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Three Chapels in a Week

May 23 2018

I love teaching, performing and worshiping. Nothing combines these three things more than when I am asked to do one of the chapel services at Windham Christian Academy, where I work. In the past week, I had the opportunity to do not one or two but three chapel services: elementary, middle school and high school. I was in my glory.

Middle school chapel was on Tuesday morning and the other two services were back to back on the next Monday. While I did routines for the two younger groups, I only spoke and used power point for high school...not that they'd mind watching some juggling I suppose.

What got my attention doing these three programs in a span of six days was what a clear snapshot I had of the spiritual development in kids. Just as surely as kids go through physical and intellectual developmental changes, they go through spiritual changes as well. No doubt this is linked to, but not limited to, the child's intellectual development. The youngest of the elementary kids believe because they trust the people telling them about God. Older elementary kids still usually believe the religious instruction of their elders, but lose the awe of God. Faith is just something that's part of their upbringing. I juggling and magic can bring it alive for 45 minutes in chapel, then I've done my job. Middle school is, like in so many other ways, a transition. There are those who still simply trust what they are told about God, those who are indifferent, and those who have already entered the "I don't buy this anymore" stage. One chapel service isn't going to have a huge impact most of the time. This is why I love teaching middle school. I get to spend time with them every day and help them wrestle with spiritual growth the same way a coach pushes the kids to do one more push up to make small strides in their physical growth.

High school is the age where many start to make their own first commitments of faith. This is where they may start to understand what it means to believe for themselves, as well as the implications of a lifetime of faith. For others, it is often the first time the experience pure unbelief. Both of these probably come from the same influences: peer pressure, adult pressure, the desire for autonomy, cultural influences, etc. Clearly, neither a teenage commitment to belief or unbelief has to be a lifelong decision, but they are at least thinking of it in these terms.

I hope I gave the kids at every stage something to think about and a small push in their spiritual development. I know that the challenge of doing three different chapels for three different age groups gave me a little nudge as well.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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