Sticky Note Life Updates

Kara Powell | Apr 26, 2010

This morning is the kickoff of our weeklong intensive for our Urban Youth Ministry Certificate class here at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. I love this week because I get to learn from awesome faculty like Lina Thompson, Jeremy Del Rio, Kris Rocke, Rene Rochester, and Michael Mata.

Today I’m in class with 15 students just starting the program. Tomorrow I’ll be with the other 15 students who are halfway through our two-year program. Today at the start of class with the new students, Lina invited the youth workers to write on sticky notes what is going on in their lives as they sit in our 5 days of classtime. One at a time, they are posting their sticky notes on the whiteboard at the front of the room. What they are sharing is amazing - a mom who had a stroke but just smiled at her daughter, which is a major sign of hope; a student being deported; caring for elderly parents; a kid who smoked “bad pot” and is now hospitalized; and financial pressures.

I love that Lina is keeping the sticky notes on the wall for the week - a constant reminder that even when we’re in the classroom, we have lives outside of the classroom.

The same is true for the kids in our youth group. They walk into our youth group and small group meetings with lots on their mind - they have lives outside of our youth ministry. I’m sitting in this class thinking about the eleventh grade girls in my small group; every Sunday I see them, they walk in the room with pressures that often remain unspoken. I think I’m going to try to do a better job asking them at the start of our discussions checking in, asking them how they are doing, and really listening.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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