Building Truth into Young Hearts and Minds
Chapel at WC
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit at your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”Deuteronomy 6:4-7
What do the following descriptions have in common? A catalyst for spiritual formation in students’ lives, a hands-on training ground for ministry, a corporate celebration and building community, and a context for ongoing organic and intentional conversations that lead to deeper connections in academics and spiritual growth. Answer: all these descriptions synopsize the objectives and outgrowth of weekly chapels at Worthington Christian School (WC).
Chapel has been an intentional and integral part of WC since its founding in 1973. Perhaps what’s different this school year is the collaborative and united planning from K-12.
Weekly chapel at WC is a collaborative effort, with coordination in the Upper School among Dean of Student Life Dr. Erica VanDop, Bible Teachers Michael Clutz and Jackson Woosley, and Lower School coordination between VanDop and Lower School Principal Nanci Griffith. Griffith sees the weekly chapel as “a very special time to come together for praise and worship, and then to hear from God’s word.”
This year, the Lower and Upper School committees have developed the weekly chapel time around the theme, “You’re Invited.” The unified theme and Bible passages across grades K through 12 provide carefully planned scaffolding for each grade level. With the “invitation” theme, students are learning that God has extended a personal invitation to which we get to respond. VanDop elaborates.
“Students are encouraged to RSVP. “R” is our Response to the invitation; “S” is the opportunity to Submit to God’s will for our lives; “V” represents our View of ourselves and our culture in light of the gospel; and “P” represents the opportunity students have to Participate in the Great Commission.”
Student involvement is essential to chapel at both the Lower and Upper Schools. Sixth-grade students can serve on the student-led worship team as “Worship Warriors,” helping to lead their peers in worship through music. In addition to serving alongside staff in worship, Clutz also shares that chapel is a valuable training ground for local church ministry.
“[We are cultivating] skills and opportunities to serve; we are not just talking about serving, but practicing.”
Under the direction of Clutz, a team of students learns stewardship of their space, performing a detailed sweep to set up and tear down each week; others are learning to develop and share their musical abilities in worship, while others learn to craft and then share their testimonies. Indeed, this supports VanDop’s vision and encouragement for students to “[not allow] the familiarity of the gospel to diminish your wonder” and “to leave as changed individuals through learning and serving.”
Furthermore, Clutz aptly unfolds the heartbeat of chapel. He describes students’ opportunity to “leave chapel and have continued conversations with teachers, who become friends and mentors.” Woosley concurs, adding that he values the intentionality to integrate what students are learning into the classroom and sees chapel as “the pinnacle of the week and a sign of what is most important.”
A Context for Ongoing Discipleship and Community
While the large gathering of the respective chapel services provides the opportunity for “hearts to be united as a school, [and to] intentionally see our gaze to Jesus,” Woosley also emphasizes the tremendous opportunity for ongoing integration of biblical truths beyond the weekly chapel time. Clutz affirms chapel as “a catalyst and [setting] for continued discipleship” through the Upper School’s House System and “Family Time.”
We may not immediately see the impact of how God is at work in students’ lives, but on occasion, glimpses reveal themselves in unexpected ways. Woosley relates heart-warming evidence of this from an early chapel this year (parents, ask your Upper School students about this!). Clutz described how, in college, he attempted to meet the needs of a friend in the best way he knew when she was under the weather. He wanted to offer her a remedy, so he took her a Sunny Delight. Looking back, he felt it may not have been adequate, but it was done with the noblest intentions. Clutz used this illustration to demonstrate that God, in love, provided for us to meet us in our greatest need. The illustration so resonated with the students that many brought servings of the Sunny Delight beverage to share in their Family Time following that chapel service.
Weekly Chapel Times
Chapel is open to school parents and grandparents. Please stop by the school office to get a visitor’s pass. You can also get a recap of the chapel each week on our social media platforms.
Wednesday – Upper School
9-12 | 11:11 AM – 11:49 AM
7-8 | 11:54 AM – 12:32 PM
Thursday – Lower School
K-2 | 9:05 – 9:35 AM
3-6 | 9:35 – 10:05 AM