It all started on top of a parking structure in the heart of Downtown Orlando. The vision was cast to our students and The Element High School Ministry ventured into a new season. We redefined our view of success in student ministry to encompass more than a Wednesday night in three locations. This day we became one ministry.
The following is our attempt to invite you into each aspect of this exciting new time of ministry.
We have developed â€œIn House Communitiesâ€ throughout our city. For a ministry that has not excelled at creating small group experiences in the past, this was a huge endeavorâ€”and one we trusted Brad Enlow to spearhead.
We started with three communities, each with between 20 to 40 students, a minimum of five volunteer leaders and two directors, and we are in the process of raising up leaders and finding homes to launch two more communities. These In House Communities are located in proximity to our existing campuses and place students in intentional relationship with Christ-following leaders who are committed to living life with them. The average small group and/or house church in a given church body is typically comprised of 10 to 20% of the ministry. Our goal is to engage no less than 60% of our students within the first three months of this transition. Iâ€™m proud to say that today we have 40% of our students engaged in our In House Communities. This literally means over 40% of high school Element students are being discipled, and we are not stopping there!
The Element has also become passionate about our local public high school campuses. Realizing that students spend 40 hours a week at school, it seemed silly to spend 100% of our time focusing on the two hours they come to us. Weâ€™ve made an intentional decision to serve our schools. This does not mean going to lunch or starting a Bible study. There is merit in this tactic; it is simply not where God has lead us. We believe it is important to become a resource to the public schools. This means building relationships and finding out the needs of a given school. Needles to say, this is not something that happens over night. At least not to the degree we believe it should be done. To be honest, weâ€™ve never seen a student ministry as invested in the life of our schools as we feel called to be. This said, Croy Bosch has become the â€œsuper connecterâ€ between Discovery Church and Orlando Public School System.
So, what does this practically look like? Today, Croy is involved in a program called Teach One Lead One at West Orange High School. West Orange is the first school in Florida to have this program. Our hope and prayer is that West Orange will be the first of many schools in Orange County that this program will impact. He has also become the Junior Varsity Boys Volley Ball Coach for Olympia High School. We believe this is only the beginning of the At School portion of our ministry, and weâ€™re so excited about our future with the schools of Orlando.
The final cord of The Element is our Midweek meeting. Every Wednesday night our church is overtaken with hundreds of high school students from all across Orlando who come to passionately worship God and uncover the truths of Scripture. There is an excitement when you enter the front doors of the church and it is obvious that God is moving! The Element Midweek has become a huge connection point for our students. Weâ€™ve averaged 10 new students a week for the past month and donâ€™t see that slowing down anytime soon. David Miller has taken the roll of Teaching Pastor and formed a teaching team of five gifted communicators. Our goal is to give students a safe place to confront culture with truth and be a part of a movement. The video below was taken by a student during a Communion service last month during a MidWeek meeting.
This new season of ministry has brought a contagious energy to The Element. God is moving in the lives of our students in ways Iâ€™ve only dreamed about in the past. I have seen students restore broken relationships with parents, embrace counseling for the first time, and worship God with a passion you will need to see for yourself. Thank you so much for coming along on our redefining journey. Â You can continue to follow The Element by clicking the tab to the right of your screen.
Here is one more video for good measure!