Worldview Days at DMC
High school students started the first day of school in 2021 with Worldview Day, a purposeful look at culturally popular topics and issues with a Biblical lens. Lead Pastor Mark Vance with Cornerstone Church and The Salt Company in Ames provided the keynote for seniors and juniors. Director of Spiritual Life Cory Nikkel addressed sophomores and freshmen. Brad and Kate Music started each session leading live worship and students in the Worship Zone in front of the stage.
Mr. Nikkel said, “Our Worldview Spiritual Life event is a necessary moment in the course of a school year to combat the constant messaging of popular culture. During this event we pull back the curtain of mainstream messaging to reveal the truths God has in his Scripture around some of the biggest issues in life today. Through our speakers and breakout sessions, we refresh the lens of which our students view the world and grow deeper roots into the truths that exist in God’s Word.”
The 2021 Worldview theme focused on mental health. A recent survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 73% of students under age 25 said they have experienced a mental health crisis in college. More students than ever are feeling anxiety, depression and isolation. Pastor Vance shared the story of how these alarming mental health issues came to be, and suggested habits students could adopt to be more in sync with how God designed us to live in relationship with each other. By taking care of our own mind and body, we then have the ability to better impact the world for Christ.
Mr. Nikkel motivated students to develop a strong ownership of one’s identity by focusing on what’s most important in their faith -- being a child of God. He showed students through his own testimony how the further one gets away from being a child of God, the blurrier Jesus becomes and the more often Jesus gets misrepresented to others around us. Mr. Nikkel ended his session by reading a book he reads to his daughter titled On the Night You Were Born, reminding students of the purposeful creation they are and how owning your life and your faith together is the best place to live.
While main sessions were happening, High School teachers poured into students with breakout sessions covering topics such as Lead like Jesus; Seeking Peace in the Midst of Anxiety; Purpose and Strength in the Midst of Disappointment; How to Study your Bible; Can I Trust God with My Future; Prayer/Meditation/Art Journaling; Navigating College Temptations; and Desires, Plans and God’s Timing.
Olivia Saxton (‘21) said, “I went to the ‘Epic Fails and What We Learned From Them’ session. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt discussed life’s ups and downs and what they have learned along the way. I truly enjoyed listening to their stories and admired their honesty with past mistakes. They advised us to seek people to mentor us so we can grow further in our faith, call out people in love and grace, and find our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Overall I had so much fun!”
An especially important part of the day was the 50-minute Moments session where students could take time to connect with God, reflect, pray and have purposeful conversations with others.
On Tuesday, January 5 groups of students engaged in service projects throughout the metro with nonprofit Christian ministries.
Mr. Nikkel said, “Serving the local community is a lifesource for DMC students and something they look forward to every year. Jesus commanded us to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ We are richly blessed by our constituents and local community, and it is our desire and privilege to serve our local community as we carry out our school mission to impact the world for Christ.”
Students in the DMC LEAD group Project Local led the initiative to make service project connections. DMC LEAD is a program designed to engage students in leadership roles on campus and in the local community.
Alicia Pieper (‘22) said, “Working on Project Local is a really cool experience because not only do we get to really become aware of the need that's in our own local communities, but we get to serve in a way that's actually beneficial to the programs that surround us, whatever they might be. Originally Project Local brainstormed different organizations in the area that might appreciate some support or volunteer work. Then we divided and conquered as we each reached out to different programs and formed relationships with the people there. Once relationships were established and we made it clear that we were willing to do any task set before us, it was a matter of pairing the right advisory group with the right kind of service. We reached out to teachers and advocated for various programs. I think everyone had a good time serving, and I'm really glad I was able to help with the process.”
On Worldview service day students engaged in a variety of projects including packaging meals, cleaning up grounds, removing snow, organization donations, reading stories to children, making pillowcases and writing letters of encouragement to military members and nursing home residents.
The full list of nonprofit organizations served includes:
Animal Rescue League
Des Moines Christian School
Des Moines Dream Center
Freedom for Youth
Hand in Hand, Night to Shine at Valley Church
Joshua Christian Academy
Many Hands for Haiti
Meals from the Heartland
Operation Christmas Child
Ruth Harbor Ministries
Starts Right Here
Wildwood Hills Ranch of Iowa