Get ‘Em Out of the Kiddie Pool

Ryan Tan Tuesday, May 6, 2014 // Youth // Comments

Cheska and I love spending time in the swimming pool. We don’t swim though, we just play, and we only stay in the kiddie pool BECAUSE SHE’S ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD, or so I thought.

But that all changed after we met Chris and Sophia.

Chris is an American married to a Filipina, and Sophia is his three-year-old daughter.

One time, Chris and Sophia went to the adult pool. What happened next was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

Chris threw shark toys to the pool that sank under the water. Then, Chris carried Sophia and, without hesitation, threw her to the pool.

I was shocked! Sophia went under water but before I was able to get out of the kiddie pool & help, Sophia emerged from the water holding the shark toys in her hands. (Right at that moment, I knew she was demon possessed and the evil spirits needed to be cast out of her… Just kidding)

Amazed with what I saw, I introduced myself to Chris and told him he inspired me so much to get a professional trainer for Cheska.

And here’s what he said, “You don’t need a professional trainer. You just have to make it fun.” Then he showed me how I can start training Cheska and gave me a few tips to keep it fun.

That encounter taught me two powerful lessons when it comes to raising and discipling the next generation:


First, is we’ve got to change the way we communicate to young people. I realized that the fundamental difference between me and Chris lies in the way we are communicating to our daughters. I would always tell Cheska to “be careful”, to “stay in the kiddie pool”, and “do not go to the adult pool.” So she did.

Using that analogy & applying it to campus ministry, I wonder how many high school and college students are still in the “kiddie pool” today because they are “still young”, instead of being entrusted with huge assignments and being empowered to change the world?

The truth of the matter is, God loves giving huge assignments to young people.

David was only seventeen when he faced Goliath, Jeremiah was only a child when God appointed him to be a prophet to the nations, Mary was a teenage virgin when God chose her to be the mother of Jesus.


Second, is we’ve got to change the way we treat young people. In my mind, Cheska is just four years old, too young to venture out to the deep and get out of the kiddie pool. But for Chris, Sophia “is not too young” to be thrown to the adult pool, dive into the deep, and hunt for some toy sharks.

The young people in our church, and in our homes, are not too young to be used by God. They are not too short, too weak, too poor, too provincial, too academically challenged to be given huge assignments and be empowered by God to do great things.

That incident reminded me of Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

It’s time to bring out our young people from “the kiddie pool” and empower them to accomplish great things for God.

Ohh… And just an update with Cheska: We got out of the kiddie pool and now, are learning how to hunt toy sharks in the deep.