We desire our students to know they are unique children of God, made in His image, fearfully and wonderfully made. We also desire our students to know they are a part of the larger Body of Christ and are called to be active members of their respective communities.
The challenge is to combine these two important concepts, which almost seems contradictory. To overcome this hurdle, fifth grade students meet six times in September and October with some facilitators from Edgeline Resources, a local team-building consulting company. Together with the fifth grade staff, Edgeline coaches help students understand Romans 12. The goal is to encourage them to live out who God created them to be while living together and working as one body.
The main concept began with students brainstorming which behaviors and attitudes should be demonstrated in the Body of Christ. In contrast, they also wrote down many negative behaviors we often see and put those ‘outside of the body.’ As part of the process, students discussed that while they sometimes still act in ways outside of the Body of Christ, they know that God sent Jesus to take our place, thus making each one of us 100% valuable in the eyes of God. Since we no longer have to look to others (or things) for value, we are free to serve using our gifts (Romans 12:4-8).
Mr. DeVries commented, “I love seeing our fifth graders go through our Edgeline program. They learn about what it means to be the Body of Christ, think about their unique role in it, all while enjoying games and challenges with their classmates. Our mentors in this program have been a blessing to our fifth graders for years, and this is always one of the highlights of the fifth grade year.”
The unique aspect of Edgeline is that it uses a hands-on learning approach, where students actively participate. Students participate in discussions, work together to find solutions, participate in team-building activities, play some interesting games and even attend a day camp to cement the learning. Our hope is that what is covered in fifth grade provides a strong foundation for growth in middle school and beyond!