If 3rd Graders Can Do It, So Can You

Beau shared a story the other day about the group of third-grade boys that he leads on Wednesday nights at Hosanna Church in Lakeville. We can learn a lot from these kids…

As a church, Hosanna is collecting backpacks for Breakthrough Ministries in Minneapolis, with the goal of providing them with 1500 backpacks. The backpacks will be filled with toiletries and basic essentials (that the high schoolers are collecting) and go to help the homeless and all those who have no one to help them. As part of this collection, Beau asked his group of 9 boys, “Hey guys! How many backpacks do you think our group can bring in?”

“I think we can bring in ten.” replied one of the boys.

Beau challenged them a bit. “Well, guys, there are 9 of us in the group. So that would mean we’d all bring in one backpack. Do you feel like we could do a little better than that?”

“Yeah!” Let’s try for twenty!” chimed in a second boy.

Beau nudged them a little more. “OK, that’s better. What do the rest of you guys think?”

There are twin boys in the group and one of them piped up… “Hey, I think we could do one hundred!”

“Now we’re talking!” Beau responded. “Let’s set some milestone moments. When we reach 25, I’ll bring candy. At 50 we’ll have brownies. At 75, we’ll get pizza. And, at 100, we’ll have an ice cream party!”

What happened next is amazing…

The twins’ family found backpacks at local Menards stores on clearance, and they drove across the Twin Cities to get every one they could. The twin boys spent their allowance money to buy them, and their parents matched dollar for dollar. That first week they brought in 40 backpacks and set the tone for the challenge.

The rest of the boys in the group brought in their backpacks as well, and very quickly, this group of third graders surpassed their BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of one hundred backpacks. What seemed like a huge mountain when they set their goal now became a mountaintop experience. They’ve collected 139 backpacks, making a good-sized (or God-sized) dent in the larger church goal of 1500!

Think about the last time you set your goals… Did you set them like the first boy or the third one? Were you “realistic” in your goal setting, or did you stretch yourself? Did you approach things with unlimited potential and vision, or was your goal-setting safe and conservative? The results you get are dictated by how willing you are to think big.

“If you reach for the stars, all you get are the stars, but we’ve found a whole new spin if you reach for the heavens.” – Mary Poppins


Be the third boy, and then show up like these third-grade boys. Think big, then show up big. And don’t forget the pizza and ice cream to celebrate your wins!

Want to get involved with these third graders and their BHAG in collecting new or slightly used backpacks by May 11 to help those in need? Email Beau to learn more.

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