Servanthood Lessons from Building a Robot

Posted on Posted in Cru Digital Ministry, Family, Kids, Ministry

Our Global Technology team with Cru tries to uphold some key values in everything we do in ministry.  A couple of these values are:

1)  Teamwork ::   No one ministry leader has all the answers.  We are better together.  We help equip and train leaders who will, after being empowered and equipped with great technology knowledge, not smugly sit at the top of the pyramid but will share leadership with others.
2)  Learning Environment ::    We constantly seek to keep our team hungry to learn more, to grow deeper in heart and knowledge, to develop new skills and promote an environment where learning is valued.

Sometimes in ministry it is not the direct ministry that is so challenging – it is working with teammates and other Christians.

Lego Robotics Competition League:

What?  Huh?  Robots built from Legos?   Fiercely competing in an internationally popular league of 8 to 13 year old science-minded kids? ….And what in the world does all this have to do with ministry and servanthood?   Read on, Sherlock!

Lessons I learned by observing Toby’s Lego Robotics Team “design, build, test” sessions and actual competitions :

    • ANaLOG  –  Always Need a Lot of Grace! ::    We as imperfect humans tend not to perform at a high level of excellence 100% of the time;  neither does the robot.   Forgiveness, encouragement, believing in one another and giving help when it is undeserved all go a very long way in team robot building.
    • Teamwork means contributing ideas and deferring to others’ ideas.
    • It takes incredible patience to build something together – especially when you must design it from scratch.

See Photo:  Toby's Lego Robot Team

Lego Robots on the table during competition
Toby’s team did fantastic.  (Pictured above)    They finished their first season (rookie season for all of the kids and coaches) last month.  They won a 1st place award in a regional event and came close to earning a spot at the state competition!

If you really want to see how “smart” some of these “simple” Lego Robots can be, take a look at this video of the Robot Lego Rubiks Cube Solver (built by an advanced Lego builder)  Amazing!  Solves the cube in 95 seconds!

Toby’s Curiosity ::
A source of inspiration and learning for Toby in the robot world has been the Mars Curiosity Rover.   Launched by NASA and currently exploring the red planet since 2011, this massive one ton robot is an engineering marvel.   For a school science project, Toby recently created his own Lego “mock up” of the Curiosity Rover and used an old iPad to create a stop-motion-video of his work.   See it here:

Toby’s Lego Curiosity Video


What lessons have you gleaned in your faith through learning challenges or teamwork?   Please share!

Thanks for all your encouragement and support. We’re grateful for you.