONNECT.

Control is a myth. What’s more, the more we seek to control the environment, the less kids own what’s happening. Instead, seek connection with students and engage them at the heart level. This is how trust and ambition are built.

2. Don’t think TELL, think ASK.

By asking questions, you foster ownership in the conclusions and the subsequent application in students. As they age, students require us to lead them by asking questions instead of imposing our ideas.

3. Don’t think PRESCRIPTIVE, think DESCRIPTIVE. 

We do too much for kids. It’s why so many are unready for adult life at 18. Instead of prescribing each step of an assignment, prepare students to create the path themselves. Describe the goal, but let them determine the steps.

4. Don’t think RULES, think EQUATIONS.

Life is full of equations: If we do this, that becomes the consequence. If we do that, this is the benefit. Few students like rules. We can help them own choices by insuring every decision is an equation with positive or negative outcomes.

5. Don’t think DO IT FOR THEM, think HELP THEM DO IT.

The bottom line is this: Students support what they help create. We must let young people actually do the work themselves. Parents—stop doing your child’s homework. Stop negotiating their grades with the teacher.

I recently saw a news report about Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Michigan. Students on the football team came up with an idea for a play in one of last year’s games. Keith was a teammate, but was a special needs student with social issues and a lack of boundaries. However, his fellow players decided they wanted to show him he was important to the team, so they chose to help him score a touchdown. And they did. They set up the play, surrounded him and insured he got into the end zone. Keith later said, “It was awesome!” The part I think was awesome is—no adult prescribed this activity. It was all student-driven, student owned. And everybody won. Hmm. Sounds like metacognition to me.

08.28.17

Rescuing iGen: Teens Raised on Smartphones Need an Escape Plan by Eric Metaxas

breakpoint.org

It seems like millennials are always texting, swiping, browsing, Snapchatting, Instagramming, or wasting time in some other way on a device, and dinosaurs like me have been quick to complain about it. But it turns out millennials, most of whom remember cassette tapes and graduated high school with flip phones, were old enough to ride the technological wave of the 2010s without getting sucked under.

Writing at The Atlantic, Jean Twenge points out that there’s another, younger generation that got pummeled by the smartphone revolution.

Those born after 1995, typically called “generation Z,” were just entering their teen years when Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone. Appropriately, Twenge dubs these young people, “iGen.”

Unlike millennials, these kids cannot remember a time before the Internet. Like laboratory mice, they’ve been the unwitting subjects of a historic experiment. What effect has this had on them?

Twenge paints a bleak picture, and it goes far deeper than the typical concerns about diminished attention spans. Smartphones and other devices have shaped these teens’ worlds, from their social lives to their mental health.

Teen suicide has skyrocketed since 2011. One survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that teens who spent ten hours or more a week on social media were 56 percent more likely to experience symptoms of depression. According to two national surveys, those glued to screens at least three hours a day were 28 percent more likely to suffer sleep deprivation.

It doesn’t end there. The younger generation is spending less time outside than any other crop of kids—ever. Twelfth-graders in 2015 spent fewer hours out of the house than eighth-graders did in 2009! They don’t get their driver’s licenses as early as their parents did, they’re more than twenty percent less likely to have jobs, and they aren’t even interested in spending time with friends, at least not in person. The number of teens who regularly get together socially has dropped by an astonishing forty percent since 2000.

Where are they spending all their time? Well, mostly at home, in their rooms, staring at screens. One teenager described the crater she’d left on her bed from spending all summer Snapchatting. Another admitted, “I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”

“iGen,” Twenge concludes, “[is] on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.” And overuse of technology and social media is the most obvious culprit.

Well, here’s the good news, and I know you’re ready for it: Research indicates that much of this is reversible. Kids and teens who spend an above average amount of time with friends in person are 20 percent less likely to say they’re unhappy. Fewer hours spent staring at a screen correlates with better sleep. And as blogger, Andrew Sullivan, put it recently, cutting back on online time just makes you feel human again.

“If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence…” writes Twenge, “it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen.”

Restricting your kids’ smartphone use may not sound like the best way to stay on their good side. And if they’re older, you’ll need to explain yourself, and reach agreements as a family about technology, not simply lay down the law. Why not show them this commentary?

