February 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm #4510
I fully agree that it is extremely important that a STM team is spiritually “fresh” and striving for a solid walk with Christ, but how can we as leaders bring this into our teams? I know that chapter 7 recommends journaling. I have been required to do this for a trip myself and seen the significant impact, but I was curious to know if there is anything else that I can intentionally do that would deepen the spiritual walk of a STM team? (I will be helping lead a team of high school students this year on a trip to Mexico. If you had any recommendations that would be awesome!)
February 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm #4516
I think as leaders we need to make sure that we are leading by example, that we set a specific time of the day with a specific place that we are going to commit to to have personal devo time. But I think it would be beneficial to set those times with the group, maybe not daily but a couples times a week? figure out what works best for the group, whether waking up earlier or before bed or maybe over a break during the day where the group can come together and be spiritually fed. And changing up the devotion times with different members leading it. Maybe they just want a time of worship or someone wants to share their testimony and a passage.
February 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm #4527
I hope this doesn’t seem like a cliche answer, I genuinely don’t intend for it to, but I think there really needs to be a high importance placed on prayer. We all get why it’s important, I don’t need to reiterate that, but I think it’s so important to have a group time of prayer in the morning, to kick off each day. I noticed a big difference when we started doing this on the STM trip I was on, it really just gets everyone into the right head space to be able to do ministry, especially like this. Devo time would be good to go along with this, but I think we as leaders need to be intentional about teaching our kids that prayer is a necessity and a priority and so essential to ministry, not just a tack on to things that we do, but a part of our lives that we need to cultivate.
February 22, 2016 at 2:02 pm #4573
I completely agree with Rolanda in the sense that in order for students to deepen their spiritual walk on an STM trip, the leader (you) must be leading by example. I think another key thing is having daily devotions with the whole team and allowing them to lead or share a little bit here and there. I think that when you give the students a chance to serve in that spiritual sense, it allows them to really take ownership of their faith. I think that while on the trip, their spiritual walk will deepen just being away from home and serving etc. but I think that within the group itself, allowing the students to take some sort of leadership role in sharing their faith with each other will allow them to grow and stretch themselves. It’s so easy to share with a bunch of strangers than with a group of people you know but I believe this will help them even when they get home. I think another key thing to do to deepen the spiritual walk of the team is like Paige said, starting off with prayer. Prayer changes everything and kind of connecting it with my other point, allowing the students to even lead the prayer time would help!
February 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm #4606
allow me to share another opinion? I often hear that people see the trip as an opportunity to reignite spiritual vitality and often this means the specific behaviours of prayer, personal devotions, and journalling. These are good habits, but often are seen as the pinnacle of healthy spirituality. They also tend to be the classic ways in which Western civilization sees spirituality at this point in time.
what if the trip got us out of our normal way of seeing Spirit and forces us to to consider new ways of thinking about spirituality. Contemplation of beauty (of a new sunset or culture). Collaboration with a unified team. Contentment in hard work. Learning to receive from others. Curiosity of a new culture with strange new ways of seeing the universe. Might these also be great deepening elements of our spiritual understanding?
Perhaps if we are open to these other ways, we can allow people who don’t particularly like a tonne of personal reflection or private prayer and would much rather be active, to feel like they are also actively involved in spiritual depth.
The rest of the world sees spirituality in different ways, many of which are similar to Biblical versions. Maybe the trip allows us to see Spirit through the eyes of others.
Thats my 2 … probably heresy
March 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm #4711
Yeah, I think spirituality encompasses devotions, journaling, worship, prayer and more! A very practical way to build faith and spirituality is through a testimony time! You can get students to share how they have encountered God through out the day! I have also been on teams where we have a one up on down exercise. Everyone mentions a bad time in the day and a good time, this enable the team to share burden and joy. I agree that prayer is important and effective, prayer helps unite the team with a common mind.
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