Life in Jesus
Our desire is to support the Christian home as parents nurture the spiritual growth of their children. To provide this support, we offer an extensive 8-year process for children in 5th grade – 12th grade that examines the basis of their Christian Faith and promotes a personal relationship with Christ. Called "Life in Jesus," these 8 years are broken down into 4 primary pillars. From 5th-12th grade, student move through the pillars, learning how to live with Jesus at the center of each part of their lives. In 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students have an opportunity to make a public confession of their faith at a Life Event.
4 Pillars of Life in Jesus
Life in the Word
Life in the Word is the beginning of the Life in Jesus curriculum. God's Word is the foundation of our faith and our greatest tool in learning who God is and who God wants us to be. This two-year plan is designed for students in 5th and 6th grade. Students examine the basics of Christian faith as they study the Lord's Prayer, the 10 Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, Baptism, and how to use scripture. In keeping with our vision of home-centered faith development, parents are encouraged to attend this class with their child. A facilitator leads instruction with both parents and children for the first portion of the class. Parents, girls, and boys are separated into smaller groups for the last part of the class. In those small groups, students apply the topics to their lives. Parents use this time to discuss parenting issues and support each other. Occasionally during the year students have opportunities for social activities designed to build relationships. Completion of this pillar is celebrated in April for students in 6th grade.
Life in the Cross
Life in the Cross places an emphasis on students learning to put Jesus at the center of their lives. Students learn about their identity and worth through Jesus. They learn to apply biblical truths to their daily lives. Specific emphasis is placed on this pillar during 7th and 8th grade. Completion of this pillar is celebrated in April for students in 8th grade.
Life in Service
Through Life in Service, students deepen their understanding of how to live Life in Jesus as they explore how Jesus was the model servant. Life in Service asks students to use their time and gifts to serve Christ through serving others. Students come to understand that this service is a means of thanking God for His greatest sacrifice, Jesus' death on the cross. Students explore Jesus' life in the Gospels, as well as his teachings through the parables. Students are given the opportunity to discover their spiritual gifts and use them within the church body and their community. Specific emphasis is placed on this pillar during 9th and 10th grade. Completion of Life in Service is celebrated in April for students in 10th grade.
Life in Mission
In the Great Commission, our Lord tells us to "Go and make disciples of all nations." This command is the core of learning for Life in Mission. As they grow, students are given significant leadership roles with their peers. They are occasionally asked to teach younger students as they learn how to verbalize their faith. Students come to understand that a Life in Jesus means sharing the Good News with people around them. They learn the skills they need to stand firm in their faith and impact their friends with the love of Jesus. Students experience this each summer on mission trips. Specific emphasis is placed on this pillar for students in 11th and 12th grade. Completion of Life in Mission is celebrated in April for students in 12th grade.
7th-12th grade students explore all of these areas of Life in Jesus throughout their time in Higher Ground. Throughout Higher Ground they are exposed to opportunities to serve and experience a missional lifestyle. Curriculum is not specifically placed on age levels, but instead these themes are prominent throughout a student's entire experience within Higher Ground. Special emphasis to certain pillars happens for specific age groups occasionally during the year and at some retreats.
We believe parents have been called to lead their children and teach them to be followers of Jesus. For this reason, we equip parents to instruct their children and prepare them for First Communion. Parents are given the materials to use for this process. Children celebrate their First Communions individually when they and their families are ready.