You may find that your teens are more open to setting boundaries around screen time than you think. After all, their devices are not fulfilling them. Members of iGen may be in a better position than anyone to understand that there’s nothing smart about being enslaved to a phone.

08.21.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 
 
I know most of you are super busy right now (training and kicking off your classes…) so please be praying for one another!!!! 

 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
 
Quotes:
The power that raised Christ from the grave is the power that resurrects hope in our hearts. #lucado
 
Without the gospel we hate ourselves instead of our sin. #keller
 
The only way into the presence of God is from where you really are — not from where you wish you were. #furtick
 
Until Jesus is enough for you, no person or thing will ever be. #furtick
 
 
FYI:
4. Six Prayers to Pray for Students as School begins… (below)
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
How Gen Z is Changing Television as We Know It by Dale Hudson
New Survey: Millennials Learn More from Technology Than from People by Tim Elmore
Real vs. Fake Relationships by Leneita Fix (I have been reading so much about this lately… good for us to help them navigate.)
Four Gifts Every Student Needs From You This Year by Tim Elmore

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

 
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
God’s Leaders Have a Higher Standard

 

Priests… must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the offerings made to the LORD by fire, the food of their God, they are to be holy.   Leviticus 21:6

Ministers of the Gospel submit to a higher standard and answer to a holy authority. There is something special and fearful about being a vocational servant of Jesus Christ. This is not a role to be undertaken lightly or to be chosen casually, as some secular career paths. God places eternal expectations on priests, pastors, and ministry leaders. Leaders in the church have the Lord as their baseline for behavior. Deviant behavior is unacceptable for those who lead on behalf of the Lord. 

The leader’s character is his greatest asset. Someone cannot determine acceptable behavior based on what he wants when the Bible and church history have already defined the standard. How hypocritical and foolish to think leaders can flaunt immoral behavior when church members are disciplined for the same sin. Double standards may be for the uninformed and the unaccountable, but not for faithful and educated followers of Christ. How surreal to need to declare that character in the church matters! A church or ministry leader cannot practice immoral living and still lead the Bride of Christ. They cannot practice homosexuality, adultery, stealing, or lying. They cannot practice unfaithfulness in any of its destructive forms. 

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly o the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:6-9).

There is a holy obligation for leaders to model and teach holy living as defined in God’s Word. Holiness is not a creation of culture but defined by God. Leaders of God’s church and ministry are to be holy as He is holy. Therefore, you can’t say you are a leader on behalf of Jesus Christ if you embrace and endorse the very sin for which He died on the cross. It would be the epitome of hypocrisy to do so. . 

Holy leaders do make people thirsty for God. They shine their light of holy living on the Lord. Embrace His higher standard, and expect the same of your church and ministry leaders. Elect men and women of the cloth who behave biblically, whose character aligns with Christ’s, and who model faithfulness, not perfection. They are not conformed to this world but transformed by God’s truth. 

The Bible is clear: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

The Brave Friendship of God

 

Oh, the bravery of God in trusting us! Do you say, “But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing good in me and I have no value”? That is exactly why He chose you. As long as you think that you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. But if you will allow Him to take you to the end of your own self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him “to Jerusalem” (Luke 18:31). And that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

We tend to say that because a person has natural ability, he will make a good Christian. It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a matter of natural virtues, of strength of character, of knowledge, or of experience— all of that is of no avail in this concern. The only thing of value is being taken into the compelling purpose of God and being made His friends (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God’s friendship is with people who know their poverty. He can accomplish nothing with the person who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not here for our own purpose at all— we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. We do not know what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with Him. We must never allow anything to damage our relationship with God, but if something does damage it, we must take the time to make it right again. The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.

Six Prayers to Pray for Students as School Begins

Like many other families, we are trudging back into school this week after a great summer. For our part, our kids seem neither despondent nor over the moon, but somewhere in the middle. They’ve had a great summer, but they’re also ready for a change, and ready to get onto the new possibilities this year in school will bring. So here they come – a rising 7th grader, 5th grader, and 2nd grader.

Here are some of the prayers we are praying for them as they begin this year:

1. Free these children from the idol of popularity.

Oh, how seductive is this idol. I still feel the pain of knowing when someone doesn’t think well of me for some reason, and even as an adult I feel the tug toward compromise if it means being well-liked. Even while feeling that temptation, I remember well the intense desire to be invited to the right lunch table or the best birthday party. I’m praying that our kids would, by God’s grace, find their worth and identity in Jesus rather than in the “likes” they receive from others.

