I remember the day that particularly shaped me during the summer of my 10th-grade year when I was working on an academy campus caring for the buildings and grounds.
The principal and maintenance director came and asked me to lead the work crew for two weeks while the director was on vacation. There was still the grounds director from whom I would receive guidance as needed, but they gave me the keys to the buildings and the outline of the routine tasks that needed to be done by the student crew. I was empowered!
The theme of this education-focused Gleaner is empowering change-makers. Empowering and enabling means we are helping someone — our students — to be stronger, more confident and ready to take initiative and make a positive mission impact in our world.
Scripture is repetitive with stories of God empowering men and women with the opportunity to be His change agents. Stories of Moses, Joseph, Esther and the disciples are just a few examples.
Our church was birthed by God empowering William Miller to “go tell it to the world,” and there were so many others who were empowered and took on the cause of sharing the Three Angels’ Messages. Those empowered individuals created a movement that is still active in changing the hearts of men, women, boys and girls.
I can speak from experience that when someone is enabled and empowered, their engagement, self-worth and purpose increase. Relationships benefit. Change occurs in the individual who was empowered, as well as in others impacted by the change.
It is exciting for me to share that our Pacific Northwest classrooms have teachers who are practicing the most effective growth strategy we have in the development of students — that is empowerment.
Our schools, from early childhood through our university, are instructing, mentoring and engaging students — from the very young to young adults — to be change-makers. We need our young people, and they need to know we trust them, we affirm them and that they belong with us in being change-makers.
Our K–12 education mission in North America is “to enable learners to develop a life of faith in God, and to use their knowledge, skills and understandings to serve God and humanity.”
As you read school stories and view their pictures, I trust you will be encouraged by the work of our teachers and the growth that is happening in our students.
Please offer a prayer of thanksgiving for what is happening and a prayer for the Holy Spirit to continue growing each of us in our belief that we are empowered by God to also be change-makers on this earth.