When you're in different environments you're often wondering, “What are the rules?” because you need to know them so you’ll know when you’ve scored a goal or when you’ve stepped out-of-bounds. Well, at School our rules are buried beneath our values. In other words, we’re more worried about you breaking our values than our rules: but we still have rules. It’s how we corporately respond, if and when they are broken that is key.
If God has called you to School then our mission is to develop the REVIVALIST in you.
REVIVALIST: (n) a believer who is focused and passionate, willing to pay any price to live in community, purity and power because they are loved by God and love Him, whose manifest presence transforms lives and cultures.
Over the years, we have learned the important truth that who we are becoming is both expressed and affected by simple choices and behaviors. These choices and behaviors produce a lifestyle. Based on your call to become a revivalist, we have a set of expectations that we want you to adopt as your own. Ultimately, we want your choices to flow from who you are. However, some things are first learned from the “outside in.” In other words, we adopt them before they feel quite natural or necessary because they help shape our inner world. School is often an “outside in” experience.
The following is a practical expression of choices and behaviors that flow from your core mission to become a revivalist. We have found them very helpful in creating an atmosphere that advances the Kingdom. Let’s break down the definition of “revivalist” and demonstrate some of the choices and behaviors we believe naturally flow from it.
“believer”— We expect you to grow in the truth, come to love it, deeply enjoy its value to save and transform, and ultimately, to radically live it. So, among other things, being a “believer” is expressed in the following simple behaviors:
• Spend time learning and understanding the Bible and the School's statement of faith and core values. Let them build a strong foundation for your beliefs and transform the way you live out your life.
• Do the homework that you have been assigned with faithfulness, knowing that God can use it to transform your mind. Turn assignments in on time in order to be ready to discuss and integrate the truth they contain into your life.
“focused”—“You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.” Focused people make a “To Do” list and a “Not To Do” list. Students with focus have a “yes” in their spirit so strong they can say “no” to distraction and compromise. Focus is key in accomplishing all that God has called you to become. So, at the very least, focus is expressed by the following:
• Come to class on time and participate. Unlike some colleges, we expect you to be in class. So our leaders and interns will address you if you are not in class.
• Give whoever is speaking the honor of your full attention. Which means not being on your phone, texting, on the web or Facebook etc. during class. Unplug from the culture of distraction at School and enjoy the growth you’ll experience.
“passion”— When we are passionate about something, our whole being is engaged. Our mind, emotions, bodies and energy are all directed at the “thing” that has captured us. Obviously, the Lord Himself is the One we encourage you to direct your passion towards. As you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you tap into His passion for His Church, the lost, and yourself. Imagine a “passion continuum” or scale; in other words, you might say, “I’m a 2 on the passion scale of ‘1 to 10.’” Then this year will be a great success if you become a “6” by year’s end. We don’t expect everyone to be a 10— though many will be—but we do expect growth. At the very least, the core value of passion is expressed in the following:
• Worship with your whole being. Worship is not free time, nor a time for conversation, or necessarily “soaking” time. It is a vital sacrifice we bring to the King every day. It is a step beyond convenience. It does take a purposeful heart to worship every day with joy, but He is so worth it!
• Allow your passion to be revealed in excellence. Some of the work you are asked to produce is only viewed by you and God. That should be enough for you! If you find yourself trying to cut corners or “beat the system,” you are missing the whole point of School.
“willing to pay any price”— You are already well aware of what it has cost you to attend School. We recognize and value your sacrifice. Still, there is more. School is not just a “Monday to Friday” school for 9 months. It costs far more than money to attend. “Willingness to pay any price” looks like the following attitudes and behaviors at a minimum:
• We don’t want you to miss a day of school, so we require you to attend 90% of classes. Please don’t treat these absences as something to “spend” to go snowboarding, extend holidays or take a day off. This is exactly what we don’t want you to do! They are for crises and unavoidable situations that often arise.
• Leading with “a king’s heart and a servant’s hands” is one of the core values of a revivalist. So, we ask you to serve a whole lot. Be quick to volunteer whether it be helping to setup chairs or serving at a dinner. Your leaders have been setting an example in this area for years. One important lesson they have learned is that “the seat of service often turns into the throne of destiny.”
