Life Lessons from a 5-Year Old in Karate Class!

Every now and then a video pops up on my social feeds that hits me right in the feels. There is so much about this video that I like. The life and leadership lessons that you can see in this 1minute and 14second video are fantastic. 

If you haven't seen it, you definitely need to watch this.

If you have seen it, might be worth watching again.

There are so many learnings that come from this simple video of a child learning to break a pine board with his heel. Here are a few things I took away from this video that challenge me as a leader and pastor.

Pastor/Leader - Challenge Your People

Notice the kid’s coach doesn’t get soft. He doesn’t see the tears and back down. He doesn’t call for the mom and let the kid take a break. No, he challenges and pushes.

He realigns his stance.

He makes eye contact.

He doesn’t give up.

He encourages the boy.

Even in the midst of fear and pain, Jesus would challenge and push His disciples to the next level. Jesus never stepped back from the challenge of calling His followers to a next step, to a breakthrough in their own discipleship.

Just as they were getting the hang of something, He would challenge them more. Call them to more. Push them to more.

“Oh good, you can pray. Now forgive.”

“Oh good, you’re forgiving. Wash someone’s feet.”

“Oh good, you can serve. Now I am going to die for the mission. Will you?”

We so often fall away from a challenge because we think it will scare people off. Our ego comes into play and we don’t want our numbers to suffer. So we don’t challenge or push the way we should.

A strong challenge to a disciple’s next step might scare off some, but it will never scare off the right one.

Who do you need to challenge more?

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Don’t Grow Weary

I love the encouragement we get from Galatians 6:9…

Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.

This lesson applies to both the coach and boy.

If the boy gives up his efforts, he never experiences success. Never experiences the joy of a breakthrough.

If the coach gives up on the boy, he doesn’t experience the joy of seeing one of his students succeed. He misses out on the breakthrough of the student.

It hurts me to think of the times I have moved on past the people I’m leading simply because they didn’t get it quick enough. How often I have been the exact opposite of the coach in this video. Without his encouragement and persistence, that boy may not break the board. So many people I have lead never experienced all that God had for them because I gave up on them too quickly.

Someone’s breakthrough from your leading and discipling is just around the corner of frustration and a temptation to quit.


Encourage One Another

I love the African American boy around the :07 mark. When the 5-year old falls down, the older boy grabs him by the collar and helps pick him back up.

What an awesome picture of what followers of Christ are supposed to be for each other!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

[1 Thessalonians 5:11 CSB]

The Christian life is not an easy one. It requires encouragement from others as we live a life against the flow of culture. You don’t need encouragement to be like everyone else. You don’t need encouragement to screw up this week. You don’t need encouragement to go with the flow of society. You need encouragement to be different. To stand strong. To persevere. We are called to encourage.

Who do you need to come alongside this week, grab them by the collar and lift them back up?

Celebrate With Others

When we are busy making disciples and doing the hard work of ministry, if there’s anything we begin to leave off the weekly priority list, it’s celebrating. I am not always known for my fun because I’d rather get work done. There’s stuff to do. Let’s charge the hill.

While that can also be fun, so many times hard charging pastors and disciple makers forget to celebrate along the way.

That board is a 1/4”, pine board. Extremely soft wood. That board is so easy to break. Without any real training, any of us could break that board.

But did you see how the class and coach reacted when the boy finally broke through? They cheered, clapped and screamed. They jumped up and tackled the boy. People were hugging him and rubbing his head. The coach got in there too, “I knew you could do it!”

There was a major celebration for a very small step.

When I have been discipling others, I want to make sure I stop and celebrate their wins along the way. When someone first learns how to read the Bible or they finish an entire book, I want to celebrate that. I want to make it a big deal.

Imagine how excited that boy is going to be to break another board in the future after this response from his peers.

Imagine how many breakthroughs await on the disciple making front if we would simply take time to celebrate the wins along the way.

Rejoice with those who rejoice. [Romans 12:15 CSB]

Who do you need to slow down and simply celebrate with?

What lessons come to your mind after watching this video?