By Rebecca Canosa
The goal of this Spiritual Emphasis Week was not just to focus on the week, but also to make it a spiritual emphasis year. This weighed heavily on the hearts of Mr. Joel Maus and Mr. Michael Sinclair, the two speakers.
Michael Sinclair, head of the Bible department, spoke the first two days of the week. On Monday, his focus was on breaking the ice. Sinclair wanted to engage students so that his message would be more exciting and relevant.
His plan was to try to get students to understand the SCS mascot – the Knights. There is a knights honor code that the student body must maintain and a standard to live up to. He explained who knights were and how that is applicable to students today.
“There’s an idea of honor, reverence, obedience to a call, willingness to rise up and do what God has called us to do. A knight really represents those things,” said Sinclair.
Tuesday’s chapel was more intense. Sinclair really honed in on what is expected of the student body by writing an honor code and a creed. The code is an acronym spelling out “KNIGHTS” that lays out the basis of how students should act in school, at home, and in the world.
Sinclair was speaking to the student body and the faculty. He wanted to make a point that all SCS students are Knights and have to live up to a higher standard. Teachers are the example that students should be following.
He said, “If I ask a student to follow an honor code, or if I ask a student to press into the Lord, and I, myself, don’t do it… what kind of example am I?”
Joel Maus, the dean of students, gave a message on Wednesday. He started off by humbling himself in front of students and asked them to put aside any anger or unforgiveness they may be holding against him so they could better focus on what God was trying to say.
His message coincided with his motto, “Make it a great day, the choice is yours.”
His main point was committing our choices to the Lord and seeking Him first. He urged students to continue to make purposeful, specific decisions that are obedient to God’s direction for their lives.
To prepare, both Sinclair and Maus spent time in prayer meetings looking for guidance from God. They discussed in groups, wrote down their main ideas, and let the Holy Spirit move.
In the end, they were able to create a sermon that spoke God’s Heart and moved students and faculty alike.
When asked what he wanted the students to get out of SEW, Joel Maus said, “I wanted students and faculty to get an opportunity to spend more ‘off-the-clock’ time with each other. Our vision and mission state that they are accomplished through life on life influence, and often we don’t get those moments outside of the classroom where students and teachers become simply young Christians learning from mature Christians.”
Not only did his message apply to students, which was his main focus, but to himself as well. Maus said that he feels he is the one who gets the most out of his messages. He never wants to stop making good, hard choices that shape his life and make him more useful for God’s Kingdom. It was a message of perseverance.
Jeff Eichenlaub, an SCS graduate of 2013, led the student body into worship for the first three days of Spiritual Emphasis Week. He said he hoped during the week the students would experience new depths of God’s love. His goal was to get other people into worship.
“Leading worship is a fun and unique experience that guides you into a deep place,” said Jeff.
Some worship leaders believe it is difficult to get to that deep place while playing, but Eichenlaub believes you need to be in that deep place to help steer others there.
Students, a part of Vision Ministry, from Liberty University came all the way from Virginia to minister to SCS on Thursday and Friday.
In preparation, they spent many meetings in prayer for students and teachers; each student who spoke had their own message. They were able to make chapel fun with skits and even a few games.
Vision Ministry also blessed SEW with their fantastic worship. These Liberty students had ministered to large groups before, but it was the largest they had to divide into small groups.
After each session, students were separated into small groups divided by grade level and gender. There, teachers and students connected and talked about the sermon and what God had done in their hearts.
It was a time for fellowship, prayer, and also a more personal, one-on-one experience with peers and faculty. Students were very responsive and some even dedicated their lives to Jesus for the first time during their small groups.
Among the students from Liberty was an SCS alumna, Rebecca Anderson, who graduated in 2013. She joined Vision in 2014 and played keyboard and sang during worship.
“I absolutely loved every second of time that I spent at SCS for those two days. Although, it did not nearly feel like enough time! I never thought that I would have had the privilege to be a part of Spiritual Emphasis week again,” said Rebecca.
Hearts were changed and souls were dedicated to the Lord during Spiritual Emphasis Week.
“The goal of SEW is to give everyone an opportunity to dive deeper into God’s plan for them. In that I am greatly pleased that SEW was a huge success,” said Joel Maus.