Chapels and Small Groups
Once per week we take time to pause from our school work and join together in worship in our weekly Chapel services. It is a time for students to pray, learn, worship and grow in their personal walk with Jesus Christ. Students enjoy age appropriate lessons while listening to teachers, outside speakers, and their peers.
Benefits of Small Group Discussion in Christian Education
From Bible studies to mentor groups and more, AACS students have many opportunities to join small groups. Students can build relationships with peers and faculty while having the opportunity to ask questions, dialogue, and connect at a more personal level. Relationships formed in small groups form a strong fabric within our Christian school and are a source of encouragement and accountability.
Research and our own observations have shown that small-group discussion can benefit students in several different ways:
- Academic: Compared to more individualistic learning approaches, students who participate in small-group learning are better able to solve problems and develop a deeper understanding of the material. Students learn more and retain material longer in small groups than when the same content is presented in other ways. We have also found that students are more engaged with the content when they work in small groups.
- Psychological: Small-group learning can help draw students out who normally have trouble participating in larger group environments. It also promotes confidence and self-esteem in less outgoing children. Research shows that students who have the chance to discuss their opinions and viewpoints with their peers tend to be more confident and psychologically comfortable as adults.
- Social: Students who participate in small groups develop social and leadership skills. All members are expected to contribute and practice working together. Reluctant speakers learn to speak up and children who dominate the conversation learn to share the spotlight. Students who process information and work together tend to be more empathetic and ambitious.
This type of learning is instrumental in our Christian education curriculum. Students who participate in Chapel and small group work are more comfortable in their faith and develop their relationships within our community.
Lower School students attend Chapel every Wednesday morning where they enjoy worshiping through prayer, singing, praise, and scripture. Lessons presented are both fun and meaningful.
Lower School students also have small group opportunities including Disciple Groups, a Ministry Club, and Bible studies. Disciple Groups work to extend and better understand the teaching in chapel as well as to participate together in service projects. The Ministry Club is a group of students who meet periodically to work in our building or out in the community. Girls Bible Study is for girls in grades 4 and 5. They meet periodically after school to work through a devotional together with teacher volunteers. They have fun, fellowship, and together learn how to better live a life that is honoring to God. Other small groups can be formed to meet the time and interests of our community.
In addition to student small groups, many of our parents join the parenting book club or occasional Bible studies and attend while their children are in school.
Middle School students also attend Chapel every Thursday morning. Classes are given the opportunity to plan and produce chapels for their own grade level. They can create skits or songs or presentations to help teach the Chapel lesson. Students can also take Chapel Band and play each week for their peers.
A variety of engaging speakers come in to talk to our students and our own faculty share stories and experiences as well.
At the Middle School we have small groups that are gender specific, with each grade level represented. They are known as CGI groups (Community, Growth, Impact). These groups meet to discuss lessons learned in Chapel, to do occasional service projects, and to have a monthly lunch together. Additionally, we have a father/son Bible study and a girls Bible study that meets weekly. Book clubs, prayer groups, and Bible studies are also occasionally coordinated by our parents.
Upper School students attend Chapel every Wednesday morning. Each year there is an annual Chapel theme and each week there are different speakers who share their stories and life lessons.
The Chapel Band opens every service with worship songs and prayer.
All Upper School students are assigned to a mentor group. There are mentor groups made up of students in grades 9-11, and separate mentor groups for seniors. The mentor groups are each led by a faculty or staff member, meet weekly to discuss the lessons learned in Chapel and how to apply those lessons to their lives. Senior mentor groups also discuss progress on their Senior Practicum.
The Upper School also offers students a variety of opportunities to participate in prayer groups and Bible studies. Parents also have the opportunity to form Bible studies and prayer groups.
Click the the podcast icon to hear all Upper School Chapel Podcasts on iTunes!
We are currently experiencing a time of virtual learning, this calls for a new approach to our chapel experience. Please visit our Upper School Student Life Page to see how we are coming together to worship, enjoy daily devotions and have chapel.