High School Model
ASSUMPTIONS BEHIND THE INTER-VARSITY HIGH SCHOOL MODEL
1. If we want to “change the world” we must look strategically at the high school. Significant contact with high school students is a strategic priority of Inter-Varsity to reach those who will not go on to further education and are not being reached by the Church. (see point 2)
2. The majority of teens are not engaged in the Church; either they have attended church but will leave before graduation or they have never attended in the first place. (Project Teen Canada 2000 Survey)
3. Students are most aware of what is going on in the lives of their peers, and are the most able to navigate the high school culture to bring about significant change in a school.
4. One of Inter-Varsity’s main goals is to create communities where students can witness to the life of Christ. High School students need teaching and guidance through this process of living out their faith just like they do in any other learning experience.
5. Developing and encouraging student leaders in High School establishes a foundation that will help them in their Christian walk for the rest of their lives.
6. The key to success is the staff worker. The staff worker must be allowed to develop relational contacts with students that are meaningful and supportive. To this end we limit the number of schools in which our staff work.
7. The staff worker can have a more significant impact on a school (and the students) if he/she is contributing to the needs of the school using his or her gifts and interests in the Inter-Varsity High School group as well as independent of the group.
8. We can answer honestly that we will not proselytize. The common understanding of the term “proselytize” means “the aggressive, coercive, argumentative attempts to convert to a religious belief” – we do not believe this is appropriate in any context.
9. High School students need to be allowed the opportunity and the time to process the truths of scripture, the Christian life-style and the issues of life. Rushing “entry level” people to final decisions is unproductive in the long term. Our Bible studies are interactive, non-confrontational discussions that are intended to encourage personal exploration.
10. Our initial goal in a school is to support Christian students as they pursue their interest in spiritual issues and living as Jesus would want them to. We are completely open to all students and staff attending our meetings.
11. We encourage our students to join other groups within the school and bring their faith to those situations.
12. We are guests in the school. We will respect the school’s decisions.
13. We are transparent and consistent with our Model and are eager to show it to the principal as well as to churches and donors.
14. Our staff are prepared to support and encourage any student in his or her attempts to live out the Christian faith, whether or not they attend our groups.
[ Click Here for the Visual Model PDF. ]