I met a girl a couple of weeks ago. She gonna tell me, “If you want to get acquainted with me and my son, you’ll have to take him to Disneyland.”
I went to pick her up the next day and here she got four more kids. I said, “Who kids are them?”
She said, “Them Bebe’s Kids.”
Presenters and trainers have to have a knack for knowing how to connect with other people. You need to make a connection with people in the audience when you present.
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Today’s Youth = Tomorrow’s Leaders
We adopted that as the tagline for Youth-N2-Action during its inception. It is a simple but profound concept. We may see them as youth today, pants sagging and iPods or cell phones connected to their ears, but see past the present. See them as the future. One day they will lead the way.
Look at the 2008 presidential campaign. President Obama did something extraordinary. He got people out to vote. He rallied others to get others to vote. Yes, he utilized modern technology for raising funds, but he also utilized it as a medium and means for getting younger voters involved in the political process to bring about change. Such a change led to a change that brought forth the change of a Black U.S. President, raising the level of achievement for those who have been short-changed and hamstrung in the past and the present by achievement gaps and other socioeconomic indicators.
Believe in today’s youth. Seek to reach them through diverse programs. They need everything from academics and athletics to the arts and sciences. Let them freely express themselves with everything from poetry to pottery, from rap to scrap booking. Allow them to develop into the well-rounded people we want leading our nation and embracing globalization.
The last thing we would want as tomorrow’s senior citizens is for today’s youth to look at us with blank stares and ask: “Who are you? Now that you need me to step up I can’t because you you didn’t step up when I needed you.”
Let us not let that be the case for our collective futures.
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How do you inspire inclusion?
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors. (The tag line of the United Methodists)
Is that it?
It’s like that nursery rhyme with all of the hand and finger images that goes like: “Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.”
Could there be more to it than that?
It does not come about purely by motivation. Motivation is enough to get us sparked and started. It is enough for us to get ignited and initiated. Motivation is a starting point. It is not the end-all of our efforts and endeavors.
Inclusion requires us to see the situation from a multicultural perspective. You can’t include people that you do not consider to be worthy of being included. In an effort to grow more multicultural, Christian leaders need to understand the tendencies of those they are seeking to include. Get familiar with Latinos and their culture if you seek to include Latinos. By doing so, you get yourself and your ministry team prepared for reaching a different demographic. You should minister to the makeup of your community, not simply remain who you are because of who you have always been. That deals with church tradition, not modern demographic trends.
In essence, you need to open more than your doors. You need to get in a position of readiness. Open your hearts and minds to other people. Okay, I’ll run with it. Open doors and open arms help, too. You have to be open.
We have an obligation to remain open to new experiences with new people. We have to encounter new people. We have to engage new people. We have to embrace new people. The onus is on us. Let us not become negligent or reluctant with this. Pray that God breaks up and shakes up fertile ground for planting the seed both inside and outside of the church for growth and expansion through diversity and multiculturalism.
I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.- John 10:16 (NLT)
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