During Pebbles and Stones,
- students listen to a short teaching on a section of Scripture
- they ask the Lord what He wants to tell them (we remind kids with the phrase "What's the G.O.O.D. in this passage/What does He want to tell us about God, Ourselves, Others, or Doing?")
- students journal with words and pictures about what G.O.O.D. they identified after they've been silent
- students share what they've written in their journals
- students receive prayer from their teacher and other students about their journal entry.
Recently, I asked students to testify on a Post-It that I handed to them about what they've been reading in Scripture and what they have been prompted to do as a result of that Scripture. I'm posting a sampling below.
- I read that Jesus said that we need to serve. So I raked my neighbors' leaves.
- I read that Jesus wants us to recognize his voice; and I did recognize His voice.
- I read that prayer was important. I've been trying to start praying more. It has filled me with joy and happiness.
- God told us not to be selfish. I told my sis she could listen to music when I wanted to read.
- I joined my youth leadership team because I knew that God wanted me to do that with the passage: "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die."
- I read about Jesus and how He forgives everyone, even those who hated Him. I went out and forgave.
This summer, teachers engaged in professional development with Kathleen Trock-Molhoek to prepare for this formation effort. This fall, teacher leaders and myself modeled the facilitation. This winter, homeroom teachers began facilitating.
Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we recognized that middle school students needed more than the twenty five minutes we had in Anchor Worship on Monday. They needed the opportunity to share their journals with each other and they needed the opportunity to pray for each other. Patty Stoner suggested that we consider using Anchor Worship on Friday for sharing journals and prayer time. In order to make this work, we wanted to have one adult for every twelve middle schoolers. In The Potter's House prayer network, we found seven adults who join with the homeroom teachers to lead Fridays. With the success at the middle school, the elementary school is imagining how to implement this as well.
"These Fridays have become the highlight of my week," says facilitator Kathy DeJong. Students are praying with a confidence and a familiarity that suggests they have grown in the practice of prayer. They have taken up Paul Dull's challenge where he said, "If you really want to take this Jesus thing seriously, you need to take prayer seriously." Clearly many middle schoolers have taken up the challenge.
In my group, we prayed that the Lord would protect Evan and that he would be a protector for others. He came in the next Friday and said, "Do you know what my name means? Protector." Clearly, we had been led to call for more of what God has already begun in Evan. As students prayed for God to strengthen my relationship with my daughter Lily, later that week she suggested we go out to the movies.
It's so exciting as we walk in the way of prayer that the Father birthed here thirty six years ago. I look forward to what He will unfold in this story. Each of us-living stones-being built up into Him.
-Dr. T- (Antonio Tendero, Potter's House School Curriculum Director)