“The best experience of my life” is how one high school student described our recent Missions Week. At the high school, many seniors engaged in senior service projects they had designed; a junior on our Jamaica team marveled at the unity we can discover while working and worshiping alongside believers from other countries; and a sophomore serving on our Philadelphia trip reported a sense of awe about both the scope of work to be done and the strength of believers committed to being “the hands and feet of Jesus” wherever there is need. One Philadelphia team member has now committed to encouraging others to engage in Kingdom work locally, initiating a series of “vlogs” meant to highlight the great work of organizations in our community and alerting fellow believers of service opportunities. Meanwhile, at the lower school, students focused on a study of India. They listened to the experiences of Rev. Komanapalli, a missionary to India and a BCA parent; they experienced cultural customs; and, learning about a school visited by Mrs. Elsie Wright where lower school students have no desks, they held a “sit-a-thon” to raise funds.
More recently, our new middle school student council organized their first major event, a middle school movie night. Students planned every detail of the event, from the film selection to the beautiful decorations to the refreshments, and many contributed significant efforts to the set-up and clean-up of this well-orchestrated, well-attended, very successful community-building event.
And, in the coming weeks, our first cohort of senior interns will begin their “Vision-Based Internships.” In this pilot season, students interested in marketing, communications, and law will begin a five-week internship at Shamrock Financial, an award-winning Christian-owned mortgage company in Rumford, where they will apply their learning, build their skills, and explore how work and Kingdom calling can intersect in a high-level professional context. CEO Dean Harrington is leading an “Inspiration Team” of Christian leaders to collaborate with BCA faculty and students in facilitating more of these opportunities in the future.
Do you see a pattern emerging here? Students are taking their learning way beyond the classroom. In fact, you might say that the classroom is really a launching pad for “leading by serving in every arena of society with passion, skill, integrity, and faith” – not someday, but now – doing work of intrinsic importance that animates students’ learning with a sense of context and purpose. It’s what we call “vision-based learning.”