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"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win." » I Corinthians 9:24
Family Christmas

Popsicle Sticks and Making Disciples

At age 10 with a backpack slung across her shoulders, my oldest daughter Kate was heading out the front door. “Hey, Hon, where are you heading?” I asked, thinking to myself, “Great! She’s already wanting to move out. What’d I do this time?”

Her response caught me emotionally, “Going to Jillian’s to disciple her.” She excitedly opened her backpack to reveal her Bible storybook, cookies for refreshments, and enough Popsicle sticks to build Noah’s ark. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. She has always had an amazing heart for Jesus and people, even at 10. Today she serves in our teen ministry, L.I.F.E. Groups, and drama outreach, as well as disciples young ladies. Can you say, “World Changer”?

Allow me to start by defining this term “World Changer”: someone who is radically devoted to and passionately pursuing Jesus Christ, compassionate toward people, and willing to risk everything for the sake of Christ’s kingdom.

So, how do we raise these fiery fighters? I can assure you it is not accidentally. It is intentional. It requires sacrifice and plenty of it. But before we explore the answer to this question, let me say this: We cannot pass on what we ourselves do not possess. We cannot raise World Changers if we ourselves are not changing the world.

We Recreate Who We Are

The Bible tells us in 2 Samuel 21:15-22 that David’s mighty men defeated four giants like Goliath in separate battles that demonstrated their skill and valor: “These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men” (v. 22, NIV). It is noteworthy that David’s brother, Shimea who served in Saul’s army, never managed to kill one of these huge, burly Philistine warriors, but Jonathan his son, who fought alongside David, is mentioned in v. 21 for his heroics in taking one down.

So, let’s do some math. Between David and his mighty warriors, they slew five giants. And how many did Saul and his men kill? Zippo. Zero. Nada. Why? Because you cannot pass on what you yourself do not have. It’s simple math. Or should I say spiritual legacy? David’s legacy as a giant slayer was passed on to his men. Saul could not do this.

We must assess with honesty our devotion to Christ and His kingdom. Are we allowing God to build in us what we desire to build into our children? If not, we must first ask our King to break through our religious external and thoroughly win our heart, train our hands for war (Psalm 144:1), and grant us a radical devotion to His purposes to slay some giants in the land.

Just as David had to draw five smooth stones from the creek bed to prepare for his battle with Goliath, so you must cultivate certain intentional habits to raise World Changers. Be sure to check out Part 2 next week, when I discuss the 5 “stones” you need in order to pass on a powerful spiritual legacy.


Pastor Mike Curtis has been senior pastor of Powerline Community Church for 18 years. The atmosphere at Powerline reflects his passion for discipleship, the local church, training leaders and the next generation, worship, and evangelism. Pastor Mike speaks at homeschool conferences on raising real men. He is married to the love of his life, Meredith Curtis, and has five children.

  • Zack

    I love this article. This is what I want for my son, Rusty (not yet born!).

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