Why the starfish?

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The story behind our logo concept has been a driving force in our ministry for many years now. The following is that story.

One day an old man was walking along the beach.  It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind.  The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures.  Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.

The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach’s dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea.  The old man stopped and asked the child, “What are you doing?”

“I’m saving the starfish,” the child replied.

“Why waste your time?  There are so many you can’t save them all so what does it matter?” argued the man.

Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water… “It matters to this one,” the child explained.

At Breakaway Outreach, we understand that every child matters.

Jesus is so personally identified with hurting people that He takes our treatment of them as our treatment of Him (Matt 25:40, 45).  “The least of these” may refer to the sick, destitute, marginalized, orphaned, impoverished, incarcerated, delinquent, oppressed, fatherless, homeless, refugee, underprivileged, abused, or abandoned.  And while much of society may overlook “the least of these,” we believe that what we do “matters” in sharing the life-giving hope of Jesus Christ with children and families in distress.  Our treatment of them is our treatment of Jesus.

We believe the key to changing the world is to do for ONE what you wish you could do for everyone.

“It matters to this ONE!”

That’s the meaning behind our logo.

 


 

starfish64What do we mean by “Shaping eternity in the hearts of children”?

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers to seek first the kingdom of God above all else (Matthew 6:33). This “kingdom of God” emphasis was a central theme of Jesus’ public ministry and proclamation.

This kingdom is the dynamic rule and reign of an eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). It is also referred to as that sphere of salvation entered into when we experience new birth in Christ Jesus (John 3:5-7), and is synonymous with the “kingdom of heaven.” We enter the kingdom of God when we are born again, and we are then part of that kingdom for eternity. It is a relationship “born of the spirit” (John 3:5), and we have confident assurance that it is so because the Spirit bears witness with our spirits (Romans 8:16).

This kingdom doesn’t refer to a territory or a geographical location. Nor is it static. It’s dynamic—always becoming, spreading, and growing. The kingdom points us not to a particular place of God but to God’s ruling activities. It is not a kingdom in heaven, but from heaven—one that thrives in the here and now. This kingdom appears whenever women and men submit their lives to God’s will.

When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and His gospel, our worldview is radically changed. It means that our definitions of health, wealth, security, comfort, and prosperity are turned upside down compared to the world’s view. It means we embrace the paradoxes of Christ’s teaching—to live is to die, to be great is to be a servant of all, and to be rich is to give sacrificially. All our values change, as do our views on community, social issues, justice, and the poor. This kingdom centers us on what really matters to God, and His governance in our lives.

The kingdom of God is at the center of everything we do as a ministry organization.

When we say we are “shaping eternity in the hearts of children,” we are stating that we purposefully, passionately, and patiently aim to help young people (1) find their position in God’s kingdom through a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ; (2) grow as disciples by having His kingdom principles take shape in their lives; and (3) learn to serve this kingdom by giving their lives in outward obedience to Christ’s eternal rule and reign. As God’s kingdom is shaped in them, they begin to flesh out a life that pleases and honors Him. Thus, shaping “eternity” is about the Great Commission work of shaping God’s “kingdom” in the lives of young people, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

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