It was wonderful to see the studios full of smiles and life again as we all came back together from Christmas break! As I walked the halls, I snapped a few pictures and saw Sparks gearing up to go outside and play in the snow just as the high schoolers were all coming upstairs to have their check-in meetings with Disco heroes who are embarking on independent Passion Projects this session. Mentoring and servant leadership are high priorities at Journey so we often challenge the older studios to step into that role with the younger ones. As I was watching it all, I thought about this habit we have of referring to our students as ‘heroes’…
Why are we so intentional about this and why is it such a point of emphasis? It’s an important question, and the answer cuts to the heart of all that happens here at Journey Academy.
Our children are not empty vessels waiting to be filled or a blank slate waiting to be written upon. Nor are they just a grade in a grade book, where the learning that takes place has little relevance to their process of becoming.
No, they are brimming with potential, endowed with a unique constellation of passions, gifts, and interests, eager to be co-creators and participants, and capable of more than we could ever imagine. The call to the heroic is the call to adventure, to a journey that will stretch you farther than you thought possible, where you will uncover your truest, most authentic self and find out who you were created to be — to discover a burning passion, your deepest gladness, and to painstakingly pursue it with all that you have, all that you are.
Admittedly, many of our young heroes have yet to fully adopt this identity for themselves, and doubt sometimes lingers in the studio. Indeed, recognizing yourself as the hero of your own story takes some time. But make no mistake, the heroic spirit is alive and well, and we see examples of it each day in the studio: an exclamation of “I can do it!” about something previously avoided, the bravery to jump into a challenging activity, the resolve to try a new approach when previous attempts have failed, or the courage to respectfully confront another learner about an issue. This is the stuff of heroes, and within a community of growth-minded young people, it is being fortified into their souls each day.
So each time we refer to them as heroes, we aren’t indulging them, stroking their ego, or engaging in a cutesy language game. We are calling forth their truest selves and beckoning them onward in their journey to find a calling and change the world for Christ.