While it’s true that love can happen anywhere, there are standards and expectations that provide an environment in which a healthy community grows.
As I wrote yesterday, “every week as I sit in our TreeHouse support groups I am in awe. Teens find hope amid their hurt, faith amid their fears, and love despite their pangs of loneliness…I wish everyone had a community like that.”
I Wish We Did Too
As my friend Hudson pointed out tonight, the following list is a wish list — Imagine If… — based on hopes and dreams. While some of them are possible, and others are measurable, there are on the list that are almost fantasies; but, still we reach and stretch for more.
• All cliques and barriers were dropped and everyone felt welcomed.
• Everyone felt safe to be real.
• Everyone was willing to be authentic and transparent.
• All the students in TreeHouse were unified together.
• Everyone who comes to TreeHouse hears they’re Lovable, Capable & Worthwhile.
• Everyone who comes to TreeHouse believes they’re Lovable, Capable & Worthwhile.
• Everyone who comes to TreeHouse teaches others they’re Lovable, Capable & Worthwhile.
• Every student had at least one good friend to help them make the right choices.
• TreeHouse could be like a “family” should be.
• We would each take responsibility for our own actions.
• All of us knew the real consequences for our actions.
• We knew how to “fess up” once we screwed-up.
• The TreeHouse staff were always – what TreeHouse Founder Fred Peterson called – “irrationally positive.”
• The TreeHouse veterans were all intentionally positive role models for others.
• We didn’t let low standards water-down our values.
• We knew how to appropriately resolve conflict.
• We modeled how to appropriately resolve conflict.
• We weren’t afraid of other people’s opinions of us.
• We weren’t afraid to fail.
• Fear, insecurities, arrogance and unhealthy pride were powerless.
• We first practiced everything in our own lives before we taught it to others.
• Teens can’t wait to get to school and invite their friends to TreeHouse.
• Every at-risk student in the community was positively influenced by TreeHouse.
Imagine if “TreeHouse” was replaced by the name of your church.
Note: This list was adapted from a list that Tim Schmoyer authored for Alexandria Evangelical Covenant Church Student Ministries in their Student Leadership Team Packet.