Every action causes a reaction. Something I was refreshed in from the TX District Educators Conference this year is to consider the fact that the unknown effects, the ‘sight unseen’ reactions are impactful beyond our knowledge. The beauty is that it’s God at work as He has CHARGED (equipped) us with the Holy Spirit to bring about results that are way beyond anything we can imagine. God is mighty. God is full of grace and mercy. Every day needs to be a “Don’t miss it” day as we look to Him and remember that we are CHARGED for His purposes.
We had amazing main speakers at the conference from local pastors to nationally known. I’m highlighting just a couple with a common thread, what I’m calling the RIPPLE EFFECT.
Pebble in the Pond I’m starting with these words because this mental picture and story shared with the conference goers was powerfully real, incredibly memorable, and God-amazing.
Pastor Couser was using 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and the Hokey Pokey to make his point that we need to be “All In” in our ministry, which for the group of Lutheran Educators is our daily call – ministry and education.
A brief version of the story (newspaper article below) is that Pastor had volunteered an hour a week to connect and help a student in the school, in whatever capacity was needed. Pastor got a friend to sign up too, even though the friend was reluctant, not sure of what this would mean. Beautifully told, this friend of pastor’s came to the stage to share his life walk of the past year and a half or so.
He was paired with a middle school student with some disciplinary troubles and then significant health troubles too. This volunteer became a friend to help the family through many obstacles and became a support system (even a dad figure) to help the student through challenges of needing and receiving a heart transplant. He shared that he “never signed up for this” and that he was a pebble in the pond, used by God who brought ripple effects of astounding events full of God’s grace and mercy. Hardly a dry eye was left by the time the student also came on stage to show for us what someone “all in” can mean.
CHARGED by God, a changed life to change lives, one at a time.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Need a Rock? How about a Boulder?
TIM ELMORE was an incredible keynote speaker with many valuable points in reaching the iY Generation (23 yrs and younger)…so I chose just a few below. (But you’ll have to read his books or find where he’s speaking and go!)
In education, the Ripple Effect may be needed in a variety of ways depending on where you are as an educator. Need to throw a pebble in to cause some slight changes? How about a rock large enough that two hands are needed to throw it in and create a bigger change? Sometimes we’ve got to get the boulder….
1)In the words of Tim Elmore, to meet students where they are in this iY generation, we may “need a facelift, an overhaul, or a funeral” of practices in what we’ve been doing in the classroom.
As educators, we need to be aware of how students learn, and we need to prepare to shift as needed to a “guide on the side” in the classroom. 2)Teaching practices such as PBL (problem based learning), student driven learning, experience-learning, and allowing and encouraging right-brain learning will help educators meet this 3)EPIC generation – a generation of Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich, and Connected young lifestyles. This is where they’re coming from. Even though we may appreciate the good ‘ol days and need to know the past, that’s exactly what it is – former times with a different lifestyle, now in the past.
Maybe you’re thinking that this is overwhelming as the older generations try to connect to the newest generation. Remember that you are one person, CHARGED (equipped) by God, and that it just takes one person to make a Ripple Effect. You are a skipping stone; one person involved in different things, with different people, creating one ripple after another. Learn new practices, connect yourself to others, and see what happens. It’s a blessing to be an educator, a Christian educator, where I can share that Jesus Christ is my Rock, the center of all Ripple Effects.