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WATCH HER FULL STUDENT LEADER JOURNEY VIDEO BELOW:

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT.

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SO WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

Here at Mustard we believe that any student anywhere can make a Kingdom impact at their school when they choose to step out in faith, just like Emily did! Why not take your step to become a student leader with Mustard?

No longer a student? You can still encourage and support students stepping out in faith as a school chaplain or church leader! Check out how we can help.

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PART 1

What was it like being a Christian at school before you started/joined a Lunchtime Group?

I think I sort of felt alone because, while there were other Christians at my school, they weren’t really open about their faith or confident sharing their faith with others for fear of being ridiculed or made fun of.

Why did you decide to start/lead a Mustard Lunchtime Group?

Well, I had really loved being apart of the group, and I felt confident stepping up to lead just because I was so confident about my faith at school.

How did you find the experience starting (or taking over) a Lunchtime Group?

It was a bit daunting at first, but I trusted that God would use me to grow the group and do great things through it. When first taking over it was so important to ask the group what sort of topics they would be interested in discussing, and what goals we had for the group.

What were some challenges of starting a group and how did you get through them?

I think one of the big challenges was the sort of, push back from the principal team because they weren’t as excited about having just one faith promoted by the school. But we had a really great school chaplain who, sort of, facilitated communications with them.

PART 2

What were you like as a leader when you started? What steps did you take to grow your leadership?

When I started leading, I was, trying to gain a position of authority trying to be ‘the leader’ but I quickly realised that none of that was important and became more of a facilitator and an equal participant in the discussions.

What did your group look like when it first started?

So, when the group first started it was actually just a bunch of friends meeting on the school oval. But by the time I joined, we’d been given access to a classroom.

What did you do when you met together as a group? Why are those important to your group?

It was really important that we spent a lot of time looking at the Bible and asking big questions about Christianity and looking into them together by sharing testimonies and looking at the Bible. But it was also really important that we got to know each other personally by praying for and sharing our ambitions and our interests.

How did the group change and/or grow over time?

Well, when I first started leading it was actually just myself and four-year nines. But it quickly grew to welcome Christians from other year levels and also non-Christians who would come and ask their questions and this gave us a really great opportunity to share the reasons why we believe in God and, yeah, justify why there were evidence and logic behind our faith.

PART 3

What motivated you to keep going throughout your time leading a group?

What really motivated me was just seeing the enthusiasm of the group members coming back week after week and I think we all felt really supported by each other.

In what ways did your group encourage each other in their relationship with God?

We really focused on prayer and praying for each other and also praying for the school and the community.

In what ways did your group connect with other Christians/non-Christians outside the group?

When I first joined the group we were actually in an isolated classroom which wasn’t great for, being visible and welcoming new people. But then once we moved to a new location with big glass windows, we would get people just inquiring as they walked past and,  coming in to ask questions, so that was really great. And then we’d also invite our non-Christian friends personally, with the promise of good times and gummy bears.

Tell us a story of how you saw God work in your group!

I think one of the main ways God worked through our group was the ways we were able to show love to the school. And one of the ways we did that was writing messages of encouragement, both to the students by putting post-it notes on all their lockers, and also to the teachers by writing them warm fuzzies, thanking them for their hard work as a teacher.

PART 4

How did you ensure that your group kept going after you graduated?

To ensure the group kept going after I’d graduated, I had a conversation with the group about who felt confident stepping up to lead once I was gone and then put that person in contact with Mustard. And I’ve also tried to stay connected with them through other church groups that meet in the area.

How have you grown personally throughout your journey of leading a group?

I think I learned to trust God more and, know that He was in control and I didn’t need to prepare exactly what the lunchtime meeting would look like but that, God would give me the right words to say at the moment.

What is ONE piece of advice you would give to someone who is thinking of starting a group?

If I wanted to give one piece of advice, it would be just God uses you as you are, you don’t need to be anything special, just trust in Him and follow His guidance.