Called To Make Disciples
The ACS mission statement, Helping Families Make Disciples, focuses us on the educational section of Jesus’ Great Commission: ...Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20a ESV).
As a school, we partner with our families and their churches to make disciples of the rising generation - that is, to spiritually form them. Spiritual formation is the process of equipping students to flourish as image bearers of their Creator.
Learning to walk in the way of God is a 24-hour-a-day privilege encompassing the whole of our lives. Jesus taught his disciples to obey all that I commanded you by investing 3 years of 24/ 7 time with them. We should do no less in discipling our rising generation.
True Christian education emphasizes spiritual formation at every level and location. Arthur F. Holmes succinctly summarized the heart of Christian education in the title of his 1977 classic book: All Truth is God's Truth. By discovering and exploring God's truth in the very fabric of everything he has made, our students learn to flourish in all areas of their lives - and to winsomely invite others to join them.
The Spiritual Formation Committee is dedicated to integrating the institutions of home, school and church in order to help students in their spiritual development. The committee intentionally develops creative opportunities for the students to encounter the Holy Spirit so that students will take the information they learn and be transformed ever more into the likeness of Christ.
Each year we probe a specific set of spiritual formation themes; the themes follow a four-year cycle based upon Greg Ogden’s book, Discipleship Essentials. These provide a framework for the...
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Bible is taught as a separate subject in every grade from PreK to 12th grade. Students gain a thorough understanding of God's interaction with humanity from Creation to the New Heaven and Earth. Throughout the program, students grapple with every book in the Old and New Testaments. They learn sound Christian doctrine, church history, what other religions and worldviews believe, and they learn how to defend the Christian faith against its critics.
Our regularly scheduled chapels invite our school family to gather together in a community that expresses our love for God and his people. These age appropriate events are a collaboration of faculty, students and invited speakers from area churches and other ministries. Secondary students lead the worship time of their own chapels.
Meeting regularly throughout the school year, our secondary small groups provide each student with:
Twice a year, ACS sets aside an entire day for our secondary students to meet the needs of our community. Conducted through our small groups, scores of our parents and teachers model servant leadership with our students as they volunteer at area organizations.
In the fall we focus on serving our greater Grand Rapids community at such organizations as Dégagé Ministries, Alpha Family Center, RBC Ministries, Adopt-A-Highway, Howard Christensen Nature Center, North Kent Service Center, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society of Kent County, Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Operation Christmas Child, Woman At Risk International, David's House Ministries, Renucci House, Sparta Chamber of Commerce, Pine Ridge Bible Camp, and Feeding America.
In the spring, we serve our ACS family churches (we represent over 50 area churches), concentrating on spring cleanup at their campuses.