During their first days in Narrow Gate, students become awakened to the fact that they are worth more than their mistakes and that life is about more than material goods and their own self-seeking goals. They make camp on a hillside of our property -- their home for the next 30-35 days -- learn basic wilderness survival skills, and begin participating with their classmates in daily work projects. Each student is expected to live with life’s basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) to begin learning that true contentment is not found in circumstances. Students also begin building personal relationships with the staff, who teach introductory-level Bible studies to the group. These studies provide an in-depth look at foundational concepts of the Gospel and living life with Christ, answering questions such as "How do I know the Bible is the authoritative Word of God?" "What is God like?" and "How do I live in personal relationship with Him?" Students engage in outdoor activities that are physically and mentally challenging in order to stimulate growth and to provide living metaphors for the truths they are learning in Scripture.
Once the foundation is laid, the second phase allows students to put into practice what they have learned. Community is short for "a community of like-minded believers," and each student in this phase commits to living in an intimate and highly-relational environment. They move into our dormitory-style barn and focus on developing servant-leadership skills based on the belief that honorable living cannot be self-centered; only when we begin to live in compassionate care for others can we escape the fear of not having enough for ourselves. Students learn to love each other as brothers in Christ and to resolve conflicts peaceably. They also gain a higher level of responsibility with chores such as cooking, gardening and cleaning, and they daily work on either Narrow Gate's property or in the community completing service projects. Intensive study of God''s Word continues as Narrow Gate's staff leads students through specific books of the Bible, including Romans, Ephesians and Ruth. Finally, students in Community have the privilege to begin training in Narrow Gate's artisans shops to learn the crafts of woodturning and metalworking. Volunteers from the surrounding area teach in and interact with the young men in the shops, equipping them with practical skills while also building mentoring relationships with them.
During the Service phase of Narrow Gate, students move into our bed-and-breakfast-style lodge with staff members and gain back all the "comforts" of home and many other privileges of life. They begin to be exposed to the same distractions they’ll experience back in the "real world" when they graduate, in order to help them transition back into their daily lives. Bible studies during this phase focus on discovering individual passions. The staff and other supporters work to prepare students for what they will do after they leave Narrow Gate through short-term goal planning, and the students begin taking steps to establish life outside of the campus environment of Narrow Gate. Finally, the young men write their unique Vision and Purpose Statement, a declaration of what God has spoken to them and what He has purposed them to do in life.
Completion of the Service level signifies the end of a young man''s structured experience on Narrow Gate''''s property. We aim to help young men transition from the campus experience back into the community in a seamless way and work diligently to establish a network of individuals to support and aid in a successful transition. Servants' Table exists for this purpose. Servants' Table calls on volunteers in the community to make a meaningful difference in the life of a young man by sacrificially sharing knowledge, life experience and networks with him in the context of a small group of other like-minded individuals. Individuals selected to sit at a young man's "table" meet with him regularly to assist him through this life transition. Each table member plays a distinct role in the young man''s life as together the group helps him set and attain agreed-upon goals. The result: Young men leave Narrow Gate's campus and walk into an established network of individuals whose primary aim is to help him bear fruit in his new life in Christ. Young men leave with confidence and assurance that they never walk alone but the Church of God stands in service and love toward him, as he also walks in service and love toward others.
In order to participate as a volunteer through Servant''s Table, individuals must complete the Servants' Quarters training. For more information about Servants' Table or to sign up for the next Servants'' Quarters training, please contact Stacy Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.