Adventist education offers students the opportunity for both spiritual and academic growth. Sharon Burton, principal at Wichita Adventist Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, has found a practical way for her 9th and 10th grade students to use the skills they have learned in Bible and English class to witness. During second semester of each year these students are required to preach at local churches in the area.

The students spend a month preparing to preach. Pastor Travis Forde, who pastors at the Wichita South Church, spends several days with the students going over the parts of a sermon and how to organize them. He also shares tips on delivery and ways to connect with audiences while preaching.

Pastor Forde said, “I am very proud of our 9th and 10th graders’ efforts in putting together their sermons. They worked hard and grew as preachers over the course of our time together. It’s our goal at WACA to develop our youth into leaders and we feel getting them to lead out in these types of events is valuable both to the youth and the church.”

The theme for their sermons this year was Fruits of the Spirit. There are nine fruits of the Spirit and nine students, so each student focused on one fruit.
In addition to preaching, the students also lead out in song service, tell the children’s story and the band ensemble provides special music.

Burton feels that preaching in the local congregations helps students gain confidence in leading out in their churches and gives the members, including parents, an opportunity to see their children becoming responsible, capable and contributing members of their church family. These students also benefit by attaining more knowledge of the Bible and gaining the tools and skills to be strong witnesses for Jesus.