The Campion Academy SWAT Team (Students With A Testimony) has infiltrated more than 20 churches around the Rocky Mountain Conference and beyond. SWAT Teams are four to eight academy students equipped and empowered to present Sabbath morning services at churches they visit.

They provide elements of worship such as prayer, children’s story, call for offering, special music and of course, personal testimonies. Students prepare and rehearse their parts, so that on Sabbath morning they are ready to lead the service.

SWAT teams have traveled as far as Farmington, New Mexico; Laramie, Wyoming; and Wichita, Kansas. They have also served nearby congregations in Ft. Collins and Estes Park. Often participating students sign up to visit their own home church. This gives opportunity for parents and church members to see maturity and growth taking place in their young people.

There is no shortage of students yearning to go out on SWAT assignments. The biggest challenge is arranging the extra efforts of the dedicated staff who accompany them.

The SWAT program is a great blessing in many ways. It gives students experience in planning and implementing a church service. Many current church leaders today trace their first “sermon” to an experience much like those of our SWAT teams. It blesses the local congregation with variety and fresh faces in their service and creates a bond between Campion Academy and the local church. Members get to see firsthand what the youth of our church are really like. It also opens up recruiting opportunities when Campion students meet and mingle with young people who are not attending Campion.

Although students may occasionally make mistakes, the caring staff members are there to encourage and cheer them on. And as students and church members get to know one another, they learn to love each other. These opportunities help Campion students take ownership in their church and feel like valued future leaders.

Do you have a church group of five to 10 youth willing to go out and conduct a church service? Campion Academy has information available to help get them started. And it’s not too early to request a SWAT team visit for your congregation next school year. Contact Nick Clark at Campion Academy (303.956.6059) or Bill Hay at the Rocky Mountain Conference office (303.733.3771).

News writer Bill Hay is the director of stewardship for the Rocky Mountain Conference.