2. Guard their hearts from materialism.

It’s inevitable that kids are going to come in contact with others who have different brands of clothing, whose parents drive different cars, and who live in different sized houses. The love of money is fostered and nurtured from a very young age, most of the time through comparison with others. We are praying that the Lord would guard these growing hearts from this and instead would help them to learn a sense of gospel-centered contentment in any situation.

3. Help them see our home as a safe place.

In classes, on the court, in the band, and most other places the kids will encounter a spirit of competition in which they will not only be tempted, but encouraged to be the best, whatever that means in that particular environment. But, please Lord, may our home be a safe place. Help them to see that at home, they can be themselves, with all their insecurities, fears, and hurts they could never show somewhere else lest they be considered weak.

4. Create in them a desire to communicate.

“Fine.” That’s the dreaded, but common, answer that often comes when a parent asks their children about their day. We continue to pray that our kids would go past this stock answer – that they would communicate honestly with us about the real things that are going on in their lives. We continue to pray that, because our home is safe, our children will confide in us the things they aren’t willing or able to say anywhere else.

5. Teach them perseverance through their studies.

With each grade jump, the homework seems to grow more and more intense. While I’m still able to help our second grader with his math, our seventh grader has moved beyond my capacity. That’s a difficult thing for me, but it’s an opportunity for them to learn a greater lesson for life. The perseverance to keep at it, though it means hard work, will prove (I think) even more valuable in the years to come than their mastery of the quadratic formula.

6. Help them understand more deeply the greater purpose of education.

I remember the tunnel-vision of the teenage years, how you can only focus on what is immediately relevant to you at a given moment. Those were the days when life seemed to begin and end with each test or game or whatever. But in education, as with all things, there is a greater purpose for those who know Jesus. That greater purpose is to honor God through stewarding the resources He’s given us, including our brainpower. Education is a means to love the Lord our God in yet another way and glorify Him through the effort we bring to the task in front of us. We are praying that God would, by His grace, begin to expand our children’s vision for this greater purpose.

These are not the only prayers to pray as this school year begins, but it’s a start. And while we’re on the subject of prayer, here’s an extra one that I’m praying for myself and my wife as we get going in another fall:

Help us, Lord, to represent your kindness, compassion, discipline, and forgiveness that you perfectly display in the gospel through the way we parent our children.

May it be so, Lord.

Blessings, Kendall

08.21.17

How Gen Z is Changing Television as We Know It by Dale Hudson
relevantchildrensministry.com
I remember the days when TV’s were part of a large, cabinet-like console.  And there was no remote control.  I was the remote control.  I had to get up and change the channel by turning the knob.  Which wasn’t too big a problem, since there were only 3 to 4 channels.  Maybe 5, if the weather was right and I titled the rabbit ears that had aluminum foil on them just the right way.  And TV went off at midnight.  They played the national anthem and then it went static until the next morning.  As TV’s progressed, they moved out of the furniture console and stood alone.  But they had a big back and weighed a ton.  Especially the large screens, which were large, but clunky.  Standard definition was the only option.

Later HD was introduced and TV’s began to get thinner and thinner.  Kids who saw an older TV would ask what was on the back of the TV….not knowing that TV’s used to be very thick and heavy.

Today, TV’s come in ultra thin sizes and the screens continue to get larger and larger while the clarity gets better and better.  There are hundreds of channels to choose from.  And if you miss a show, you can always watch it on-demand.

Yes, TV has changed.  Both physically and programmatically.  But the changes are just getting started.  When you consider factors like evolving technology, relevant programming and the rapidly expanding internet, it is obvious change is continuing to accelerate.  Futurists say by 2020, TV may not look like TV as we know it.  The viewing habits and expectations of Gen Z are set to shape the future of TV.

Here are 3 ways Gen Z is changing television as we know it…and what children’s ministries should do as well.

Interaction.
Gen Z expects to interact with TV in a way their Millennial parents didn’t.  In apps like Minecraft, kids create worlds from scratch.  With Musical.ly, they create their own videos.  They participate in choose-your-own adventures, explore in virtual reality and customize their apps and video games.

