Imagine a world where Christ is known by the actions of His followers; a world where Christians are at the forefront of the world’s most challenging issues. At Orchard, our goal is to help people use their unique gifts and talents to change the world for the better. This call to inspire, impact, and introduce the love of Christ to others is not just for the adult believer but for our children, too. As they embark on a new school year, we have an opportunity to equip and encourage them to be a light in their worlds.

In 2019 our children engage in communities that reach beyond the cul-de-sac and lunchrooms. With a swipe of a finger and a “like” on their phones, they can reach people throughout the entire world. For this reason, many of their decisions can be impacted by what they see on social media. If a certain social media influencer decides the new thing is to flip a water bottle so it lands upright, we suddenly see Dasani and Aquafina bottles flying everywhere. With one post, one act, one decision, or one behavior, a video can go viral and within minutes reach people all over the world. The goal for many is to become the next big trend but what we truly desire for our children is that they shift from being influenced to being influencers for Christ. We can help our children see that each interaction, at school or on social media, matters. They hold a unique opportunity to change the world around them for the better.

We should encourage our children to speak up when someone is being cyber-bullied, encourage a friend who may be discouraged or even start a group at school that does good in the community.  Whether our children are in pre-k or in pre-med, they have something special that God specifically placed in them to help change the world. They can help others experience personally the love of Jesus by their actions!

Finally, as we encourage our children to let their lights shine, we should also remember to turn up the wattage on ours. Often, the busyness of life can put a dimmer on our spiritual lamps. We get caught up in 50-hour work weeks, raising our families, mountains of bills (or laundry), or just the general stresses of life. But if we are asking our children to be the examples in their spheres of influence, we should aim to be examples of our own.  Sometimes that starts with one small step towards making an impact, or one decision to do good in the world. What can you do as a family to make a difference in your community? How can you possibly serve together to make that change? Can you start by praying for others as a family? Whichever way you decide to serve, remember as you shine together, the brighter the better.