This week marks the very last GCIO for the Senior Class of 2018 – students and leaders alike. Four years ago, we all showed up to the Say Hey to Summer Party and had no idea what to expect but we were all excited and ready to begin. It seems like just a few weeks ago, but here we are staring into the next chapter of life for these students. We’ve watched you grow up and become leaders, influencers, scholars, and soon – graduates. As I reflect on my time as a leader, I had some parting thoughts that I wanted to share.
To my fellow GCIO leaders –
Thank you for your devotion to these students. Simply and most importantly, you have no idea the impact that you’re making on the next generation and your commitment is truly amazing. From seeing Alvin Hicks in a red leather jumpsuit and mustache to Jeff Moyer literally chasing his students through the woods, you all have quite literally done everything possible to share the love of Jesus. It’s incredible.
It has been my joy and privilege to serve alongside all of you. It’s not easy to do what you all do on a weekly basis, but you not only do it, you excel at it. We’ve seen the number of students grow exponentially and that would not be possible without the welcoming atmosphere that all of you foster. Mandy and I have developed some great friends, we’ve all experienced the amazing memories from events (shoutout to that sunrise at VR!) and gotten to witness the magic of students that we love professing their faith and getting baptized while Reed cries. Y’all are genuinely the Navy SEALs of Gwinnett Church. You da real MVPs.
To the GCIO staff: Reed, Ansley, Mike, Sam, Brice, and the best slew of LDPs to ever come through GC –
This team leads the way and the example that you set for leaders is remarkable. Within an organization like North Point that is known for innovation, this team is known as the ones that consistently go outside the box. That shows the lengths to which you’re willing to go to accomplish your mission. GCI-Rogue forever!
While making it happen is tough, chasing after a vision is easy when you all convey it to us with such heartfelt passion. Mike has said for years that he wants to be an old, wise man – the old part will get there eventually but the wisdom has already arrived. The name Sam Sardone is already sweeping through the state as a leader in doing whatever it takes to love people. Ansley is a creative genius and nothing that we do would be possible without her. Brice and the production team are wizards, I think. Everyone makes a big joke of how much Reed cries, but that wouldn’t happen if he wasn’t so utterly devoted to impacting students. He literally can’t contain it. This must be one of the most talented groups of people ever assembled and I’m glad that I got to be associated for this chunk of my life.
Finally, to the students of GCIO –
Your time as a part of Gwinnett Church InsideOut may seem like a Sunday evening activity that you participated in, but I believe that you will look back and see how impactful it really was. The people that have poured into you have set a foundation of faith that I pray you will fall back to when life gets tough. Unfortunately, that will happen. When it does, please never forget the family you have at Gwinnett because you will always be a part of it and you are always welcome back home.
The potential of this group is limitless, and I can’t wait to have a front row seat to all of you legitimately changing the world. Whether that looks like you developing the cure for cancer – which is totally possible – or causing a tidal wave of faith throughout GCo, the world will be a better place because of you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives during high school. I love all of you and I know that Jesus has some amazing things up His sleeves for each and every one of you if you trust Him.
Thank you so much for making Sundays the #BestNightOfTheWeek.