In an amazing partnership with our lab church, New Hope West, New Hope Christian College aims not only to equip emerging young leaders in their theology through their academics and studies but also through experience by training them through the servant’s door of ministry. NHCC students are trained by jumping in to serve within a specific ministry within New Hope West, tapping into their passions and developing their character at the same time.
One team that students are invited to join is the Edification team, also known as our Discipleship team. Students on the Edification team walk people through their faith journey in both the highs and lows of life. Some of these highs can be expressed through someone saying YES to Jesus, Water Baptism, and Life Groups. Some of these lows can be expressed through a need for prayer in the midst of hardship, memorial services, and home visits. They have been able to personally pray with those in need of prayer, exercising their faith muscles by learning how to be bold in their faith and encouraging others. The most exciting part of their time with Edification so far, though, is their time spent visiting elderly care homes right here in our local community. Here, students are not only learning how to contextualize the Gospel to new settings, but they’re also able to be the hands and feet of Jesus by going beyond the four walls and interacting with the community around us.
Character formation and a spiritually formed student is very important. Humility is one of those character qualities and attributes of Christ. Having the Edification students serve at Valley West (an elderly care facility) develops the students’ heart to love others that are often forgotten or locked in. Some may not be mentally present, however these student lead worship, share a short bible story, or lovingly play a game with these patients with all of their heart whether they are coherent or not. Why? Because Jesus loves them and would do the same. This develops character and humility.
All in all, our Edification interns are taught the value of being present, learning how to reflect Jesus’ ministry of presence by loving and caring deeply for those that are right in front of them.
So far, our students have encountered many opportunities that have not only deepened their faith, but have also developed their character. For example, our students have the opportunity to connect with our volunteers at New Hope West and do life with them, learning the gift of gratitude as we teach our students that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our volunteers. It has truly been a blessing to witness the interns express the heart of Jesus to everyone around them, as they walk alongside them through celebration and grief. Every encounter allows our students to grow and become more well-rounded leaders, which prepares them for the ministry and the marketplace.
Simply, our Edification interns are not only impacting the Kingdom of God, but they’re also shaping up to be exemplary ambassadors of Christ.