Kids don’t have the opportunity for control in much of their life and they love the control and creativity these formats allow them to have.  As they grow up, they won’t let that go.  They will demand content that they can give input into and help create.

Children’s ministries that want to connect with Gen Z and reach them with content, must shift toward interactive lessons that provide kids with the opportunity to give input and help create the lesson agenda and flow. 

Fresh Content.  

Gen Z expects fresh content.  Their favorite YouTubers post weekly, daily and even hourly.  Information comes and goes by the minute and in many cases, by the second.   Once Gen Z kids move past their preschool years, they have a very low tolerance for reruns.  Gen Z is also very aware of current trends and know when content is outdated.  Which can happen rapidly.

Children’s ministries must stay up-to-date with what is happening in the culture and provide relevant and fresh content.  Up to this point, we have made references that something is outdated in the church world if it is from a decade ago.  It’s time to rethink that and realize something from a month ago may be outdated.  

This doesn’t mean we change our message.  We are anchored to the truth of God’s Word.  But we must also be geared for the times.  The timeless message of God’s Word must be presented with timely methods.

Diversity. 
Gen Z is the most diverse generation ever.  They are diverse in ethnicity, family make-up and much more.  Content that captures their attention must reflect diversity.  It must be a mirror of how they look, act and feel in this area.

Children’s ministries that want to be effective must be diverse as well.  Places where all people are welcomed.  Places that mirror the group that will gather at the throne of God one day.  Kids from every tribe, nation and language.  

In many instances, television content is a reflection of the culture as a whole.  The 3 insights above give us a good picture of the changes Gen Z is bringing to not only television, but to the culture as a whole.  Ministries that will continue to be effective will be those who adapt as well.

Here are some questions to talk through with your team:

  • Are we giving kids the opportunity to participate and give feedback in our lessons?
  • Are our lessons interactive?
  • How can we give kids the opportunity to help create and plan their experience at church?
  • What are some ways we can keep our ministry fresh in kids’ eyes?
  • Does our ministry reflect the diversity of Gen Z?  How can we improve this?

08.21.17

New Survey: Millennials Learn More from Technology Than from People by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

In June of 2017, our organization, Growing Leaders, collaborated with Harris Poll to conduct a survey and discover the perspectives of various generations in the U.S. The survey looked at how different generations feel prepared for adult life; whether they had/have an adult mentor preparing them for adulthood; how overwhelmed they are by daily life and the role technology plays in learning.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll from June 28-30, 2017 among 2,264 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older. Some of the results were quite profound.

  • 70% of U.S. adults say children growing up today will not be ready for adult life (i.e., life after graduation from school).
  • 2 in 3 U.S. adults (66%) say that when they were in their teens, they had an older adult (other than a parent) who positively impacted their life. Baby Boomers age 65+ (59%) are significantly less likely to agree with this than all other age groups, but particularly Millennials age 18-34 (71%).
  • Nearly 3 in 5 U.S. adults (58%) say they learn more information from technology than from people. Millennials age 18-34 (69%) are significantly more likely to agree with this than those ages 45+ (50%).

So, let’s interpret what these numbers seem to be telling us.

First, while all generations agree that we need adult mentors to help us prepare for life and leadership, the youngest generation surveyed says they learn more from technology than they do from people. So, seasoned veterans either need to:

a. Find a way to connect with the younger generation online and invest in them via a screen—since it is their natural habitat. In this option, we discover ways to redeem social media for constructive purposes.

b. Encourage them to meet face to face, believing some skills or qualities are better cultivated that way than on a screen. Hence, we give them what they need—not necessarily what they want.

If we believe there are soft skills (employability skills) that cannot genuinely be learned and practiced on a screen, we must engage our young adults in meaningful conversation and experiences that convince them of this as well. This means we have to be more than “talking heads” downloading information to students. We must create environments that magnetically attract the young and coach them. While 7 in 10 Millennials say they have an adult in their life, screen time still prevails, and they don’t feel ready for the leap from backpack to briefcase.

Here is another takeaway from the survey.

A large percentage of respondents regularly feel overwhelmed with everything going on in their daily life. However, the generational difference is substantial with 59 percent of Millennials significantly more likely to agree with this statement than those age 45+, at 32 percent. In short, the younger the person, the more likely they are to feel overwhelmed by everyday life.

