Street Teams Offer Life-on-Life Discipleship for High School Students

If you've been around Mercy Street, you've probably heard about the Leadership Institute. This department aims to invest in high school students from West Dallas in the areas of Christian Leadership, Marketplace Readiness, and Social and Emotional Health. We hope to add tools to their toolboxes that will help them thrive in the real world after high school.

Within the Leadership Institute, the primary vehicle for developing Christian Leadership is a program called Street Teams. Starting in 8th grade, students who have shown themselves to be faithful, available and teachable - or FAT, as we like to say - are able to join a Street Team. These are a small groups of 6-8 students and 1 or 2 leaders that meet weekly for Bible study and life-on-life discipleship. All the Street Teams come together for monthly events, service projects, and exposure trips.

 A group of Street Team students and leaders at West Dallas Day Out.

A group of Street Team students and leaders at West Dallas Day Out.

Our Street Teams were busy this spring break! Here's an overview of what students were up to.

Street Team members in 9th and 10th grade partnered with Brother Bill's Helping Hand, a ministry here in West Dallas, by volunteering at their Vacation Bible School. Our students helped lead songs, games, and crafts while connecting with younger students in their own community.

It was a great experience to hang out with the little kids and teach them how to throw a football. It brings joy to my heart when I volunteer and help build a better community.
— KJay, a 9th grader at Pinkston Collegiate Academy
 9th and 10th grade Street Team students serving with VBS at Brother Bill's Helping Hand.

9th and 10th grade Street Team students serving with VBS at Brother Bill's Helping Hand.

The 9th and 10th grade students also enjoyed some bonding over kickball, Pokey-O's ice cream sandwiches and mini golf.

 A team of kickball players get their game face on. 

A team of kickball players get their game face on. 

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 Debating a questionable call made by the referee.

Debating a questionable call made by the referee.

Meanwhile, a team of 13 Street Team members in 11th and 12th grade visited Big Heart Orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico for five days. While there, they served practically by mixing and pouring concrete for sidewalks in the neighborhood. They spent a day in a colonia nearby, playing games and participating in a Bible study outreach with teenagers there. They also encouraged the local team at the orphanage by doing dishes, getting to know the kids who live there, and playing lots of games of Phase 10.

 11th and 12th grade Street Team students visiting Mexico on a mission trip.

11th and 12th grade Street Team students visiting Mexico on a mission trip.

By serving in a different context, students gained new perspective, a bigger view of God's work in the world, and their place in it.

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We are so thankful for a week of seeing the mission of Mercy Street in action: building Christian leaders who are building a better West Dallas and beyond. If you'd like more information about Street Teams or other programs in the Leadership Institute, please email Ally or Jonny Armstrong.