The transformation that occurs in students’ lives through the guidance of school leaders is far-reaching! As students receive from school leaders, they are equipped to steward and release the kingdom in their lives and spheres of influence.
To help you pastor your students, we want to highlight key takeaways from our most recent School Leader’s Revival Chat with Hayley Braun and Abi Stumvoll. Hayley is a 2nd Year Revival Group pastor going into her sixth year on staff at BSSM. Abi was a 1st Year Revival Group for several years and now teaches AMT and Track classes at BSSM. As you read this post, may you receive new levels of strength and wisdom to support the personal transformation of your students!
Pastor through a Lens of Love
Many people think that punishment, fear, or control can change others’ negative behaviors. During the Revival Chat, Hayley and Abi shared how people can only experience true freedom when they encounter the love of God. It is the greatest privilege of school leaders to love the areas of their students’ lives that need to encounter truth!
Hayley shared that leaders can love and impact their students when they see and treat them according to their true identities as children of God. When you see students struggle or make mistakes, it’s important to remind them of who they are when you confront them. If not, it will feel like punishment. As their leaders, you get to invite them to step into their true purpose to manifest heaven and beauty. Understanding and championing your students’ hearts is key to growing and sustaining revival culture!
Pursue Lasting Freedom
Students’ behaviors are a symptom of an internal problem. Abi shared how important it is to address negative actions that are rooted in shame and disconnection from love. In order for a student to experience total freedom in their lives, they need to encounter the unconditional love of the Father. It releases power to uproot the lies and hurt that drive negative behavior.
When you pastor your students, we encourage you to deal with the root issues that drive negative behavior.
When you encounter students in need of freedom from unhealthy belief systems and lifestyles, we also want to remind you that it is the Holy Spirit who releases breakthrough! There is no formula for freedom and leading someone into breakthrough is often a process. Remember, His desire for your students’ freedom is greater than yours! As He leads you, trust that He can do a great work in your students as you support them to experience victory and lasting freedom.
Cultivating vulnerability is such an integral part of revival culture. Vulnerability removes walls and invites the presence of truth, love, and grace. It creates strong relational connection and health within a group. Both Abi and Hayley discussed how creating a safe place for vulnerability requires intentionality. It takes time to build trust and invite students to take risks to share their personal fears, pain, or desires. We encourage you to cast vision for vulnerability. Define it for your students, give examples of the freedom it brings, and share how it is an essential part of the kingdom.
To foster vulnerability in her revival group, Abi had each of her students share their greatest fear in front of their peers. She explained how vulnerability breeds vulnerability; as soon as one person opens up, another will feel safe to share. To activate students in vulnerability, it can be helpful to start with a student who is willing to share, creating an invitation for others to participate. This exercise can create an environment of freedom for an entire group.
Hayley also shared it’s important to first model a lifestyle of vulnerability for your students before inviting them to participate. She recommends sharing some of your personal victories in vulnerability with your students. Your testimonies will release grace for their breakthroughs!
Define True Success
While pastoring students in a school, it can be easy to feel the pressure of your school’s timeline and graduation requirements. While leading her students, Hayley could be rushed to make sure they meet the school’s requirements. Presenting students with a graduation certificate is an endorsement of them as a leader. However, she always remembers to stay in pursuit of her goal as a leader to build big people–to see her students experience personal transformation. Each step of growth they take is a success and worth celebrating!
Abi echoed this same sentiment. God has a different timeline than we may have as school leaders. While it is important to partner with God in the journey, know that He will be faithful to complete the journey He began in your students’ lives. Also, it’s important to remember that success in your role is not defined by your students’ actions. Success is leading them to Jesus, loving them unconditionally, and celebrating their victories–both big and small. Sometimes, your students don’t know they’re succeeding until they are reminded of their growth. Don’t be afraid to encourage them and affirm their progress! Your encouragement will help build their confidence and inspire them to pursue personal growth for the rest of their lives.
School Leaders Revival Chats can now be accessed through a subscription to BSSM Equip. Find out more about BSSM Equip by visiting our website at BSSMEquip.com.