As I dug through the findings, a conclusion came to light. At least so far, content on a screen has failed to prevent a person from angst, or feeling overwhelmed. In fact, quite the opposite. The more time we spend on screens, the more likely we are to feel overwhelmed by the information. There is a direct parallel between the rise in social media and the rise in anxiety among adolescents and twenty-somethings.

My Conclusions

The findings indicate to me that the need of the hour is face-to-face mentors. Real-life experiences, not virtual ones. Genuine relationships, not social media connections. Authentic conversations full of transparency and trust, not Tweets or Snapchat videos condensed to a few sentences. We need depth—not breadth.

Emory professor and author Mark Bauerlein recently said something that may explain a phenomenon in America today: “Students spend less discretionary time with adults than in former generations. They have never been so present with each other (online) than they are today.”

In times past, one chief element that prepared students to move from graduation to their career was the time they spent with adults who, in many ways, apprenticed them for adulthood. This would include educators, family members, coaches and employers. This survey indicates many Americans wonder if that’s working anymore.

Today almost one-half of the world’s population is 21 years old or younger, and they’re poised to lead our world into the future. This survey tells us we, as a society, have progressed into a new reality. Most of us don’t believe kids will be ready for adulthood when it arrives. Our young people don’t need us for information, but they need us for interpretation. Adults must find a way to pass on timeless values and principles our young will need, regardless of the complex world in which they live.

08.21.17

Real vs. Fake Relationships by Leneita Fix

youthministry.com

We are living in a connection driven world.  Everyday it seems technology is advancing to help us better stay in touch with those we love. The upside of this is that those High School reunions are way less awkward now that we can deal with all the drama before we ever get there. The downside is a generation is rising that doesn’t always know the difference between “real” and “fake” relationships.

There are different types of relationships. As a nation, we once took this to heart. A person with common interests who you felt safe enough to share your secrets with was a close friend. The guy you make small talk with while waiting at the dentist’s office was not. Now since we can go home and follow dentist guy on Twitter, we don’t always know how to define him.

Today’s teens are the first generation to never recall a time when they could not connect to someone via technology. They are used to having access to people at anytime in any format. We can learn about them through pictures, videos, and 160 written characters or less. It can give us the illusion that we know someone just because we know some information about them.

Sociologists use the term, “social ties” to explain the way are truly connected to a person. How strong a tie is between any two people depends on the amount of time spent together, the emotional connection, the level of closeness and (I like this one) the reality of how reciprocal the relationship is.

They claim there are three types of social ties we can have with someone. I think it is vital to start teaching our students the truth about these different types of connections.

They are:

Weak Ties

These are “acquaintances” or people we interact with but are not emotionally attached to. This is the person we see every day in the hallway and say.”Hi” to but that’s it. We follow them on social media because we met them once. We might see a lot about their lives, but don’t really have anything to do with them.

Strong Ties:

These are the relationships that are most important to us. These are people we share our lives with, and who share their lives with us. Some would say this could never happen via social media. Personally, I would contend there needs to be sometimes when you truly interact with these people in person or face to face in some way. However, with Skype or a good old-fashioned telephone, we can have long-distance friendships pretty easily. What’s important in these ties is that you are going deep and that the connection is not one-sided.

Intermediate Ties:

These may go slightly deeper than just watching someone on Instagram, but they aren’t the people we will share our innermost desires with either. This is where many of our social media interactions lie. They are somewhere between an acquaintance and a true friend.

When we don’t know the difference between these types of relationships we can get confused. We follow someone on our social media of choice and maybe have some witty interactions. We don’t know what to call this person. Are they a friend or an acquaintance? We can navigate this in person, now to learn it online.

Various scientists keep studying the effects of our new way of connecting via technology. The common find is that the deepest intrinsic longing of people is for quality over quantity of relationships. Personally, I think that started way back in the Garden when we knew what it was like to walk and talk with God. He created two at the beginning, not a mass mob. It speaks to the very depth of our soul’s need in so many ways.

We need to understand safety in building relationships online as well. Is there someone we shouldn’t be talking to? Don’t tell your students talking online to friends is evil.

