Extra Curricular activities hold special places in our lives. We all have them, and look forward to them. We go to them when we are not in school, at work, or anything else we have to do. They are activities we volunteer for, and they are meaningful. That being said, we inevitably end up obtaining new knowledge of ourselves, and whatever else that activity involves. Personally, praise band is an extracurricular activity that has been meaningful to me in innumerable ways.
To start, praise band has brought meaning to my life in such a way that I can play for people. It has given me a crazy feeling of satisfaction when people sing along to the music that we make. In a musical sense, not much is more fulfilling (in my opinion) than to see all of your hard work and preparation pay off in the form of voices. Praise band has also allowed me to connect with people in school that I would not have previously connected with. I have gotten song requests from people that I do not normally talk to. I’ve even had the privilege of talking to people after chapel about my journey in the world of music, and showing them guitars.
Next, praise band has brought meaning to my life in such a way that I can praise God by simply doing what I love. God has given me a love for music, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The way I see it, I am simply returning the favor and saying “thank you” in the form of a song. He has also blessed me with people to make music with. The fact that I get to do it with people I have grown tremendously close to in the last three years is a bonus. I believe that making music with others for God brings Him even more glory than if you were doing it by yourself.
Finally, praise band has brought meaning to my life in such a way that it has taught me more about myself than sports, school, or anything else could have ever taught me. In the past three years, I have learned some valuable lessons, and made some mistakes that ultimately made myself, and the band, better. I have learned to be comfortable in front of crowds. When I first got up on stage, I was shaking in my shoes. Now it is a breeze. I have gotten to the point where it almost does not even phase me. I have come to enjoy it. I have also learned that preparation is needed in order to have success in the world of music. That has been a rather important lesson if I must choose the most important. My skills in working with other people to have success have certainly grown. Praise band has come to be a source of betterment in my life in music.
Overall, praise band has brought meaning to my life in a way that I can play for people, play for God, and it is always teaching me new lessons. I am forever thankful for this opportunity, and the honor that it is to play in this band. It has made me a better person, and taught me to use my mistakes to progress as a musician, and person altogether. Praise band has been the extracurricular activity that has led to a more satisfying, and rich life.
I love the ministry of Grace Christian Academy and am excited for the opportunity to lead it into the future. To prepare myself, I have endeavored to study the organization while also immersing myself in prayer, the book of Proverbs and any leadership book I can get my hands on. It is from these influences, that Grace is moving in a different direction; with a new mission and subsequently a change in how we view success within the organization.
Let me start by making a very bold assertion. Grace Christian Academy is not in the education business! We do not exist to teach English, History, Science, and Math. We do not exist to produce fine arts concerts. We do not exist to kick, dribble, or hit a ball around a playing field. These are all entities that we use to accomplish why we truly exist, the development and discipleship of young people. Grace Christian Academy is in the discipleship business using the means of education.
What then should our end product (our students) look like? After pondering this new direction and all of its implications, I have come to the conclusion that Grace Christian Academy wants to matriculate students who are wise. Proverbs 16:16 reminds us, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” Ultimately a wise student is far better equipped for life than one whose head is just full of knowledge. The development of wisdom applies to every facet of our organization (academics, fine arts, athletics, and extra-curricular activities) and brings a unity of purpose to the whole organization; develop wisdom in students.
This is a unique purpose, different from other schools because we know the beginning of wisdom; the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 9:10). With this as our starting point, the sole compelling vision of Grace as an institution is to instill wisdom in students. The mission statement and subsequent core values address the question of how we will develop wise students. In order to develop wisdom within a student, one must have a great influence on the thoughts and actions of that student. The most effective means of obtaining this kind of influence is to invest in a loving, trusting relationship. Students will rise to a high standard (rigorous academics) if they know that they are loved and what they are going through is an act of love. However, rigorous academics is only valuable in the context that it is a worship act (Romans 12:1). Students will start to develop wisdom when they understand how to use what God has given them to serve others. Ultimately, this is what success looks like; students who have adopted a lifelong passion to become wise and know that by doing so, they are worshiping. This is a compelling mission and a worthy calling.
-Mr. Most, Principal
The vision of Grace Christian Academy is to know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth. ~Proverbs 1:2-4~
The mission of Grace Christian Academy is to develop wise students through intentional relationships, rigorous instruction, and nurturing God-given talents for the purpose of service and bringing glory to God.