03 May #OC16 – Monday’s Coming – Breakout with Stuart Hall

From Control to Freedom…

Stuart Hall opened his breakout with one of those things that everyone feels awkward about in the moment, but then realizes it was the perfect way to start. He began with an audience participation game! Strike 1 for many people who don’t like games.  In this game, you had to touch the people on your left and right. Strike 2 for people who are germaphobes. I’m not going to lie – I can land in both of these camps so it was a bit uncomfortable for me.  But as I said, when it was over, I saw the brilliance of the illustration. The game went like this: We had to hold our right hand up with our palm open and then put our thumb of our left hand in the palm of the person on our left. So the entire row you were seated in, was “connected” from left to right. When Stuart said go – we had to simultaneously try to grab the person on our right’s thumb and not let the person on your left grab hold of yours.

The game was repeated on both sides. There were a few groans when we had to do this a second time, but everyone was a sport about it. Then came the explanation that helped this humiliation make sense. 🙂 Stuart explained how this allowed us feel a bit more like a student or child. We were in the middle; between control, lacking independence (someone holding onto our finger) and a strong desire for freedom (trying to release our finger from someone’s grasp). It was a great warm-up. It put us in the mindset of the kids we serve each week, which better prepared us for the information that Stuart would go on to present.

The One Thing

Not only are students in the middle between needing to be cared for and a desire for control, but kids are growing and changing constantly. Those who care for the next generation need to land on a common denominator. There is so much change, so much unpredictability in our current world. We need to unite as we care for and lead this generation. We need to agree on some things and find a common ground, but where do we begin? There is something- one thing- every parent (inside and outside your church) and every leader have in common.

We want a better future!

Kids want a better future and as leaders, we want it for them. Parents do too. In creating better futures for the next generation, we all want kids to be able to:

    • make smarter decisions
    • have stronger relationships
    • have a deeper faith


The Great Commandment

When Jesus was asked what was the most important thing, He responded with The Great Commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

This is the one place we can all agree. This is our common ground. This is our starting point. The one thing we have in common, the common ground that kids, parents, and ministry leaders possess is the same thing that Jesus shared as the most important thing over 2000 years ago. LOVE!


What Does That Mean For Us?

Every child or student is looking for us to amaze them, inspire them, and move them. As we teach kids how to live a life that mirrors the life of our Savior, we can capitalize on these three things.

  • Kid want to be amazed! So, how are we helping them imagine God?
  • Kids want to be inspired! So, how are we helping kids follow God?
  • Kids want to be moved! So, how are we helping kids serve God?


As we step out onto this common ground and lead the next generation we need to help them grow in:

  • Spiritual Maturity
  • Authentic Faith


We want to help them trust Jesus in a way that transforms how they love God, themselves, and others. Then their faith will mature and become authentically their own. The best practice for us, as we help kids transform their faith is to look at the life of Jesus.

What did Jesus look like?

Jesus LIVED a life that modeled the image of God.
Jesus TAUGHT in a way that appealed the image of God.
Jesus DIED so that he could redeem the image of God.
Jesus ROSE AGAIN and is transforming us into the image of God.

Jesus was a bridge builder for us to God and we need to be bridge builders for others. So, when we organize our content and structure our programs, we should do it the way Jesus said to. Love God. Love others.

As leaders of the next generation, everything we do needs to be built and structured around these two things. The common denominator for both is the one thing that matters most – LOVE.