What’s vital is to understand the level of truth those people hold in our lives. There needs to be a way of building a safe relationship that is not a manufactured version of ourselves.  It’s funny, but we have to teach our students how to make friends in this new world.

08.21.17

Four Gifts Every Student Needs From You This Year by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

I remember the story of a seven-year-old boy who loved parades. One Saturday he heard about a local parade that would march on the street just behind his house. In excitement, he scampered out to see the band, the majorettes, the clowns and the floats—but there was just one huge problem. His backyard had a tall fence around it, preventing the boy from seeing over the top of it. In fact, the only way he could see the parade was through a tiny knothole in the fence. Unfortunately, this small hole only allowed him to watch what was directly in front of him at any given moment. It was very limiting.

In time, the boy’s dad noticed him trying to watch the parade and decided to offer a little help. He picked his son up, placed him on his shoulders and for the first time, the boy could see the panorama of the entire parade. He saw the big picture.

That’s what I’d like to do for you, in this article.

A Big Picture Vision as You Begin a New School Year

We are about to launch into another extremely busy school year, both in colleges and in K-12 education. I have already spoken at some faculty “kick off” events and seen excited educators commenting on how fast the summer flew by. In a matter of weeks, we’ll all get lost in the grind of our day-to-day work.

I’d like to offer a reminder of the big picture of why we all do what we do with young people, regardless of whether we’re parents, teachers, coaches, employers or youth workers. I’d like to place you on my shoulders to see a panorama of your work.

The Four Gifts Your Students Need from You

In order to grow and flourish, students need four gifts from the adults in their lives. These four may look slightly different to you, depending on your role in their lives. These four represent the fundamentals good leaders provide young people each year:

1. Love

I recognize this sounds very syrupy. But students perform best when under a leader they believe genuinely cares about them—as a person, not just a student or athlete. A growing body of research demonstrates that teens develop best when learning from someone they have a relationship with and from someone they believe likes them. When there is no relationship or the student doesn’t think you even like them, learning is diminished. Love makes a difference between employers and team members; coaches and athletes; teachers and students, and between parents and kids. It’s been said, “Today there are so many broken children living in grown bodies, mimicking adult lives.” When love is absent, growth is hindered. This is why social-emotional learning plays such a vital role in education. Forget reading, writing and arithmetic if a kid is struggling to feel they belong. Love is the first ingredient to growth.

2. Limits 

Students need leaders in their lives to provide boundaries and limits. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Without limits, kids develop insecurities and begin pushing against any boundaries, just to gain attention. As they grow into adults, limits offer guidelines for students to follow. Providing limits actually, communicates we care for them. Think about it: if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t bother to furnish any limits. Limits harness their energy and channel it in a positive direction. Author Ravi Zacharias writes, “The loneliest people in the world are amongst the wealthiest and most famous who found no boundaries within which to live. That is a fact I’ve seen again and again.” Limits for students may include technology and social media, budgets and spending, time with certain people, etc. Limits help us mature well.

3. Latitude 

While this may sound paradoxical to the item above, it is not. While I believe all emerging adults need leaders to give them limits, I believe our limits should have limits. To fully mature, young people need latitude: the ability to spread their wings and fly in the direction they believe is right. Limits should guide them away from unhealthy movement, but latitude empowers them to move. All genuine maturity includes two ingredients: autonomy and responsibility. The purpose of limits is to foster responsible living. The purpose of autonomy is to foster risk-taking and decision-making. With autonomy, adolescents explore possibilities, learn the benefits and consequences of their choices and develop their own sense of identity. Without latitude, they simply borrow the decisions of others. There is nothing more pitiful than a grown adult still requiring their parents to tell them what to do. Growth requires freedom along with responsibility.

4. Leadership 

By this, I mean someone who provides high expectations. Most young people do not push themselves to their limits without someone they respect communicating their belief in the student’s capabilities. Effective leaders are both supportive and demanding, challenging students to rise to the expectations that are possible with their best effort—not unrealistic, but definitely stretching. When a caring adult communicates love, limits and latitude to students, they are in a position of respect and can furnish high expectations for the student—expectations that are seen as belief in them, not punishment. Students rise or fall to the expectations we place on them.

These four items are the pass, dribble and shoot our students need. I’ll let you stay on my shoulders if you’ll promise to keep these in view.