Dani's Hub assignment 2
Updated: Jan 24
5 Areas & the Big Question: Evangelism or Religious Education
Being both an observer and a volunteer with Faith in School was an enlightening and rewarding experience. Expressing faith in an educational environment can be tricky and often is not allowed but being able to share my own personal Christian experiences was gratifying. I was able to share with one table about a time when I was really sad, but I knew that God was there for me and though the sadness didn’t suddenly vanish, I knew that God and my Christian family were there to comfort me. One little girl shared that she was sad when her mother died, so hopefully she was able to make the connection that God could be there to comfort her too.
What surprised me during my volunteering experience was how vocal some children were with their belief in God, but not Jesus. It was clear that they followed a particular belief system, and what was encouraging was that they had some sort of religious foundation that we could build on. In the school that day, we had the opportunity to expand on what they already knew and expose the children to something they might not have been exposed to otherwise.
The Vicar at my Church has an established ministry in the schools in our parish but is looking to grow and expand that relationship so the opportunities I see in my context is being part of this ministry and using what I learn through Faith in Schools as part of that ministry. I would love to see the ministry that our Church has to these local school be supported by more than just the Vicar and me but involve volunteers from our Church. Our volunteers are amazing and are involved in so many ministries include a toddler group, and care home services, but to see them go into the local schools would be incredible. The more people who bring the love of Christ into the school, the more likely we are to reach the 95%. The challenges of using these volunteers are getting them to commit, plan, and possibly get DBS certificates. It would be a time commitment, not just when at the school but in planning together so that we go in with a united focus and message.
Evangelism or Religious Education? I think the product is the same for these, but the difference is intent. In both you bring a message of sorts but with religious education it’s focused more on knowledge and being an informed and well-rounded individual, while the intent of Evangelism is a transformation of the heart. Evangelism hopes that the recipient will accept the message for themselves and choose to live for Christ. I think what Faith in Schools does is both religious education, as it functions within the school system, and Evangelism as those involved are Christians and hoping to win the lost for the kingdom of God.