Yesterday the world woke up to news that maybe did not surprise everyone but the news very much so caught the world by surprise. The late great evangelist known as Billy Graham passed away. As I started to scroll on my social media pages I was tremendously blessed to see so many people from different races, denominations, and even religions say great things about Billy Graham.
It was amazing to see one man leave such a legacy behind that has literally impacted millions of people. As people were expressing their joy and sadness for the loss of this amazing individual the wheels began to turn in my head and if you’ve been around me, then you would know I tend to process things differently. Below you can find some of my thoughts about yesterday’s surprise.
If you have worked with students in this generation then you have often times heard them say things like “yeah, but we are all human.” Usually referencing a leader who they are having a hard time following, honoring, or even admiring. Students tend to use this quote as a cop out to why they cannot trust a particular leader.
Me, being the person that I am, I thoroughly enjoy comments like I referenced above because my response usually shocks the students. They expect me as the Pastor to play into their conversation and talk them off the ledge. However, I normally play into their point and agree and affirm that they are right. We are all human. This means we should treat and honor ALL HUMANS. Though this is not a blog about honor, let’s take this thought an add in the story of Billy Graham.
As much as we love and look up to a man like Billy Graham, you do understand fully that HE IS HUMAN. Now don’t get me wrong, this is in NO way a shot at or attempt to be disrespectful to his life and legacy but it is the truth. He was just as human as you and I. But I want us to go a little further. He was just as human as the students you work with.
Often times when we see the end of a persons’ life and we start placing them on pedestals and we begin to act like they did not have a humble beginning. You do realize that Billy Graham did not make it into his first youth group membership because he was deemed “too worldly.”
Man, if I had a dime every time I looked at one of my student’s social media’s and thought “they are too worldly to begin to make a difference in this world.”
But that’s the point. They are worldly. And so was Billy Graham.
As a youth worker, when you’ve been working with the same students for a while, sometimes it can be difficult to see the potential in your students especially when you base their potential on how they have been acting since you’ve met them.
What I have to continue to remind myself, is that students need someone to come along side of them and speak to the potential that is on the inside of them no matter how they are acting on the outside. – Jose
I want to leave you with 5 thoughts that can help you fan the flame of potential in a student.
- Everybody is a Billy Graham until they are not a Billy Graham. – So often we think students could never be a Billy Graham. Says who? If we treat students like they are next up, then they might become the next great leader this world needs.
- Even Billy Graham was challenged to become who he was. – It wasn’t an easy journey but it came with people challenging the status quo in him. We must be committed to not let our students be average!
- You should never count students out too early. – You have a responsibility to discover the gold that’s in your students in the middle of a dirty mine.
- We are all just humans but never forget, every human is made in the image of God.
- Our job as youth leaders is to find the potential buried by all the rubble and to pull that out of students. Don’t let the rubble keep the gold hidden.
I often wonder who’s next. They could be, should be, and probably are in your group right now. Would you be the one to help your students discover their potential and become the next Billy Graham?