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"Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT
We love to share stories from our King’s Community. Our students share their experience at King’s, how God is moving in their lives, and how they are growing in their faith.
Hayden grew up in church and says he “always knew Christianity was the best choice and that it held the most happiness for my life.” Still, something changed last year in High School Bible class. Here’s what he says about it.
Looking back, it was a crazy year, and also a crazy year of confusion. We were all wondering, ‘What’s truth? What’s real? What can I rely on here?’ And we got back to Biblical truths. It was really cool to sit down with all these people I thought I knew and really be honest, to use the Bible to understand what their stance was during this crazy time. In the middle of so much confusion and chaos we got a firm foundation, which was awesome to see.
We all agreed at the start of the semester that we need to apply the truth of the Bible in our lives, we need to grow. We asked ourselves, ‘In this day and age how can we apply it to make ourselves better and to help make a change?’
We talked about hot topics and what the Bible says about them, and stances our country is facing, and we looked at what God said from both sides to shape our thinking and hopefully our actions. We related that to breaking news and tied it to what people went through in the Bible.
Abortion, race, praying for leaders, trusting God put them there for a reason, why does God allow terrible things to happen? Pandemic, isolation, the suicide rate going up.
We kept it simple – one verse a day – the truth in love. It got some people’s hearts stirring.
I definitely feel a transformation. I was a Christian, but my relationship with God was not very good at all. This Bible class meant taking a step back and looking at it – getting back to the truth, knowing what it means and what I need to do to maintain that relationship – a renewing of what it means to be with Him and follow Him.
One passage that really impacted me is John 15:1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
God is on the move – something awesome is happening at King’s. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next few years. Through all this hard stuff I continue to pray that we can take a step back and think about why this has happened. I do believe good things will come from this and I pray we have the eyes to see them. Across the campus there’s a greater sense of openness.
You could think ‘Oh, everyone’s a Christian and everyone’s doing great with their lives,’ but now there’s a great openness and vulnerability. Genuine and real relationships are going on between students and people are holding each other up and making sure we feel loved and not just assuming we’re all doing great with God.
Frankie had no expectations when she transferred to King’s as a freshman. But God had something planned that she could never have imagined. Here’s her story …
I went to Bible class ready for a normal day when we would do our Selah – scripture and prayer time. But that day, Mrs. Hostetler surprised us all and said, “We’re going to do something different today. We’re going to take the day to listen to worship music, pray for each other, and just be with God.”
This was new to me, and I didn’t know what to do. But as class went on, I got this indescribable feeling. I’ve always believed, but I never really understood God’s power and love for all of us. That day, I felt the presence of God. It was like there was no one else in the room, just Him and me, and I felt such peace and serenity.
The ongoing impact of that day is that I am a person who stresses out about everything, and I need to be in control. But that day I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I knew it was okay because God is in control of everything, and His love is bigger than everything.
Now I go to a church that is amazing, and my mom goes with me. Whenever I go there, I feel connected with the community and with God. I can let everything out and tell Him He is everything. I don’t have to worry about what’s happening in my life or what people think of me.
Going to church and hearing what other people have to say helps me learn. The more I hear personal experiences the more it shows me that God is real. He is touching people’s lives and impacting people in ways that no one else can. No matter how hard life is God is always there to pull you back. There are billions of people in the world and yet He chose to reach out to me in that moment.
I hope that I can help a lot of people find God and if they’re struggling, I will be there for them. But more importantly, God will be there for them.
Lincoln came to King’s in fourth grade and in every class he sees teachers who pray for their students and long for them to know Christ. He also sees it in extracurricular activities in high school like The River, a pre-COVID Wednesday morning meeting started by a teacher where students gathered to play worship music and pray for each other. Here’s what he has to say …
The River is where I fell in love with Jesus and realized how much he loves me. I was discipled there by older students.
As King’s Schools opened for in–person learning, our drama teacher Mrs. McCardle started a daily time before school where students can gather while socially distanced and masked to pray and read the word as worship music plays. She also starts every drama class with a worship song and scripture.
One day when we were sharing personal reflections about the song “SOS” by We the Kingdom, Mrs. McCardle asked us to symbolically put our heartache and problems in our backpacks and lay them on the stage as if we were laying them at Jesus’ feet.
The Holy Spirit is using times like this to bring openness and vulnerability between King’s High School students, just when they need it most. God is even using the stress of COVID to bring them into a closer community that is more honest and supportive than ever before. They are using technology to check in with each other and pray for each other, and they are holding each other accountable in their walks with Christ.
High school students at King’s take one Bible class a year. Mrs. Hostetler isn’t the first teacher to ask good questions, but her style has created an atmosphere of trust and support that has helped students dive deep and grow in their relationship with Christ. She starts each week of class with a question on the board, progressing through the semester to address universal topics such as: Is there a God? Is Jesus God? Is God loving? If God is loving, why do people go to hell?
MacKenzie was intrigued. She grew up in the church and never missed a Sunday, but the commitment she made as a little girl was fading as she grew older and had questions that nobody seemed able to answer. Here’s what she said about her experience …
Nobody answered my questions about God, and it put doubt in me that God was real. I didn’t interact with God or pray, and I was silent when people talked about Him. I passed my Bible classes because I had the knowledge. But until Mrs. Hostetler’s class I never saw so many people wanting to grow deeper in Christ. A lot of kids in my grade don’t take it seriously, but this year, because Mrs. Hostetler makes people feel comfortable, it’s helped a lot of people grow closer to God.
Seeing Mrs. Hostetler live out her love for the Lord and getting answers to my questions opened my eyes to the truth of who God is, and I chose to rededicate my life to Him in November. Now my parents’ faith has become my own, and that has given me peace of mind, a better relationship with my parents, and deeper friendships with other Christians at school.
It’s a really big shift. I know that God is right next to me now and nothing can be against me.
Colton grew up in a Christian home and heard the Gospel “a million times.” He even accepted Jesus into his heart a couple of times as a child. At King’s, each Bible class has brought him closer to the Lord. But his best fellowship is combined with what he loves most—football. And it was at the football retreat between his freshman and sophomore years that he was baptized by Coach Jim Shapiro in the chilly waters of the San Juan Islands. He explained it like this … “Every year it seems like someone wants to be baptized, but now we are a lot further along as a team. My junior year a couple guys asked for prayer here and there, but this year has really taken off with accountability and men’s groups. We pray before practice, and we dive into scripture. It’s a great way for all of us to find peace.”
Another member of the football team, Lincoln, said the team has changed in the past few years. “It’s a testimony to God’s faithfulness because my freshman year it felt like the football team was a secular place, but now God is really working in it. Our weekly accountability group has a motto: ‘You’re safe here, but your sin is not safe here because we’re going to come after it.’ As my friend says, ‘Vulnerability breaks the power of the devil.’”
Along with discipling his athletes, Coach Shapiro is teaching them to disciple others. Groups of junior and senior football players now meet with seventh and eighth grade boys regularly to disciple them with a curriculum he has helped them prepare.
“I’ve always been focused on evangelism, and over 27 years of coaching more than 100 kids have come to Christ. But this year it’s more about discipleship and training,” Coach Shapiro said. “Evangelism is addition, and discipleship is multiplication, and that’s what is happening this year. The guys are reproducing faith in each other, both in high school and junior high.
“CRISTA has always been about Christianity in Action,” Coach Shapiro continued. “It’s a matter of putting Jesus at the center of everything you’re doing. Even in the crazy game of football, we put Jesus in the center and make Him the reason for everything we do—how you love your teammates, how you witness to the ref. That changes the whole experience for everyone around us.”