In some ways, I've alway known this. Not because I had a brilliant insight buried within me, but because of what I have seen. Whether I was a Middle School Pastor or even a student leader in Chi Alpha during my undergrad - I knew that for every life that was touched, dozens of people were involved in all the work leading up to that moment.
In college, we would host a burger bash on the quad for hundreds of students right when freshman arrived on campus. Although I lacked a lot of common sense (and at times, still do), I realized that the food had to come from somewhere and that the volunteers that flipped burgers for hours didn't just happen to walk up and start helping out.
Or when I was leading a ministry for middle school students in southeast Georgia, I didn't even really think about doing anything without inviting and asking for the help of committed volunteers and parents. In fact, they probably had more of a direct influence on the lives of students than I did.
But after being away from the district (as I like to call Washington, DC) for just a few days, I have already had the chance to speak at a church, lead a youth sunday school and connect with several pastors. It is now, perhaps more than ever, I fully realize that it takes a team.
When it comes to parenting (which I would have what some would call, limited experience) - it has been said that it takes a village to raise a child.
I think I feel the truth of that, in my own context (of course).
My wife Hannah and I love that we get to be a part of the live of students at American University. Whether we are trying to get fifty students without a vehicle to a retreat hours away or we are hosting leaders in our living room, encouraging them to live intentionally - it takes a team.
I simply want to say thank you. We have several churches that have partnered with us in big ways. Like, seriously big ways. We have families of five and even college students that have invested into us and our ministry. Without you, we couldn't do it. And in fact, we wouldn't want to do it without you. The stories we experience are just as much yours as they are ours. You are making a difference every time you pray for us, each time you send us an encouraging note and every month when you give sacrificially to our cause.
We are grateful.