ISSM Core Values: Community

(This is the fourth in a seven-part series outlining the core values of ISSM as represented by the acronym: P.R.E.C.E.P.T.  ‘C’ stands for “Community.”)

I get by with a little help from my friends.

— The Beatles, 1967

I asked Sandy one year how many churches were represented by our student body. Out of 32 students, 25 churches were represented. Even though most of our students didn’t know one another prior to ISSM, we were amazed at how quickly they developed a strong sense of community.

How does community “happen”?

At ISSM community takes place due to several factors, of which I’ll name three. We work hard to maintain a culture marked by:

  1. Transparency and vulnerability: As leaders, we work hard to be open about our struggles, not just our strengths. As a result, students see that a supernatural lifestyle is attainable for ordinary people. Students then feel free to be transparent also, which provides a greenhouse environment for developing deep friendships.
  2. Freedom to make mistakes: We half-jokingly say that in order to graduate, students have to make three mistakes. Thus we are able to take God and His work seriously—without taking ourselves too seriously.
  3. Honor: The “holy nation” of believers is the only nation on earth where every citizen is royalty! When we value one another in that way, community is the joyous result.

One of our First Year students, Yhareli, shared: “I’m the kind of person that enjoys being able to work things out on their own. Yet, the times that I have experienced the most growth in my spiritual, educational, and professional journey has been within a community. I’m motivated by other people’s stories because it shows me what’s possible in my own life. That’s one of the reasons I like being part of ISSM. It’s the breakthrough and testimonies of my classmates that encourages me to go deeper and further in my journey with God.”

To paraphrase Lennon & McCartney—we get by with a LOT of help from our friends!

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