Since last school year, Ministry Team students have been leading weekly on-campus Bible studies, creating a renewed atmosphere that has caught the attention of their peers and faculty.
For many years, Servant Group was the main outlet for high school students to participate in Christian ministry at HBA. The purpose of the group was to help students grow in their relationship with God while also offering them opportunities to serve in the community. The group averaged more than a hundred members every year and met monthly in the gym. Servant Group projects included City of Joy (a ministry that provides food and activities for low-income or homeless children in Waianae,) buying Christmas presents for kids in transitional homes, and counseling grade level camps.
Before the start of last school year, Christian Ministries Director Rob Lockridge and Christian Ministries Associate John Kaneshiro decided it was time to redefine what it meant for students to be part of Servant Group as they noticed some students were joining the group for reasons unrelated to its purpose. According to them, some students were joining as a means to feel good about themselves as they participated in community service.
Lockridge and Kaneshiro decided to create a new ministry, called “Ministry Team,” to replace Servant Group. Kaneshiro says, “Ministry Team was created with the understanding that we wanted to really aim for integration between the grade levels, fellowship, and learning about Jesus.” The Ministry Team emphasizes weekly Bible studies throughout the school year a lot more than Servant Group ever did.[one_third]
“Ministry Team was created with the understanding that we wanted to really aim for integration between the grade levels, fellowship, and learning about Jesus.”
Christian Ministries Associate John Kaneshiro[/one_third]
This year, there are 15 weekly Bible study groups (gender-based) on campus. The Ministry Team has 42 student leaders who have gone through a rigorous application process, which includes a parent signature, four essay questions, a letter of recommendation, and an interview with Lockridge or Kaneshiro, or both. Kaneshiro says, “[The groups have] the feel of small churches [or] small fellowship groups.” These small groups allow students to learn more about God outside of chapel and Bible classes, enabling them to go deeper and to ask questions, and help them to connect with fellow camp counselors or chapel worship leaders.
These Bible studies are not limited to the high school. Senior Kailee Liu and junior Paige Oshiro supervise a group of freshmen who lead small groups with middle school girls. Sophomores Jalen Sur and Cody Sugai are leading bible studies for middle school boys.
Other things happening with ministry on campus this year include a renewed push for City of Joy, a continuation of The Worship Project (a lunch time worship service,) and activities related to the all-school “Love Does” chapel theme.
Chapel this year is also changing as Christian Ministries focuses on expository preaching. They started off the year by going through the book of Ephesians and Lockridge hopes to give context to the book and deliver the Scriptures in an understandable way to students in seventh through twelfth grade. Ministry Team bible studies will also go through Ephesians to help students understand the book on a deeper level.
Students who want to be involved in Ministry Team can speak to Lockridge or Kaneshiro.