Phase Defined: 4 Things That Are True for Every Child

This post was written by Kristen Ivy, Director of Messaging at Orange and Director of The Phase Project.

What does phase really mean?

If you really break it down, there are four things that are true at every phase:

1. Every phase has significant relationships you can influence.

Kids in different phases listen to different voices at different volumes. (Kind of the same way they listen to different music at different volumes, too) So, it just makes sense. If you want to influence a kid’s future, you need to know who they are listening to. You need to find out who has influence with them and influence those who have influence.

2. Every phase has present realities you should understand.

Kids at every phase are changing in six ways: mentally, physically, relationally, culturally, emotionally and morally. If you want to make an impact on a kid now, you need to begin by understanding who they are right now—and chances are, it’s not who they were last year.

3. Every phase has distinctive opportunities you can leverage.

Every phase has unique rhythms you can leverage to incorporate faith into everyday life. (You probably don’t get as much quality bedtime conversation with a high schooler as you did when they were in preschool). Every phase also has unique milestones—the first day of kindergarten or getting a driver’s license. These once in a lifetime opportunities are also opportunities to accomplish something more in the heart of a child.

4. Every phase has future implications to navigate.

Every phase builds on the phases that came before, and every phase leads to the phase that comes after. That’s why leaders of kids and teenagers need to think with the end in mind. Imagine the long-term goal and respond the needs of this phase in light of where you hope they will go.

That’s it. Those are the four components of a phase. That’s the basis for the whole initiative summed up in one 350-word blog. To sum it up even more:

You make the most of every phase when you. . .
influence through significant relationships,
understand present realities,
leverage distinctive opportunities,
and navigate for future implications.

 

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