This is a guest post from Reagan Hillier, the founder of one of Fellowship One’s preferred partners, Worlds of Wow, creators of imaginative kids’ spaces. Both Fellowship One and Worlds of Wow are members of the Partners in Church Consulting (PCC) Network
I recently attended a conference for an organization we partner with. It did not take long to notice an overwhelming sense of integrity in the room. This room was filled with leaders in the industry of construction, architecture and design. Collectively we serve churches and collaborate as to how to do that better, but not just better, with great integrity.
There was a time where this wasn’t such a noticeable trait as people used to do business with a handshake and it meant a promise or a commitment – integrity was implied. Integrity seems to be a noun dropped from our language today, replaced by so many words void of any real perceived value. We have allowed a culture shift to redefine our character, how we do business and most importantly, how we lead our youth. We are raising a generation influenced more by mischievous personas illuminated on our 50” flat-screen TV’s, than the inspiration and encouragement of adults drenched with noble character.
I don’t think we have to consult an expert as to how we redirect this momentum toward reclaiming words such as integrity and commitment helping to mold this amazing next generation. A few simple thoughts come to mind:
1. SHARE YOUR TIME – Kids simply want time with us. We recently took a family vacation to Branson, Missouri. We did a lot of kid-driven activities but the one activity my kids loved the most was our family hike. What a joy it was to hear that. We hiked half the day giving my husband and me plenty of time to just have uninterrupted conversations with our kids. Time shared with our children is an investment THEY are seeking and we need to have an abundance of. Share your time!
2. ENCOURAGE DAILY – I read somewhere that it takes ten positive comments to overcome every negative comment a person receives. Consider all of the negative input our children receive or are exposed to on a daily basis directly or indirectly. We have a lot of ground to make up but we can do it by being intentional and impeccable with our words. Encourage daily!
3. WE ARE THE MODEL – The greatest, most undeniable influence making an imprint on children today – us – the parents, the grandparents, the guardians. Everyday, in all that we do, don’t do, say, don’t say, we are leaving a lasting impression for them to emulate. This presents a great opportunity for us to bring integrity, and other lost words of character, back to our vocabulary as we fully embrace the idea that we are the model.
We cannot change technology and the advances we have made as a society, nor do I believe that is the right approach or perspective to take. We can, however, reevaluate our time, our words and our influence to resound more loudly than the other noise vying for the attention of our children. Let us be known as leaders in our industry parenting, full of integrity, making an overwhelming impression.