When I was a Senior in High School I had the opportunity to begin training to get my private pilot's license. It was a dream come true. I had always wanted to fly. I found this place out in the country where the lessons were half the price from the airport in the town that I lived in. The airport had a grass landing strip. You could only land and take off one way. You also had to beware of the cows that would cross the runway at times. Fun times.
I had invisioned what it would be like to fly. I just thought I would step into the airplane, turn on the engine, and then get flying. Boy was I wrong. There was this thing in the cockpit that had to be checked before we would ever take off in the plane. It was our checklist. The checklist included checking the alerons and the elevators. We made sure our instruments were working properly and that the engine had the proper amount of oil. We used this checklist EVERYTIME.
My instructor also used this checklist everytime he would fly. Eventhough he had been flying for over 40 years and had been a fighter pilot in Vietnam and flew commercial jets. He would say that you must never take off without first going over the checklist. Every time we landed we would go through the checklist again before we flew again. The checklist was vital because it helped us to remember fundamental elements of the task ahead.
I want to share with you our youth staff's pre-flight checklist. Every time our youth staff gets together for a meeting we go over this checklist to ensure that we do not forget the fundamentals of the task ahead of us. We call them our "5 Essentials." They were adopted from the student ministry of Northpoint Church. We have made them our own and seek, as a youth staff, to infuse these 5 Essentials into the culture of our studennt ministry.
Our 5 Essentials are:
4. Keep it Real
5. Partner with Parents
Each youth staff meeting we go over one of these principles in depth. For the next couple posts I invite you to step into one of our youth staff meetings as we go through the different elements of our checklist together.