Think back in your life to the people who were some of the more influential people in your life. Think about the folks who weren’t your parents that influenced you in some way. Now what was the common denominator? What made these people show up in your memory? The reason is probably so simple and yet so indicative of a simple, yet critical component to investing in the lives of students. The reason is the decided to show up.
Think about it. That teacher that continually influenced you to a better version of you made the same decision that that “super fan” that was at all of your athletic events. The choir director who reminded you that you were more than just a kid made the same decision that the small group leader who invested into you and your friends’ lives each Sunday night. Every single person made the decision to just show up.
I’m often in a role where I am trying to locate adults to invest in the lives of students. I am trying to convince adults that they can add significant value to the lives of students and their own lives by investing in the next generation. Often, the thing that I run into is, “I won’t know what to say.” I used to think the same thing. I used to think there was absolutely no way I had anything to offer.
Here’s the deal: Kids/Students today don’t just need more information, they need incarnation. They need adults who are going to just show up in their lives.
In a day and age where students and kids have more access to all kinds of examples and “role models,” students need adults who are going to display for them, not just tell them about, a different life; the peculiar life that is guided by something other than selfish desires and self-focused ideals. The first step in investing is showing up. It’s certainly not the only step, but it is definitely the first step.
The first step to making a lasting impact on the lives of the Next Generation, is committing to doing one thing: Just Show Up.