Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Ekklesia’s 2019 summer semester has officially commenced, and it is quite the bitter-sweet ending! Joining us for our 10-week intensive discipleship training program, we accumulated 10 novice and 15 veteran students. Traveling both far and near, nationally and internationally, students attended from Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and even Russia! Every week, through deep intentional time in the Word, students both learned stories they had never read before and read previously known stories through a new perspective.
Every morning, students arose early to either spend uninterrupted intentional time with the Lord or quality time establishing and developing relationships with those within the discipleship training program or those who are within the surrounding community.
Mid-morning, students gathered together in a classroom setting to learn from the mouths of several different teachers with varying backgrounds. Their diversity allowed the students to hear extensive perspectives on related topics to broaden their mindsets. For the students, the summer began with a focus on relinquishing control of tangible things and giving them to the Lord; as a result, they began to develop a deeper understanding of His love for them. Extensive time was then spent allowing the students to examine their hearts, which inturn revealed areas where love was lacking, thus initiating a start to show them how to reshape their hearts so that love would be plentiful. The latter half of the summer was focused on the knowledge that the students are children of God and the authority that they possess in claiming that title. Another focus was on the thought of making God the only thing that is needed in life and what that could look like. The students grew from timid, weary believers to strong warriors in the Lord’s army, understanding and using the tools He has given them. They took ownership of the Spirit that He has given them and they became ready to take on whatever calling He has placed on their lives, boldly and fearlessly.
Each day’s agenda assigned students in numerous serving opportunities, such as farming, campus management, and involvement in the community. Every evening, selected students prepared a meal for the entire campus; some of these students went from never picking up a knife, to being capable of managing a meal for a considerable number of people. Evenings were spent participating in corporate activities, like sports, worship time, and game nights. A handful of students got the opportunity to serve at First Baptist Sweet Springs during their Vacation Bible School week, assisting as group leaders and activity facilitators for the children. Several students also spent their Saturday mornings assisting with restoration work in the town; the group as a whole touched multiple areas of the community.
Every facet of the program is specifically designed to teach students meaningful skills. Students learn how to cohabitate with one another and how to interact and build relationships. Students are challenged to try new things and discover hidden skills, and in turn, learn more about themselves. Each task and activity are an opportunity to empower these young men and women to break down walls and build confidence in themselves.
Everyone is thankful for the time spent intentionally with one another and with the Lord these past two and a half months. Through this time, the students have assessed their assignments and places in the Kingdom; this time of assessment has brought new revelations for purpose and shifted lifestyles for many of them. Everyone is excited to stand together as they all walk into this fall season and pursue the Lord as brothers and sisters, united as a body spanning across the globe.