Nurturing Hearts and Challenging Minds
For Service in God's Kingdom

Creating a Community of Christian Practice

Third grade students practice mercy by collecting and packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

At Northern Michigan Christian School our students are not     “Christians in waiting.”  They are not learning today so that they can be Christians tomorrow when they grow up.  We want them to claim their faith right now and right here.   That means not only saying what they believe but also acting on what they believe.  Faculty is continually looking for ways for NMCS to become a community of Christian Practice.  Head knowledge isn’t enough.  Heart attitude isn’t enough.  We want our students to act on what they know and what they believe.  And they are.  NMCS students are practicing mercy, serving with humility, doing justice, showing kindness, providing forgiveness, and living with joy every day. 

 

NMCS students practice stewardship by monitoring the health of the Clam River, Fall 2012
  • Recently, high school students went to Curry House where they helped the residents write down their life stories.  The residents very much enjoy the attention and time the students gave them.
  • Elementary students packed 69 shoeboxes this November for Operation Christmas Child.  These boxes will be shipped around the world to become the Christmas present 69 children otherwise would not receive.  Elementary students practice mercy.
  • A group of high school students serve as Student Ambassadors at NMCS.  They welcome grandparents, give tours during Open Houses, and practice hospitality to those who visit school.
  • A Praise Team practices after school or during study halls so that they can lead the student body during praise chapels.
  • A group of middle and high school students has been monitoring the health of the Clam River this school year.  The information they gather helps stewardship efforts throughout the watershed.
  • Middle school students stay after lunch to wipe tables as humble service to the greater school community. 
  • Again this year, the junior class spent Spring Break in the DR, building a house and school classrooms.  In a small way and for a few people, they will be doing justice.
  • A couple of high school students daily help elementary special-needs students get off and on the bus, practice their reading lessons, or show kindness in other ways.
  • At the recent high school retreat, students sat around a wooden cross.  As the spirit moved them, they went forward, lit a candle, and addressed another student or teacher.  They identified spiritual gifts they recognized in that person, asked for forgiveness from that person, or expressed their thanks for who that person was or what he or she had done.

 

NMCS Juniors and Alumni help build a home in the Domican Republic

I could go on.  And, if you look over the rest of this website, you probably can add some examples yourself.  At the high school retreat in November, Pastor Brian Bierenga told students that at Pentecost there were not big and little tongues of fire; every believer received the same sized flame.  He challenged students to understand that they are not God’s junior varsity team.  They are on the senior team and in the big game.   As they learn and grow, they also are identifying their own spiritual gifts.  And as they use them, they are developing them and growing them for use today and tomorrow in his Kingdom.  In the words of St. Athanasius, they are “becoming by grace, what God is by nature.” 

 

— Superintendent Dirk Walhout