Ever had one of those weekends that you know has just renewed your desires and strengthened your resolve? This weekend was one of those for me.
We attended the 2015 Lads to Leaders convention with our church family this year. I had attended another convention of a different type several years ago but it was very different from this.
What we saw this weekend at L2L was inspiring. We want our kids involved and we want to see this available at a high level to all of the young folks in our congregation, not just our girls and not just elementary aged students.
We fell in love with the love of God and encouragement we saw among the youth at the convention. We found great encouragement in the encouraging they did with each other – not just our youth to each other but from youth to youth that didn’t even know each other. When someone was on stage and waiting for the announcement of winners, they were high fiving, hugging, and telling each other what a great job they did. There is nothing that can replicate that. Yes, they cared about placement but not nearly as much as the new friends they had made. One of our girls spent time chatting and braiding hair with another of the participants while they waited to be called back to the main participation room. Another of our girls made a friend that she was sad she didn’t get a phone number for. We sat down on the floor in the middle of everything and sang songs of praise to our God with 30 people. We didn’t know their names, may not see them again until next year, if then, yet we are family and had a bond of connection that made praising God together a joyous experience. L said that was her favorite part of the whole weekend – sitting and singing with others, lifting our praises to God together.
Seeing kids that didn’t know each other shake hands and encourage, seeing the help given when someone was struggling, seeing the smiles on faces when a young lady was struggling to get through a speech without tears, the pats on the back, and the camaraderie – we need to have our kids involved in that as often as possible. They need to see that the world of Christ is so much bigger than their Bible class, their congregation, their sight. They need to see that there are others across this nation and world who are striving along the same path they are and want them to succeed. Christ is so much bigger than they know and every opportunity they have to see and learn that is one that needs to be embraced.
We met another homeschooling family who lives 30 or so miles from us. Our girls now have new friends close by and we are in the process of making plans to go visit their farm and get to know them better. We met them during the final night of ceremonies and we chatted until the kids were running out the doors without us parents. We also attended Sunday morning worship with the L2L participants. A worship service with 1,000 people! That is not an every day experience for us and I hope it was an encouragement to the girls. It was a tremendous service hearing the young men lead singing and lead our minds in thoughts regarding the theme of ONE. What a wonderful way to close out the weekend.
At Home Dad and I are going to be doing a lot with our girls. We will be doing it, digging in deep, and helping them learn a lot. I encourage you to research Lads to Leaders and participate. Bring your children to a deeper love of the Lord and stronger knowledge of who He is and how to serve Him. We can do nothing better than to prepare our children for a life of service to God and what better time to start than now.