The Core of a Student’s Growth Journey
By Jazzmine Bankston, Teaching Vice Principal at Scenic Hills Christian Academy
It was the beginning of the period, the launch of the third quarter, and the start of a new year. One by one, students made their way to their seats, eagerly waiting for class to begin. I asked my students to define “New Year’s Resolutions.” There was a consensus that they saw them as external goals set to achieve, to do or not do, for self-improvement. A proud moment occurred when they arrived at the insight that goals fixated on externalities will never address the core internal roots that need our attention in order to grow into the best version of ourselves. Real transformational change occurs from the inside out, and it involves shifting one’s focus from what one wants or does not want to do to who one wants to become.
At the end of our discussion, I led my students into an experiential and practical activity that involved sitting in the presence of God with Philippians 1:6 as their focus verse and creating a 2022 written vision script for their lives. Male students were asking themselves: Who is the man of God that I want to become by the end of year? Female students applied similar questions: Who is the woman of God that He sees in me, and how do I get there? Emulating God’s ability to see the barren world in which we live and cast vision into the empty space to create a life-giving space, students casted vision into their own lives—vision that would be unique to each individual and clarified with purposeful meaning and direction.
At the heart of Journey of Discipleship, a discipleship and mentorship program that I had the privilege of launching three years ago at Scenic Hills Christian Academy in San Antonio, our high school students are consistently challenged, prompted and encouraged to listen and lean into God’s deep calling in their lives. When people come on our campus and ask us why we do what we do, I want to be able to point to God’s grand vision for humanity. Our God is in the business of restoring a broken humanity back to Him, and our high school staff play a significant part in that by leaning into His vision as spiritual mentors on campus to our students.
Our collective vision for our high school department is that we create a culture in which discipleship is at the core of our student’s growth journey, as well as our own. We are disciples making disciples.
We are mentors who help our students become the best version of themselves as they develop a personal relationship with God. We are teachers who view our students as the young men and women of God with unique giftedness and calling. We are leaders who lead with purpose and vision. Leaders who walk alongside our students who are learning how to do the same. It is our hope that, as we actively engage in the discipleship journey with our students, we are preparing them to be future leaders for Christ, restoring us to God’s kingdom.