Lessons from a Karate Kid

karate kid

One of my FAVOURITE hobbies is to watch some of the classic movies of the 80’s and 90’s. Born in 1990 I missed out on being an 80’s kid BUT having 3 older sisters definitely meant I was forever enchanted by movies from that era.

Last night I had a lazy night at home and as I scrolled through netflix one movie stood above the rest…The Karate Kid…the original of course!

There is so much depth to that movie…and Mr. Miyagi is just so freaking cool…although sadly I only just realized the actor who played him died in 2005!

I want to look at 3 key lessons that we can learn from that film:-


  1. Never take ‘disciplines’ for granted

Clearly Mr. Miyagi was a man of focus. At times in the movie he is seen praying, meditating, balancing and even trying to catch flies with chop sticks. Mr Miyagi knew it wasn’t about being the greatest fighter but the best person he could be.

Too often I think Kidmin can take ‘disciplines’ for granted. Prayer, reading our bibles and fasting are KEY to the Christian life. We must remember its NOT about being the greatest children’s ministry but about being the greatest Christian we can be. This is most important.


  1. Real lessons are learnt out of the classroom

I love how Mr. Miyagi uses the sanding of the floor, the waxing of the car and the painting of the fence and house as training for fighting.

Anyone can pass a degree in a classroom but the most important and deep rooted lessons and skills can never really be taught in a ‘classroom’ setting. Character is forged through discipline and unfortunately the struggles of every day life. You can’t shortcut God’s growth plan for your life by going to seminary….just saying!


  1. Don’t ever assume your Leaders intentions

In the movie Daniel was instructed to do some pretty crumby jobs…from his perspective it probably felt like he was being marginalized and used as a slave to get Mr. Miyagi’s odd jobs done. There is a turning point in the movie (probably my favorite part!) where he challenges Mr. Miyagi about the things he is making him do. At that point Mr. Miyagi reveals his full intentions/motivations behind getting him to do those things…and all of a sudden the tables are turned and Daniel is shocked that he has the makings of being a great Karate fighter.

Sometimes as Kidmin we can feel marginalized by our senior pastors. We feel like we are given the difficult jobs or are treated unfairly by our pastors. Sometimes we may just feel their expectations/critiques are too intense. However, its important we don’t make assumptions about their intentions, because often they are working for you rather than against you! Speaking to your pastor about your struggles will always bring more clarity.


So….what lessons have you learned from Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid!?


How are you training your Child?

In any Christian discussion surrounding raising kids it isn’t long before proverbs 22:6 is eagerly quoted

‘Start a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.’  Proverbs 22:6

It has become the mantra we claim to build our families by; yet so often when it comes to our practices we seem to be completely out of line with our principles.
Through my experience of children’s ministry across the world I have seen different trends and parental practices. Yet a common Christian trend is that the further you move into Westernized society the more choice is given to a child and the less care/training is given by their guardian.
In a bid to not force Christianity down our children’s throats we have softened so much that we allow Children to choose if we go to Church on a given Sunday. In doing so we say that its ok to put your desires before God’s desires.
Even worse we unconsciously teach our children that Church is just an add on in our lives. They can have basketball lessons, wrestling practice, gymnastics or even music lessons once, twice or sometimes even three a week and we wouldn’t allow them to miss even one of them; but when it comes to church once a month will do.
Much worse we seem to leave no place for faith in our family. God is left at Church on Sunday until the next time we visit. We don’t make God apart of the everyday; we just leave it for Sunday! When we don’t make mention of God in our homes we show kids that faith is just fake.
The reality is that Children aren’t stupid. They may nod their head to what you say; but they will always follow what you do. You train your children by the example you lead; or the example you don’t.
The news flash I want to leave you with is that 30 minutes a month in a Church service won’t change your child’s life. You have a responsibility to do more and to be more for your child.