Like most boys growing up, I was absolutely obsessed with superheroes. Strap on the cape and I could fly, lace up my light up sneakers and I had super speed, click my my belt ends together and I was prepared to take on every form of evil that I might come face-to-face with because of all the gadgets hidden in my belt's secret compartments.

     I remember one day when I was in 4th grade the teacher asked us to write down on a piece of paper what we wanted to be when we grew up. For me, there was no hesitation, "I'm going to be Batman!" I was very serious! I thought it was entirely possible! Yes, I would need to be a genius, multi-billionaire, world class warrior, with a cave under his mansion, but my mind was completely made up. I was so serious about it that when the teacher read aloud the class' answers and they all broke out in laughter at mine, I was completely devastated. I thought to myself, "Why on earth are you laughing at me? What's wrong with me wanting to be a hero?" Of course it makes sense now why they laughed, my answer was not a typical answer to a question like that. However, I believe something prophetic was happening in that moment.

     The prophetic in that moment is simply what I believe to be true about every kid. I fully believe that every kid is born with a God given dream to be a superhero and from the moment they are born to the moment they die, the world does everything it can to steal, kill, and destroy that dream.

     I wonder if Jesus was ever in that same situation as me when He was a young boy, I wonder what He might have written down on that piece of paper, I wonder how the teacher and class might have reacted, and I wonder whether He might have said or done anything in response. We all know He eventually did, in the most humble of ways on a cross, and showed us who the true hero is. He surely set the example for how to live life, "...he who loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 16:25 NKJV).

     The spirit of J12 is based on living the 7 words Jesus spoke at 12, "I must be about My Father's business." I look at these 7 words as superhero words. They are the confession of the greatest 12 year old who ever lived, they declared His purpose and destiny, and He surely finished His purpose and destiny on the cross. We believe these 7 words are meant to be the confession of every follower of Jesus, because we believe that Jesus wants every single one of His followers to be the superhero He saved them to be.

- Stephen Ibach
  J12 Creative Director