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One of our biggest responsibilities as parents is not only to protect our kids from culture but to help them be the shapers of culture. Ninety-eight percent of people are followers; 2 percent are the shapers of culture.

How do we get our kids into the 2 percent who are shapers of culture? How do we get them to be the dreamers for their generation, inventing the gadgets, writing the songs, driving the businesses, running for political office and sitting on school boards? It starts while they are young. As moms and dad, we need to be about the business of sparking the desire and planting the seed in their hearts to creatively dream when they are very, very young.

We have told our kids from the beginning that they were born to change the world. They were born to make a difference. We put them to sleep at night praying over them, "God you Hannah (Charity, Cameron) to change the world. Use her to make a difference...to touch people's lives." From the youngest age, that seed was planted in their minds and hearts; they grew up believing they really can change the world and make a difference.

Our goal as parents is not just for our kids to become "good" members of society. We need to raise them to be change agents. We need to raise them to take the values we have instilled in them, harnessed with a passion for God, and inspire them to reach out to people. We multiply the impact we have had on their lives to countless others, as they reach out. Let me give you some practical ways that you can do this for your kids.

Encourage Them to Be Others-Oriented
From a very young age, encourage your children to be "others-oriented." For example, when your kids decide to get entrepreneurial, as most kids will, you can encourage them to mow lawns and sell lemonade so that they can donate the money to help other people, not just satisfy their own purchasing power. In a similar vein, when they do want things, instead of buying them everything they want, teach them to find enterprising ways of earning money. They need to learn how to save for things they want to buy.

Help Them Pursue Small Dreams
When can teach our children to be opportunistic. When my oldest daughter, Hannah, was 13, she had an idea that she wanted to use the Internet to help preteen girls through a website she wanted to create. I got a mentor to help her learn how to do a little bit of programming. She wrote the code for a website called girlofgod.com. She had all kinds of ideas on how she was going to do the art.

It was thrilling. She got lots of preteen girls on that site and ministered to them. The vision did not continue for very long, but it was a fantastic life lesson for her. She saw this truth: "If I have a dream, I can learn how to go about achieving it, and I can accomplish something." Help your kids find opportunities to impact other people and not just indulge themselves; and then show them how to take the vision from an idea stage to completion.

Defy Selfish Logic
All throughout our kids' growing-up years, we had a special Christmas morning tradition. After eating breakfast, we got ready to leave the house for what my wife and I felt was one of the most important holiday traditions before openings gifts: We would serve the meal at the local Salvation Army.

We did this to send a message to our children that Christmas is about serving, not just indulging ourselves. Inevitably, we would end up having some conversations with people who were really hurting, listening to them and praying fo them. Look for various ways to plant seeds in your kids about being others-centered.

Out-of-the-Box Experiences
One of the greatest things you can do is help your kids want to serve and impact other people. You can provoke this by giving them experiences that are way out of the box. Sending them to summer camp is great, but finding a camp that doesn't indulge them makes a bigger impact.

Look for something that teaches them to be closer to God or gain a skill. Some examples would be leadership camp like Student Leadership University, basketball camp, acting camp or anything else that will give them a skill they can use even in their high school years to serve others and become excellent at something.

One of the greatest things you can do is help your kids go on a missions trip in another part of the world. There they can see how other people live who are far less fortunate than we are in America. Start doing this at a young age. If MTV is targeting kids at younger and younger ages, then so must we. We must plant in our kids a desire to really make a difference and change the world.

Battle Cry for a Generation by Ron Luce
Teen Mania Ministries
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
 
Ron Luce was the co-founder's and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise up young people who would change the world.
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