M2M would like to share a message from Bridge2913 about great leaders. When I walked into Garland High School Assistant Principal John Poynter’s office three years ago, I had no idea what God had in store. John shared with me a vision he had for mentoring the at-risk young men in the school. Because we exist to empower people such as John to influence the lives of students, I was excited to assist him in bringing a program to life. Since then, God has shown me many things, and now I believe he has us on the verge of something truly special.

In the time since, God showed me that in areas of high poverty, one of the chief tragedies is that the role and leadership of men has been systematically destroyed, leaving a wake of chaos. Young men grow up fatherless, leaving them vulnerable—with negative self-esteem and looking for acceptance and belonging. They are raised in a community devoid of nurturing resources and positive influences and is instead filled to the brim with predators. They fall prey to a poverty mindset, fall prey to gangs and drugs, fall prey to the law. Inevitably, the cycle repeats.

This breaks God’s heart, and it has broken ours. Young men need to know they were made for so much more. They need to know they are wonderful creations of God—made to walk with him, know his love, and reflect his character. They need to know they were made to build families that walk with him, know his love, and reflect his character. Then, they need to know they have been given the wonderful task of building communities which know his love and reflect his character. They were made to walk with God, and be servant-leaders in the world!

So, working with Dr. Poynter and a local youth pastor, God has given us a vision, and we launched Crucible Youth Leadership at Garland High School to help young men know their awesome value as God’s creation, and their role as leaders for their families and communities.

We have learned many lessons in a few short years, and to be sure, our task is a very difficult one. However, we believe God has given us the core plan and vision that can help us re-write the stories of young men’s lives and impact their families and communities for generations to come.

If you are reading this, you are a part of God’s story reaching into schools and re-building the foundation of students’ lives. You are a part of a movement we all share in as the body of Christ, each doing its part. So thank you for how you serve, pray, give, and connect. Let’s continue to join God’s redemptive story and strive together to help students experience God’s love and purposes!