Inspiration Comes in All Ages
by David Ake, associate pastor of student ministries
Every year, eighth-grade students in Stonebriar’s Junior High Ministry are given the opportunity to become members of the Kenosis Leadership Team, taking on the added commitment, responsibility, and goal of serving fellow students with the heart of Christ as seen in Philippians 2:5–8 (the reference passage for the word and concept of "kenosis"). As part of their leadership training, students are encouraged to select a service project that aligns with the missions focus of our church, makes a significant impact, and involves as many students, families, and areas of the church as possible. This year, 24 new Kenosis team members are planning how they can raise awareness and support for a community outreach project in the Frisco area. While researching how they can make a difference, this team of eighth-grade leaders is inspired by the more than $31,000 raised for Safe Haven Home for Girls in Beirut, Lebanon, by last year's team.
To reach their goal, last year's 18-member Kenosis team put their leadership skills into practice every week for eight months. By operating the Lebanon table on Missions Sunday and creating a multimedia presentation, student leaders shared the story, mission, and challenges of Safe Haven. They also challenged fellow junior high students to participate in a 30-hour fast, to raise pledges for each hour they did not eat. Some students even engaged in a five-day media fast! No cell phones, TVs, radios, movies, or iPods for a whole week!
By the end of the year, they raised $31,071.37, meaning these junior high students (through the endorsement of Life on Purpose and support from several more adult fellowships, including the Marathon class) met Stonebriar’s $20,000 commitment to Safe Haven and also helped purchase a new generator for the medical clinic in Shatila (a slum outside of Beirut) with the extra funds.