Because we are at a critical point in history...If we don't act now, when will we?
Our world faces a moral crisis. We are in a cultural war against principles—leaving many with no moral compass to evaluate their direction. The AIDS pandemic in Africa, the sex trade among children in Asia, terrorism in the Middle East, drug traffic in Latin America, poverty in half the world’s nations and the moral vacuum in America and Europe are cries for healthy, effective leaders to provide direction. Even in the U.S., 62% of kids are being raised without their biological father. Values are missing. It isn’t enough to add followers. We must multiply quality leaders.
Because kids are our future...What will happen if we fail to prepare them?
Today, almost one half the world’s population is 21 years old or younger. This means three to four billion people need to be developed. Ready or not, they will lead our world into the future. Members of the millennial generation (born between 1984-2002), are hungry to change the world. While they can be self-absorbed and impatient, they are optimistic, relational and savvy with technology. It is our turn to prepare them to lead the way. It is easier to shape a child than to rebuild an adult.
Because students need a process not just an event...How can mere events mentor them?
We believe leaders are not raised up in crowds, but through life-on-life mentoring relationships. We help adults mentor kids. We work to see students transformed from the inside out so they can turn their world upside down. The Harvard Business Review surveyed top leaders and discovered every CEO had just one item in common. Each one had a mentor. Half the Nobel Peace Prize winners were mentored by former peace prize laureates. Mentoring is the key. It’s a process not an event.
Because we're heading toward a leadership vacuum...Who'll replace the retiring generation?
In the next fifteen years, 45% of the workforce in the U.S. will be disappearing. The Baby Boomers, which make up the majority of this group are retiring and vacating their roles in business, in government, in education, in churches and as missionaries. These holes must be filled by young, trained leaders. Why? Leaders provide solutions. That’s what our world needs most—a new batch of leaders. According to research done by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, leadership qualities can no longer be the property of the elite few. In today’s world, every student will need to learn leadership skills.
Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...Can we afford to wait for a crisis?
There are many great causes with which to join hands. If we only feed, clothe and house the needy, however, we’ll only put a band-aid on the problems we face. We must focus on the future. If we can equip young people with new habits and attitudes, we will prevent problems for years to come. We’ll be playing offense not defense. It is better to build a fence at the top of the cliff than a hospital at the bottom. We want to address the crises before they begin, by preparing young people to be leaders.
Because culture-shaping movements often begin with the young...Isn't it time for one?
Our world doesn’t need another program—we need a movement. A cursory study of history reveals that many of the movements that have changed the world began with young people. From Jesus and his disciples, to Joan of Arc, to William Wilberforce, to John Wesley, to Martin Luther King, Jr.—nations have been impacted by young adults. We believe it is time for another movement that will transform society. We also believe if we have any chance of seeing it happen today, we must reach back to the next generation. At Growing Leaders that’s what we do best.