Students Enjoy “The Good Life” and “Everyday Heroes”

On one day, the entire student body – elementary, middle and high school – of Sharpsville Area School District, over a period of four assemblies in the Middle School gymnasium, were able to enjoy powerful presentations by Motivational Media of California. After each program, Bill Rudge addressed the student body sharing some of his experiences as a youth and the importance of making wise choices.

Three giant 14-foot screens, contemporary music, real-life stories, sports footage, film clips and familiar animated characters brought strong messages to the students about bullying, kindness, working hard toward your dreams, never giving up, truth matters and encouraging others.

The elementary students could barely contain their enthusiasm as they laughed, clapped, cheered, and sang their way through the assembly when they recognized familiar movie scenes and popular songs. You could hear a pin drop, but, as they became silent during the narration and messages of the presentation titled, “Everyday Heroes.”

The Middle and High School students’ assembly was called “The Good Life” which struck a more serious note as the students witnessed the results of using drugs and alcohol, texting and driving, and bullying. A most poignant scene showed teens talking lightheartedly about texting and driving. The mood changed quickly, however, in viewing a partially-paralyzed woman sit in front of the teens and share her story of the accident that crippled her and killed her parents because of a drunk driver. Throughout the assemblies the students were well behaved, attentive and responded enthusiastically to the messages – some students and teachers cried.

We received thank you notes from the principals, guidance counselors and superintendent. Principal Jonathan Fry wrote, “Bill, Thank you for all of the hard work that you do for our students. The program that you shared with us today was fantastic! Our students and staff truly enjoyed it and learned from it….”

For over 40 years, Bill Rudge has brought educational and inspirational multi-media assemblies to area schools, as well as he and BJ speaking at assemblies across the U.S. and in many countries. Bill also does self-defense clinics in the schools and runs an Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at BRM for many athletic teams from several schools. BJ trains students in soccer.

Special thanks to New Virginia United Methodist Church Missions Committee, Jan Anderson, Andy Canady Concrete Construction and Mary Alice Mook for underwriting these assemblies. Also, thanks to Chris Chrastina, Dick Hetrick, Shawn Hill and Bruce Lozier for helping set up the equipment and Darlinda McDonald for taking photographs.

For more about Bill’s School Assemblies please click here.

part a – God Sees Our Potential

By Bill Rudge

It was during my first year of coaching soccer that I met Michael. Tryouts had just begun, and we coaches had gathered to evaluate the skills of the new kids being tested. We were looking for raw talent – someone we could work with – and then I spotted him. He was the heaviest and slowest kid on the field. None of the other coaches seemed interested, but I saw potential in him; I felt the right training could turn him into a great player.

For the next two years our team won the championship, and Michael played a crucial role, putting his training into practice. He shut down the other teams’ offense, used his great size to power kick the ball down the field and taking penalty and corner kicks. As a result, all the other coaches wanted him and encouraged their “big” players to imitate him.

Michael went on to excel in wrestling and football: He won the high school PIAA state heavyweight wrestling title in his senior year, and received a full football scholarship to the University of Buffalo where he became a standout in football. Well respected, he ranked nationally in wrestling, while still maintaining Dean’s List academic standards.

Michael now has a successful career in Pittsburgh, is married to a wonderful woman and has three beautiful daughters (all of whom have taken the challenge of the Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries). Michael and his mom attribute much of his success in sports and in life to inspiration from the early influence I had on him when the other coaches saw no potential.

Jesus Christ viewed His disciples in this same way. Although the growth of His Church did not depend solely on that group of ordinary people, their development was assured by the power of His Spirit and by His sovereign design. Jesus chose to begin His work with weak, sinful people who later turned the world upside down for Him. And Jesus sees potential in each of us. Through the power of His Word and by His Spirit, He continually works in us; fulfilling His purpose as we give our lives to Him and live by the principles of His Word.

Are You a Zero?

Some of you may feel that your life equals a Big Zero and that “0” is meaningless. I asked several people what a zero meant. “Nothing” they replied. So I said, “Since ‘0’ means nothing, write me a check for $1.00 and let me add a few zeroes!” They got the message: Even though we may think we have no real value or potential, we could not be farther from the truth! When a person is infused with God’s Spirit, he or she has unlimited potential to fulfill the purpose the Lord has for our lives. We have great value because God values us.

The aim of Bill Rudge Ministries is to challenge believers to reach their maximum potential in Christ – physically, mentally, emotionally and above all, spiritually. You will discover as you continue to read the articles in this section (and in a new and expanded book when this series is completed) the dynamic biblical principles that have transformed my life and molded my ministry. Jesus Christ can take an ordinary person and use him or her in an extraordinary way. That’s what He did with me, and with thousands of others who have accepted the challenge. As you apply these truths, you too, will begin to reach your maximum potential in Christ!