by Andrew Koenig, with contributions from Joshua Stoiber
Outside TIU’s Nyberg Conference Room, a group of high school students rehearse a speech in front of a lavishly decorated presentation board. Inside the conference room, families waited around two tables, seated among Trinity faculty, staff, and another group of students. The room is filled with excited, yet slightly anxious, chatter.
The scene was a part of the Kingdom Impact Grant Banquet, an evening that lauded the culmination of several months’ worth of hard work. At last spring’s 360 Student Leadership Conference, hosted by TIU’s Emerging Kingdom Leaders, high school students were offered an opportunity to receive a grant from Trinity to put toward a ministry-minded project. According to the grant’s webpage, the purpose of the grants is “to empower high school youth to plan, conduct, and evaluate a service project that promotes human flourishing in God’s kingdom.”
Two teams were awarded grants, and over the course of the past year, they put their grants to use in their respective ministry areas, all the while evaluating, amending, and altering their plans for optimal impact by the end of 2013.
The purpose of the banquet was to allow the recipients of last year’s grants to share with Trinity faculty and staff about how they had used their money for their projects.
Hudson Nyhart, the sole representative for CommissionConnection.org, was the first presenter. His website, he explained, seeks to provide an online classifieds service for ministries looking for staff or volunteers and helps advertise a ministry’s services to its communities.
Nyhart, whose team came up with the idea for CommissionConnection after the conference last spring, said that their biggest hurdle was finding an experienced web developer. The money from the grant allowed the team to hire a developer and get the site up and running in a matter of months. Though the site currently serves only the Milwaukee area, Nyhart hopes to eventually expand the site.
“We’re still working out some bugs,” Nyhart said.
The second group represented A&C Children’s Ministries from Milwaukee. According to the ministry’s four leaders—high schoolers who had held various VBS and youth outreach camps in their own yards for several years—they were desperately in need of worship equipment for their program. Once they received the grant, they were able to purchase the instruments and amplifiers needed to better facilitate worship among their growing number of kids. A&C was also able to use the money to fund a no-charge Bible study for local girls that focused on strong women of faith from the Bible and from the modern church.
The Kingdom Impact Grant will be made available to ministry-minded students again during this year’s Student Leadership Conference, which is held at TIU April 25–26. Those who are not able to attend the conference will still be able to apply here by June 30, 2014. Grant recipients will be announced in August.
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