Lunch With Twenty Influential People

For the past several weeks, I’ve been counting down to today’s lunch.  I played it out in my head a million times, and I have to say today was so much more amazing than I imagined.  Today, some of our staff had the honor of having lunch with 20 of the most influential people in Pickens County.  Not only are they influential, but I watched them talk about their genuine love for the kids and the families they come in contact with every single day.  I wish you could have been in the room.  Any guesses on who we had lunch with?

Principals.  Vice Principals.  Teachers.  District Leaders.

If you don’t know these folks – I encourage you to stop by their offices next week and introduce yourself because these people truly want to know you. 
Our goal for today was to honor them and build bridges – build deeper partnerships.  We both have much in common. 

We both are interested in investing in the next generation.

We both want to create safe places for kids to feel loved and ask for help.

We both want to build authentic relationships with parents and support them as they raise their kids.

We both want to shape culture in a way that transforms communities.

So, after lunch, we asked for open and honest conversation, and we asked tough questions to the 20 people at our table.  And they shared. There were “Ah-Ha” moments for us as we listened to their responses. 
The result of open conversation….
We are surrounded by kids and students and families who need relationships.  Period.   Interestingly enough – they didn’t say the greatest need was food, or the greatest need was school supplies, or the greatest need was shoes or anything tangible.  I know there are many that need these things, but that wasn’t what was spoken.  The greatest need from every person around the table boiled down to being loved by people.
And guess what – ALIVE is perfectly poised for just that.  You people are so good at loving people.  It’s what we do, and it’s what we will continue to do. 
So, what’s next?  We’ll take what we heard today and get creative.  We’ll brainstorm and figure out how to take today’s conversations to the next level.   Why?  Because there are 10,000 kids and 10,000 students that live around you and go to school with your kids that need you and need the love of Jesus. 
What if we – schools and ALIVE – could love these kids and families so much that we change the culture of our community? 
20 leaders in Pickens County are on board.  ALIVE is ready.   Let’s pave the way!

See you on Sunday! 
Stephanie Rhyne 
Children's Pastor