Thanking the people who shape our kids' lives

Kara Powell Image Kara Powell | Jun 9, 2017

I am who I am because of the adults who invested in me when I was a teenager.

But I wasn’t always great at thanking those adults.

Fast forward thirty years. This past school year, my three kids have been shaped by the amazing adults at our church.

Like our fifth grader’s small group leader who just graduated from college and moved to Colorado. Today Jessica got a postcard from Christina, letting her know she was still praying for her.

And our middle school pastor who coordinated a banquet for our daughter and all the other promoting eighth graders at our church. The highlight was sharing the letters of affirmation that parents had secretly collected from their child’s mentors, teachers, and extended family.

Or the member of our congregation Nathan asked to read a book with him this summer—a book that is helping our son grow deeper in his faith as he navigates high school.

But this last school year, I haven’t shown enough appreciation to these adults. Even though there is no greater gift you can give me than investing in my kids, sometimes I forget to say thanks.

So today I’m inviting you to share this 3-minute video to say thanks.

Young people today are looking for adults who will listen to their stories... and share the love of Jesus with them. (tweet that)

It’s the story of Myron Salisian, a legendary volunteer youth leader in Pasadena. Through both Young Life and his church, Myron has been pouring into teenagers for over 46 years.

Myron’s life has taken an unexpected turn. And now young people are saying thanks.

I invited Myron to my home to share his powerful story—with me and with you. And for you to share with any adult who has poured into a young person this school year.

Maybe you need to share this video with an adult who cared about you when you were younger. That mentor, neighbor, or aunt who loved you no matter what—even when you didn’t feel very lovable.

Or maybe you’re a leader who is grateful for the way someone at your church has invested sacrifically in teenagers and young adults this past year.

Or maybe you’re a parent who needs to show appreciation to that adult who took your kid out for a Coke, or showed up to cheer them on at a basketball game. Or meets with them every week to talk about life, and Jesus, and how the two relate to each other.

As the school year wraps up, I am personally sharing this post with fifteen adults today—five who invested in me when I was a teenager, and ten who are doing the same with my own kids three decades later.

As Myron shares in the video, “Young people today need, and want, and are looking for adults who will take the time to listen to their stories without judgment, without criticism. And I’ve realized that through contact with adults who really care about them, there are opportunities to share the love of Jesus with them.”

Who will you send this video to today to thank them and let them know you’re glad they cared?

Kara Powell Image
Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the chief of leadership formation and executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women to Watch," Kara serves as a youth and family strategist for Orange and speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara has authored or coauthored numerous books, including Faith Beyond Youth Group, 3 Big Questions That Shape Your Future, 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Growing With, Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family and the entire Sticky Faith series. Kara and her husband, Dave, are regularly inspired by the learning and laughter that comes from their three teenage and young adult children.

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