Across the Street Ministry Benefits Communities, Students

across thhe street ministriesThe Spiritual Life and Development office has made improvements to their ministry called Across the Street. Jeffrey Hernandez, a student chaplain and sophomore theology major, has taken the position as coordinator for this ministry. Hernandez is now in charge of overseeing the three newly defined branches which include children, worship, and connections.

This outreach project is intended to not only benefit different communities, but also students.

“It allows Southwestern students to reach outside of campus and learn how to minister in different ways. It’s a great learning experience for everyone who is involved,” says Hernandez.

The children’s branch is operated by Austen Powell, a student chaplain and sophomore theology major. Volunteers are sent to Sabbath schools varying in location. The Southwestern students are divided among third grade, fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade, and seventh and eighth grade.

“I really like kids so it’s a lot of fun for me. We try to help the Sabbath school teachers wherever we can,” says Powell.

Robert Leslie, a student chaplain and sophomore theology major, oversees the worship branch, which encompasses preparing song services and gathering praise teams. “This generation is the church, so we need to know how to lead no matter which church we go to or what position they need filled.”

Hernandez also coordinates the connections branch. A nearby high school, Chisholm Trail Academy, joins Southwestern periodically for Lifehouse Sabbath School. “We get to know the high school kids a lot better and start forming friendships with them. It also sort of begins the process of passing the torch for when we leave. We want to train leaders.”

On November 1, Across the Street volunteers will make their way to Mansfield and Arlington where the churches will experience their first Southwestern Sabbath.

“This is a Sabbath where the entire program is done by Southwestern,” says Leslie. “That means we are in charge of the praise team, offertory, prayer, and everything else besides the sermon. I’m really excited and hope it’s a positive experience for these churches and that they receive a blessing from it.

“We are eager for more students to get involved with Across the Street. Spiritual Life and Development is excited to see what God will do with this ministry,” says Leslie. “We have big plans to make this program even better. Of course, it’s all in the Lord’s hands.”

If you would like to get involved in Across the Street ministries, contact the Spiritual Life and Development office at slad@swau.edu.

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