BSSM First Year Overseer, Mark Brookes, and First Year Revival Group Pastor, Brandon Rice, joined us for our most recent School Leaders Revival Chat. They have years of experience in BSSM’s environment as students and staff members. Mark has led the 1st Year program for the past eighteen years, helping to cultivate and sustain a transformative program for students. Brandon has pastored 1st Year students for the past six years. He champions them as they develop revival in their personal lives.
Their stories and testimonies gave us a look into how to create a strong kingdom culture in a school of supernatural ministry. Drawing from their wisdom, we want to share three aspects of a kingdom school culture. May their insights inspire and encourage you as you continue to strengthen and develop your school’s environment!
To create a presence-focused culture in a school, we encourage you to always make it your goal to set up students to encounter the Lord individually and corporately. It’s His power that changes lives. He reveals Himself to us and changes our perspectives, causing us to live differently. This all comes from encounters that transform us from the inside out.
During the Revival Chat, Mark explained how he practically leads a class into an encounter with the Father. First, he teaches about the nature of God; His loving-kindness as a Father. Mark will also share testimonies of encounters with the Lord and then leaves space for God to move. Students will close their eyes and ask God to come near. Mark also prompts the students to ask God, “What do you think of me?” From there, each student is encountered by the presence of God, some radically for the first time, as the Lord answers this question in each student’s heart.
When you lead students into encounters with God, there may be some that feel as though they missed God. Perhaps they didn’t clearly hear His voice or feel Him draw near to them. Brandon shared that managing expectations is important when you build a culture around His presence. Some students may believe that an encounter looks or feels a specific way. When their experience doesn’t line up with their expectation, they feel disappointed. Expectations can limit our ability to experience God. We encourage you to teach your students that expectancy is the position of knowing that He will meet you, even when you’re not sure what it will look like. There is no formula! God is always near and willing to draw close to us. He is always speaking and we get to learn how to align ourselves with His presence and voice.
The culture of a supernatural school of ministry demands risk. The hunger that drove students to attend your school should lead them to grow in the revelation of their identities in Christ and pursue signs and wonders. Your students didn’t come to your school to be comfortable or to stay the same. Growth happens when they step out and try new things, experiencing personal breakthroughs and receiving wisdom as they learn from mistakes.
To create a thriving, risk-taking culture, it’s crucial that you provide safety for your students’ hearts. They need to know they are loved and supported unconditionally. You can establish a strong foundation of safety for students by grounding them in the revelation of who God is: a loving Father who champions and celebrates their courage and willingness to grow in new ways. Mark explains that if students have the view that God is harsh, they may not take risks because they fear failure and punishment. Students’ risks must be celebrated! As leaders, we encourage you to demonstrate love and encouragement that provides a safe place for students to be stretched.
As students experience newfound revelation, it is vital that they walk out what they learn within the context of community. It brings truth to life for them! While you cannot force or create community for your students, you can facilitate and model it for them. Community groups in school allow students not only to develop strong friendships with each other but also to glean from spiritual mothers and fathers that are on your team.
At BSSM, students experience layers of community. They are placed in revival groups of about sixty-five students, home groups of about fifteen, and small groups of five. Each group is structured to foster vulnerability and a sense of family. They also provide avenues to teach and activate students in specific areas. As Mark and Brandon shared, these groups are important because the Lord wants to encounter students through the body of Christ. Ultimately, community groups are designed for them to further connect to the heart of the Lord so that He can be the source of love, significance, and purpose.
As you facilitate community in your school, we pray you would be full of expectancy! God is willing and able to powerfully move in your school and transform your students! He is faithful to demonstrate His great love towards those who long to experience Him.
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.