Spiritual Development (SD) programs at MCH offer youth creative opportunities to connect with God. This fall, SD welcomed youth to get involved and explore their gifts through leadership groups and special events.
To join a leadership group, youth must go through an interview, demonstrate a commitment and adhere to a standard of behavior. Leadership groups include worship planning team, worship choir, hand bells, praise dance, and worship art.
The worship planning team works together to give structure to worship services for the semester. SD staff provide a vision or theme along with Scripture to study. The team is responsible for selecting songs, videos or other elements they feel would engage their peers. During the service they lead prayers, sing or dance, and introduce the topic or theme for the service.
“We try to involve the students as much as possible in what we do because ultimately, what we do is to serve them and help them grow in their relationship with Christ,” said Kimberly Clark, director of spiritual development. “When they see their ideas come to life and the hard work pays off, there is so much pride and accomplishment for them. We have seen them grow spiritually in their gifts. Youth who feared the judgement of others have danced and spoken boldly in chapel! They are able to worship and honor God in ways they did not know were possible.”
SD offered community events throughout the month that included a movie night, yoga hike, artist series and community meal where youth worked together to plan, cook and serve a meal for their peers and staff. These events were open to all residents.
SD also planned a Christmas performance of The Grinch with open auditions for residents. The script was modified to share a message about the true spirit of Christmas. Youth worked with staff to write the script, create sets, costumes, dances, and other creative elements. The show was performed on Dec. 8.
“We all learn about and encounter God differently, so we offer a variety of ways to connect with God,” Clark said. “Some of these will help youth encounter God for maybe the first time and other ways may help someone encounter God more deeply or differently than they have before.
“Our hope is that students realize we are all capable of thinking about God and learning more of who He is and what He wants for us,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to take place in a church on Sunday morning. The ministry of MCH is built on relationship, so we simply provide opportunity and guidance for that to happen naturally with Christ.”