Featured School- GCA
“The GCA Church Family exists to capture the hearts and minds of young people and develop them into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.” So reads the mission statement of GCA Church. I just finished doing a week of prayer* there with my daughter Vanessa, and there are some interesting, practical and reproducible aspects of a church and school that is doing it right. Here are three things I observed:
1. Intentional church involvement of students.
This church is can best be described as intentional. Their mission statement is not just a plaque on the wall. Their pastors of 12 years, committed ministers, (and terrible golfers), have led the church to live out the mission statement. Most ministry positions are staffed by older members that see it as their calling to mentor and train a young disciple. Fantastic! If you are reading this and would like to connect with a resource in this area, they would be great to talk to. The system works. It’s not perfect, but I haven’t seen many better ones. Here is their mission statement once again. Powerful: “The GCA Church Family exists to capture the hearts and minds of young people and develop them into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.” (http://gcachurch.org/church-information-and-service-times) Watch a video here that explains it further: http://gcachurch.org/gca-church-video-what-we-are-about
This is a recurring theme in my blog. As I travel throughout the SU, I see many successful, thriving ministries and organizations that have one thing in common: long tenures. The principal, the pastor, the chaplain at GCA, have all more than 10 years of service at that school. It’s difficult to create traction and foster an atmosphere of connection when the leadership changes every year. I encourage you to stay for the long haul. It makes a difference.
3. Spiritual atmosphere.
It’s hard to define what that is, but I know it when I see it. To see 250 teenagers engaged in worship is not only rare, it’s fantastic. To see over 20 decide for baptism and many more rededicate their lives was even better. There is an elective class called Praise Band. This is also a great idea that more schools should adopt. The teacher prepares several groups of students to lead out worship, not just sing up front. (There IS a difference). These guys practice, set up, show up early, lead worship in fantastic ways. They know the why, behind the how. Connect with him? firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, I pray for all the schools in our Union. Adventist Education makes a difference, and it’s worth it.
*(See some of past weeks of prayer here: http://www.gcasda.org/)
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