The Coolest Sticky Faith Action I’ve Seen in a While

Kara Powell | Jun 19, 2014

Photo by shota mitsuyasu.

The fifth grade assignment was fairly typical: write an essay about an adult who’s important to you. Most of the class wrote about parents or grandparents, but my daughter decided she wanted to be different than the rest of the class (which if you know Krista completely fits). She wrote about my step-sister, her Aunt Laura.

Laura has been “cool” all her life. Five years younger than me, she and I have had a special bond ever since her mom married my dad. Not only is she hip and fun, she’s incredibly committed to loving Jesus and loving others.

Last summer, Krista bonded with Aunt Laura on our annual family vacation. I watched as Krista wanted to sit next to Laura at dinner, and ride in her car to the beach. Given our Sticky Faith research about the power of adults investing in kids, Dave and I were thrilled to see this relationship blossom.

So it was no surprise that Krista wrote her five-paragraph essay about her Aunt Laura. A few days ago, Krista used my phone to text her Aunt to let her know about the essay, and that she was going to mail her a copy.

What was surprising to me was Laura’s text back:

Hi Krista! What a delight you are! I’m going to write an essay about you and mail it to you. You’re awesome!

As I read the text aloud to Krista, I teared up. Laura had sent the PERFECT response. As much as I’ve championed Sticky Faith and intergenerational relationships, I don’t know that I would have had the brilliant idea of writing an essay in return.

So my question to you is this: When a child or teenager shows you how much you mean to them, how can you tangibly reciprocate?

If a child draws you a picture and hands it to you at church, maybe you do the same.

If a teenager comes and talks to you Sunday after church, maybe you make a note to text them twice this week to let them know you’re praying for them.

What can you do this week to let a young person know you are crazy about them?

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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