TradeMark is the name of the ministry that runs throughout the year at HeronBridge College. The ministry includes both adults and students; we want to reach the students through the students. As many of the students in TradeMark are involved in local youth ministries, we love to work with youth pastors in the surrounding area.
We are extremely fortunate to have Michael Clack and Janique van der Merwe on staff as our College Ministry Co-ordinators. Their goal is to develop relationships with the students, as well as journey with them for any of their needs during their high school career. The priority for TradeMark is to develop disciples of Jesus.
Due to the upheaval of the pandemic, we have seen a great opportunity to partner with students in different ways. When school returns to being on-site, we will carry on with TradeMark at breaks. This happens on a Thursday during break time and is a place where anyone can join to be encouraged or taught, as well as where we can discuss topics and pray together. We also partner with local youth pastors during this time so that they can build relationships and minister to the students.
Throughout the week, we also run small groups. Adult leaders equip the senior students during group times, and then the seniors lead small groups with the juniors. We have seen great fruit from this method.
One of the greatest opportunities we have is TradeMark Week. This is a week where the school graciously dedicates extra time to TradeMark ministry. In 2019 the theme was “You’re invited”. We used the Utility Lesson at the end of the day to focus on relevant topics, and it was completely optional for the students to attend. Each day presented a new topic within the theme, and we were able to partner with youth pastors who came to minister, facilitate and support the students during the week.
Off-site but online
For 2020 the methods have changed for continued impact. We have created a WhatsApp group which is open to any student who would like to be a part of the ministry. This is a place of encouragement and conversation. Once a week, we host an online call with everyone where we either study the Bible, discuss a topic, pray together, or just chat.
We are also on Instagram and try to post content a few times a week to keep the students encouraged and seeking God. Our Instagram handle is: @trademarkhbc. Within the weekly routine we also make it a priority to connect with the students one-on-one as best as possible.
As we are unable to be together, TradeMark Week has changed to TradeMark Month. This allows us to spread out the content as not to add to the burden of online schooling and challenges. TradeMark Month is for the month of June, and the theme for this year is “Radical”. With everything happening, it is a great opportunity to look at the radical nature of the Christian faith and how we ought to live it out in practical ways.
We also have a special opportunity to teach an online class called Question Why (QY), where the Grade 8’s especially are given a chance to ask and discuss complex questions about life and faith. In the beginning of the year we started The Youth Alpha Film Series to serve as basis for our conversations.