• School is dependent upon your faithful payment of your school tuition. None of our money comes from a church’s general fund. “Paying any price” looks like getting a job, diligently getting support from your home church, or giving up something important or pleasurable (like a latte or a Christmas trip home) in order to keep your School tuition fees current.
“community”— Our behavior deeply affects one another. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price and placed in a family. We can help each other soar or knock the joy out of each other. As leaders, the poor choices of fellow leaders or our students are one of the most painful experiences in our lives. Community is one of God’s most powerful tools for changing us into His likeness. Learning to forgive, get along, confront, encourage, take responsibility for each other, and cultivating the desire to seek someone else’s “highest best” above our own is the definition of maturity. So, at a minimum, lets:
• Realise your Christian freedom is not an end in itself. It is not the goal; rather it is a tool for building something beautiful. Freedom provides the space and opportunity to truly love. Will you love? Will you choose what is best for the beloved or the family? Will you use your freedom to protect our connection and our hearts or for selfishness? “You my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13).
• Confront one-another in love. If someone is doing something scary or destructive then tell them. If they don’t make a change quickly, bring in another believer and if they still don’t respond tell your Revival Group Leader. Help each other by speaking the truth in love. You are responsible to confront fellow students making poor choices. Polite society lies and implies it is none of our business, but God says we are our brother’s keeper. We have an honor code: “I love and honor you too much to let your poor choices go unchallenged by love and holiness.” Here’s how to start, “I am concerned when you ______________ because _______________ so could we agree to _______________. And let’s keep checking in with each other because ________________.”
• Community welcomes the leadership of leaders. Our society has grown so suspicious of control and authority that many of us are unaware of how uncomfortable we are letting leaders speak into our life. School produces leaders: To be successful, leaders must know how to follow.
• To bring out the best in each other, and recognize that we really are in community, we want you to bring strength and help into your dating life. We recommend talking to leaders in your life before, during and after pursuing a relationship. At a very minimum, we expect you to inform your Revival Group Leader as soon as possible if you begin a relationship. They will discuss how you are going to honor God in your relationship and who you will be transparent with and draw upon for help/wisdom.
“purity”— A good definition of grace is “the underserved love of God and His power to change me and situations.” The Lord gives us grace to walk in purity. Holiness is really wholeness. The Lord asks us to walk in purity because it is life giving! Sin hurts you, other people and God. Not only that, it makes people crazy. Really, sin makes you crazy. You may hear it a lot when we apply discipline because we believe it so deeply, but your leaders will say something like, “What were you thinking because you are way too awesome to be behaving that way!” Christians should never take a “break” or “vacation” from our character or the core values of Scripture. Grace gives us the power to change and stay changed. If you find in your heart the thought that you need a break from holiness, it reveals a dangerous condition of your heart that Father is ready and able to heal. School’s environment of freedom requires a high level of connection to God and community, and self- management. We are calling out the royalty in one another, not just trying to abstain from sin. At the very least, purity looks like the following:
• INTEGRITY: Truthfully record your attendance and Bible reading, etc. Don’t mark down that you finished your reading if you haven’t. Who you are becoming (a person of integrity) is far more important than short cuts, looking good, or avoiding conflict over your choices. Your integrity is even more important than graduating. Deal with your spouses and/or roommates with absolute integrity and service. How you treat the people in your home is deeply important to God and, consequently, to us.
• SEXUAL WHOLENESS: Seek to "be imitators of God" with "not even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity," living as "children of light" and finding out "what pleases the Lord" (Eph. 5:1-12). This standard governs our private and public life. Let your sexuality be expressed in a way that pleases God. The Father has blessed marriage with the gift of sex and married couples are obviously expected to be faithful in body, heart and mind. All of us who remain unmarried are expected to honor God and one another with our sexuality. Jesus never used another person for His own gratification and called it love. Rather, His sexuality was a blessing to Himself and others around Him. PORNOGRAPHY is not Fathers best for any of His children – those who view and/or engage in it. It objectifies, traps and degrades people. Viewing it diminishes a believer’s confidence and voice and creates a painful “di-vision” in our heart. If the enemy is trying to get a “foothold” and trap you in this temptation get help and stay connected to friends and your Revival Group Leader and accountability partners.
