The beginning of the school year is a time of newness. There are new teachers, new classes, new friends, new clothes, new shoes, new adventures. Whether they are articulated or not, in addition to all of these other new things, there are new goals. You may have goals for your son or daughter, and your son or daughter may have various goals for themselves. Perhaps it is attaining a certain grade point average or lettering in a certain sport or getting a girlfriend (let’s be honest, this is every seventh-grade boy’s aspiration and it is time for us to be candid that it simply is not a realistic one).

In addition to my role at CCC, I am a coach. When I have the opportunity, I want to communicate to student-athletes I coach that they are human beings first, students second, and athletes third. What I really want them to hear is that they are more than the sum total of their athletic abilities. There is much more to a person, and what I want to encourage you to communicate to your son or daughter this year is that while they (or you) may have many aspirations and goals for this school year, they are much more than the sum total of their academic, athletic, musical, social, or other accomplishments. At the core of every single one of us, we are human beings, created by God and desperately in need of reconciliation to him. Through Jesus, he has provided this to us and in one fell swoop has accomplished more for us than the sum total of any accomplishment we could ever attain.

What this means is that we can accomplish everything we’ve ever dreamed but if we are not reconciled to God through Jesus, we have missed out on the only thing we truly need. Often, when we plan our lives, we don’t think about this. We become enthralled by the immediate benefits of success in areas that are not nearly as important as Jesus. And why not? It feels good to get A’s, it is gratifying to succeed athletically, it feels important to climb the social ladder. But this has a side effect. When we think about goals and aspirations for our students, we do so without stopping to ask this question: what would it take for my son or daughter to look more like Jesus at the end of this school year than at the beginning?

That is the question I want you to ask as this new school year begins. What would it take for your son or daughter, your whole family, to look more like Jesus at the end of the year than at the beginning? What would that mean? How would it change your schedule? How would it change your priorities? How would it change your dinner conversations, the money you spend, your weekends, your family time?

At CCC in 2019, our theme has been to Make Jesus Famous. One of the best ways this happens is when we walk with him and start to look like him. So, as students and parents heading into a new school year, I want to encourage you to ask that question. The impact will reach far beyond your own family.