Recently, I read a Facebook post from one of my Christian ex-students to his young son. Obviously a SciFi/Star Wars fan his comment was, “Well done my little Padawan”. Just in case you missed it, a Padawan, also known as a Padawan learner or Apprentice, referred to an adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a fully-fledged Jedi. Padawans were known as Jedi younglings at first, and trained in classroom settings with multiple students and a teacher. After reaching a certain age, Padawans were normally apprenticed to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, beginning their one-on-one training. Sounds a bit like our classrooms and families doesn’t it?
Like Luke Skywalker who was a potential Jedi Knight, all of our children are potential disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke needed Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda to mentor him as he moved to one-on-one discipleship. Our children need their parents, schools and hopefully adult mentors, to help them to grow into the Faith.
The process of discipleship involves the whole person: spirit, soul, body and mind. It is our responsibility to disciple our children spiritually, intellectually, physically, morally and emotionally. Each of these aspects is interconnected.
As parents and teachers we can involve ourselves in a process which will see our children grow to be like us. That can be a scary proposition unless we ourselves are disciples of someone who is worthy and filled with love and integrity. Staff of New Hope international believe that the person whom we follow, and on whom we model our lives, is the man/God, Jesus Christ.
The process of discipleship requires us to:
Build relationships of depth and trust with our children.
Ensure that our actions are always motivated by love.
Model the behaviour and character of Christ.
Be encouragers who see potential in our children.
Teach Biblical principles and train and instruct our children in the teachings of Jesus.
Provide opportunities for our children to develop their gifts and talents
Correct and discipline our children with wisdom and respect.
Provide appropriate boundaries and backup.
Avoid exasperating our children.
Demonstrate forgiveness and grace.
What do you stand for? What will your children stand for? Who disciples your children? Remember again the wise words. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” New Hope International is helping kids all over the world to stand tall and firm in God through our training as we support, firstly teachers, and also the parents of students in Christian schools. Thank you for standing with us.
May the force and power of the Holy Spirit be with you as you guide, lead and mentor your God-given “Padawans”.