is a Greek word pronounced “nee-ko.” It means “to subdue, conquer, overcome, prevail, and get the victory.”
A NIKO is a four or five-day wilderness leadership training program that lets you learn in the classroom of life by “doing” instead of only listening. This hands-on team experience teaches you to grow in interdependency. The lessons experienced during the NIKO will help you understand more about yourself and the gifts God has given you. You will begin to learn what motivates you and about your unique leadership style. A high priority is placed on teamwork and perseverance. You will be challenged to use your initiative, creativity, compassion, responsibility, and confidence through serving others.
Are you ready to sign up for the challenge of NIKO?
The NIKO is very difficult for us to describe to you as a parent because there are few programs similar to it. To begin with, let us first let you know that NIKO is not a “camping trip” but neither is it a “survival camp.” It has the elements of both, but its purpose is not sheer enjoyment or to teach survival tactics. By challenging your child physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, we want to push them beyond their personal, self-imposed limits – but not for the purpose of survival or pride. Our purpose is to see them discover God in new ways through their experiences. In pushing them beyond their limits, we are, in a small way, beginning to prepare them for adulthood. They need to develop decision-making skills, the power of teamwork, the joy of serving one another, and personal responsibility. The NIKO is not an end in itself. We hope it becomes the first step towards growth in developing your child’s relationship with God. This training is also vital for young people who are discipled on local year-round, national, and international King’s Kids teams. We believe this training could be very practical steps towards living a lifestyle of discipleship.
In a NIKO, there are three main components developed as a result of pushing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual limits. These are Servanthood, Team Building and Leadership Development.
Servanthood – If we were to use the analogy of a tree to illustrate how we see these components working together, we may better understand how these aspects are interconnected. Servanthood is the unseen root that determines the greatness of the tree. It is the foundation for our lives. We hope your child experiences the joy and fulfillment of serving others. We also desire for them to know experientially other’s pain, hurt, and limitations. As we give them this exposure, we hope an attitude of serving -as the foundation for their lives- can protect them from bitterness, unforgiveness, and the frustration of injustice.
Team Building – As your child discovers the value of giving and sharing, a natural inclination towards teamwork results. In the context of giving and accomplishing, teamwork becomes a real, tangible, and valuable experience. They begin to recognize their strengths and the strengths of others in accomplishing a task. They also potentially will experience unity in a tangible and exciting way as well as the joy and fulfillment of oneness with others. We see the values of learning to be “team players” as a big asset to young people as they pursue careers in the job market.
Leadership Development – The final result we desire to achieve is an obvious growth in leadership development. In the security of a team, the idea of taking risks becomes far more achievable to a young person learning how to make decisions. Each young person will have to take some form of leadership in his or her life. Most will at least be family leaders and many will take various degrees of leadership in church, ministry, and careers. Now is the time to prepare them for the challenges of leadership in whatever capacity it might eventually come.
We recognize this is a lot to accomplish in such a short period of time. We also recognize many of the young people may receive growth in only one of the areas we have talked about. In addition, there may be many changes in areas that we have not expected or listed here. Since the NIKO’s conception in 1985, we must admit that the lasting impact has been surprising for such a short experience.
We pray and trust that your child will experience that type of impact on his or her life in the NIKO experience.
Committed to this Generation,
The NIKO Staff