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Growing up, one of my favorite movies was The Power of One. The movie, itself, is about the story of a young, white, English orphan living in South Africa during the apartheid. It is a story of powerful impact. And the ripple effects—good or bad—our actions or words might have.

Though a very different story, the same framing came to mind for me as I thought about this blog: “The Power of One.” Jesus was the ultimate “One.” In John 14:6, Jesus tells us “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” His existence changed all of eternity. Yet, God also equipped each of us—with a head, heart and hands—to be that “one” in the life of someone, or many someones, throughout our lives.

Often, I think we believe that our actions have to be big to create real change or meaningful impact. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is a BIG mission to be entrusted with: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” I don’t know about you, but leading a school, being entrusted with a classroom of children, or even being a parent, that Commission can feel like a daunting task. How do I plant seeds that truly have eternal impact? Too often, we forget the last part of verse 20, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus makes it simple: Know me. Love me. Believe in me. And I will do the rest.

Matthew 17:20 tells us that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains.

God has reminded me in so many ways that it can be the smallest of acts that have the biggest impact. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of having the courage to take that one small step.

Let me tell you a story. About five or six years ago, a woman named Kayla extended an invitation to her best friend, Elsa, to go to church. Elsa was the mom of some of our students. Though the path was not simple, the invitation was. And that invitation not only changed Elsa’s life, but also Elsa’s family, AND our entire school.

Elsa’s family went to church with Kayla that one Sunday. And then kept attending. Over time, Elsa’s family came to know Christ—both parents as well as their five children who attended Aug Prep. Not all at once, but each in God’s time.

Elsa’s family then invited the friends of their children into their home. Their home became a second home for many of the young men and women. They became like second parents. The students grew in relationship with each other—and with Jesus. Several of those students have since been baptized.

Over the past few years, the student group Elsa’s family invited into their home became student leaders at Aug Prep. Several are now in our graduating senior class. Many in this group are young men, ages 17 and 18; the majority are predominantly low-income students of color. We know what the world would assume about these young men, what our culture would assume. Yet, I know this group as the first group of students to take a role in leading not only our chapels but our whole school culture.

As a leader, when I have a hard day, I often go into some of our K4-2nd grade classrooms—who couldn’t use a handful of hugs, smiles, and a whole lot of joy? It is one of my favorite parts of working at a school. Yet, I can tell you that this year, I could walk into an advisory of senior boys and have that same feeling of joy, love, and promise. That same sense of hope. God’s hope.

The group of young men and women I mentioned above? THEY lived and led our culture this year—for each other, for their classmates, for our team, for our school… and for me. They were not the only ones, but their courage, leadership, and desire to shine His light was a powerful testament at our school, a match that sparked a journey for many.

It is amazing to stop and step back—all of that impact started with one, simple invitation. It wasn’t a transformational strategic plan, amazing results, a huge donation, strong enrollment, or even an incredible team. It started with one invitation. The power of one person… one action… one invitation changed our whole school.

So my question is this: Who is God calling you to extend an invitation or word of encouragement to? Who is God putting on your heart to pray for?

We are called to plant seeds. Jesus will do the rest.

Author Abby Andreitsch

Abby Andrietsch is chief executive officer at St. Augustine Preparatory Academy (Aug Prep;, a K4-12 Christian school on Milwaukee’s south side. Aug Prep was founded in 2017 with a vision to develop its students to be leaders of tomorrow known by their strength of character, courage, intellect, impactful contributions and their faith. Through its four pillars—faith, family, academics, and arts/athletics—Aug Prep focuses on equipping the whole student with excellence, mind, body and soul. Abby is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has an M.B.A and M.Ed. from Stanford University. She lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband Omar and two daughters, Page and Emma—both of whom are proud Aug Prep Lions!

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