• SUBSTANCE ABUSE: We believe Scripture counsels us not to be intoxicated with anything other than the Holy Spirit. We expect students to comply with all local laws and regulations of our government regarding substances that are legal and illegal.
• TOBACCO USE: We set the bar high for School students. Those with an addiction to tobacco are called to give it up NOW for the glory of God as it limits the effectiveness of your ministry with us. We don’t empower people who smoke regularly to be on the ministry teams because, at the very least, the smell of the addiction is a distraction to the one receiving prayer as they may wonder, “How can you help break me into freedom when you don’t possess it yourself?” Of course, the solution is NOT to give up being on the Ministry Team but rather to give up the cigarettes! There is grace in this house to succeed in this area.
• ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: In the area of alcohol, we don’t make a strict rule concerning its use because Scripture doesn’t—except to never be drunk (Eph. 5:18) and this is our expectation: that you will never be drunk (from alcohol!). Our government does have strict rules: Australian law prohibits alcohol use for those less than 18 years of age (no matter your country of origin). One is legally considered drunk and may not drive with a .05 or higher blood alcohol content. We obviously expect you to obey these laws but furthermore acknowledge that alcohol is not a necessary key to fun, a party, a mood swing, relaxation, distraction or easing pain. Especially at these times, alcohol is a counterfeit of something the Holy Spirit has for us. Be encouraged to exercise care when attending or hosting parties or events where there is alcohol. Our freedom is given to us so that we may serve one another in love. Though Scripture has given us freedom to drink alcohol, this choice potentially impacts our influence as the body of Christ and your individual influence when you are drinking regularly, publicly or at parties with one another. We don’t want the fear of punishment to control us, but we do want honor, respect and wisdom to moderate our choices in order to protect our influence and ensure that it is positive. Carefully weigh how we may be a stumbling block to other Christians and unbelievers who may ignore our example to live a supernatural gospel because, of the choice to drink in excess (or even at all). Consider your fellow classmates recovering from alcoholic addictions, leaving a destructive “party” lifestyle, or who are under age - anyone who may be tempted because of our freedom. All this to say that we are asking love, wisdom and honor to be foremost in your heart as you weigh and perhaps moderate the exercise of your liberty in the area of alcohol. Embrace and guard your role as an influencer as seriously as we do.
“power”— the Good News without power is not good news. Paul was glad in I Cor. 2 that his preaching wasn’t with persuasive words but demonstrations of power. Throughout the year, you will have lots of opportunities to allow the power of God to be demonstrated through you. One of our goals for you is the same as Christ’s assignment for the Twelve in Luke 9—that every student would know how to drive out demons, heal the sick and preach the Kingdom. Make the most of all opportunities available to you at School.
“loved by God”— all of this we do because we are loved, not to earn the love of God. “We work from love, not for love.” Jesus died so that He might have relationship with us; don’t let go of this in the swirl of activity during School.
• Let all other motives, be they a desire to change the world, to be a person of vision who’s “great for God,” or the drive to please leaders and classmates, be secondary to your connection with Him.
• Life is busy. School is demanding and there’s a danger of losing your connection to God in the midst of it all. Concentrate on maintaining your personal friendship with the Lord this year. This is why journaling, prayer, soaking, and worship are so important. It is a mistake to let go of your primary connection with Him in this season of new friends, new experiences and serving on His behalf.
“transforms lives and cultures”— Christ’s mandate to us is that we make disciples of the nations as we are “going.” All of us should graduate with a humble confidence that we can reproduce ourselves by “teaching them to obey everything Jesus Christ has commanded us” (Matt. 27). Like Paul says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” When we bring the Kingdom, we are bringing the righteousness, peace and joy of the Lord wherever we go and the presence of God changes lives. During School, you are learning how to enter into discipling relationships that both give and receive benefit. When you graduate, our desire is that you nurture the relationships in your sphere of influence wherever that may be, and to continue relationship with your peers and to disciple and be discipled by mothers and fathers in Christ.
This is an edited excerpt from the BSSM website.