“We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how ’bout you?”

The fall semester of the 2016-2017 Leaders’ Club calendar is the books.  Our newest Leaders have been introduced to new friends, strategies regarding group formations, fitness goal setting and the history of the YMCA.This class of YMCA Leaders can even recite the YMCA mission, right? (Hint: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.)All seasoned leaders know that Luther Gulick developed the YMCA triangle and that the three sides stand for spirit, mind and body. The first semester included written tests to measure the mind side of the triangle. The body side of the triangle is being put into practice through at home trainings. Dr. Gulick would be proud of the work Clubs have put in thus far. Lastly, most clubs have devotionals and vespers which are tangible examples of the spirit side of the YMCA triangle.

However, the YMCA triangle is equilateral; all three sides are equal. To live a balanced life, we must give all three sides of the triangle equal attention. The year long curriculum of our Leaders’ Club program needs to remain as balanced as Gulick’s triangle. Including spirit initiatives back home is essential for the success and development of our teens

Blue Ridge Leaders’ School asserts that the club spiritual advisor has a critical role in our clubs that is larger than just choosing the weekly devotion. There are several initiatives the spiritual advisor/Leaders Club can put into practice that will help the Leaders keep all aspects of their world in proper perspective. Establishing club families, assigning big brothers/sisters, holding deeper meetings, and ending meetings with sharing opportunities and/or prayer circles will foster an environment that supports a balanced life for our teens. It will give each Leader a safe place to share the challenges and joys they are experiencing. When your Club fosters an environment that accepts and honors the teens for who they are and makes them feel safe, then you will truly be adding strength to the spirit side of the triangle. Appointing a club Spiritual Advisor (i.e., Chaplain, Spirit VP) will aid in the aforementioned initiatives becoming reality.

We have seen a great deal of emphasis on the mind and body side of the triangle. However, with the rollout of our new website, we challenge YOU to send us examples of how your YMCA is putting the spirit side of the triangle into practice. Whether it’s a teen prayer breakfast, family meeting topics, or deep meeting questions, every example will assist other clubs throughout this movement.

Please feel free to forward any curriculum ideas.  Thank you in advance for sharing your great works.

In His Spirit,
Ryan Graham