Partners for Influencing Kids,
Before the last Varsity game, a senior player surprised Roger Palmer, giving him a baseball inscribed with 25 of his favorite Scripture verses, the phrase, "Play for Him, Live for Him, ALL FOR HIM, and a personal note: "Thank you so much for everything. You are a great role model. The world needs more people like you."
Roger's story illustrates the powerful impact one dad can have on kids. When a person steps out in the power of God to honor Him, God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20).
Play for Him
Roger, Reach Out's National Director, also mentors Parkview High School's baseball teams. He and his wife Wendy developed a connection with parents and the school through their sons Austin and Aaron. They have volunteered for over six years.
Because Coach Chan Brown saw the need for his players to experience real life-change, he invited Roger to mentor the 9th-12th grade teams. With the support of the principal and athletic director, players and parents were offered a choice: mentoring time with Roger or workout time. 100% chose time with Roger!
Roger met with 50-55 players weekly for one hour encouraging them to Play for Him.
Live for Him
During their weekly mentoring, Roger challenged them to think about their influence as they explored biblical passages on leadership. He walked them through 1 Thessalonians helping them discover how to develop healthy relationships on the team and with others. Roger finished the year in Ephesians showing them how they can have real power--the power of God. The players got into it. They volunteered to lead worship, asked and answered questions, and shared meaningful Bible verses.
Parents began to see the change! One told Roger, "My son is leading our family devotions at night using his notes from the weekly study." Another parent concluded, "The investment you made in my son will impact his life forever." These players were learning to Live for Him!
ALL FOR HIM
On and off the baseball field the life change became evident. As the season wore on, the players--individually and as a team--became stronger in their faith in Jesus. This culminated in the playoffs and the final outcomes were amazing:
- The freshmen made the playoffs finishing 2nd.
- The Junior Varsity made their playoffs finishing 3rd.
- The Varsity won the AAAAA Baseball State Championship!
Running onto the field with fans following the highly charged victory in the State Championship game, Roger called out, "Let's stay focused and thank the Lord for what he has done." The players gathered and took a knee. The fans gathered around too. Roger led a prayer giving honor, praise and thanks to Jesus for what He had done in these guys' lives and the way He powerfully worked in them to honor Him in the way they played. At that moment in time they were ALL FOR HIM!
Photo courtesy of Brain Kamer copyright 2011
The door of opportunity opened for Roger and he walked through it believing Ephesians 3:20 for himself and his guys. The "power at work within" Roger spread to the players and then God was "able to do immeasurably more" than anyone could have imagined!
Roger and I count it an honor that you pray for us and give to us so that together Reach Out can lead kids to "Play for Him, Live for Him, ALL FOR HIM."
Jesus is Lord,
|Interested in connecting with kids? Click here to learn about Building Leaders: Essential Tools for Leading Students.|