As we’ve talked about before, we love being an online program that builds virtual Christian community, while also empowering students to be deeply involved with their local communities. We hope that this virtual space we share together does not replace, but instead comes alongside the physical life together that families, teachers, and staff have with their neighbors.
Recently we had the opportunity to take our 2021-2022 spiritual life theme of hospitality from our digital highways into our local streets. While most of the year our training, development, and devotionals with faculty have focused on hospitality in the virtual classroom, this week we offered a challenge to explore these ideas in our own towns and churches. Teachers from NC, MI, CA, NV, MD, and several other places gathered in breakout rooms to explore two simple questions:
1) In your neighborhood or church where do you see hospitality being practiced?
2) Where do you see challenges or hindrances to God’s welcome in one or both places?
Afterwards, teachers were invited to participate in an optional end of year hospitality challenge to see how they might participate in God’s work of hospitality in their neighborhoods. The options for the challenge were:
- Take some time to read Luke 14:15-24. Think of an upcoming event you have or a family meal in your home, or maybe a birthday party, etc. Invite someone unexpected to come along and see what happens.
- Walk your neighborhood with this playlist and pray for welcome in your community and in the church. Memorize 1 Peter 4:8-9.
- God’s hospitality is about making room even when we think there’s not enough. Read Mark 6:30-44. Have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member about something you’ve been dreaming about, but you find yourself saying “there’s not enough…” (time, money, etc.). Ask God questions about this together.
- Take some time to read something that offers a viewpoint that is different than your own. Ask God to reveal to you not weather to agree or disagree with this but how to see those who hold this point of view as Image Bearers and children of God; ask God to help you see these people as God does. Memorize Romans 14:19 and Colossians 3:14.
We were so overwhelmed with one teacher’s experience of God’s goodness in response to these prompts, that we had to share it with all of you. May this testimony from Laura Duncan, one of our math teachers, shower you with hope: