Hub Assignment 2 Reflection
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
5 Big Areas and the Big Question, Evangelism or Religious Education?
Over the two training days and the obervations in different primary schools it was great to see the children's reception towards the Gospel and learning about Jesus. They all seemed very enthusiastic about the lesson and were happy to ask questions about the Christian faith. It was good to see the volunteers on the first day being able to share their beliefs and to give testimonies of how they try to live it out day to day. On the second school visit we had the opportunity to do this for ourselves and the children all seemed really keen to ask questions and engage with the activities. We were able to explain what we believe about following Jesus and what it means for him to be the light for us.
Although the schools were both very diverse it was good to see that they were open to hearing about the Christian faith and share their own beliefs about God. In the non church school there were still a lot of children who knew a little bit about Jesus but had some idaes that needed clarifying so being able to answer questions with one table at a time was really interesting. Having volunteered in this way I can definitely see the purpose of having a team of volunteers to work alongside so that there is time to address all the questions children have, which can be tricky to do when there is only one teacher.
Since the lesson a couple of weeks ago I have visited the local church school to give them some information and to see if they would like to partner up, but I will also approach a couple of other non church schools to do the same. My vicar was initially worried about making sure we only worked with schools in our parish but my information from the training has made him reconsider this. It would be fantastic to reach the 95% children who have never been to church and I hope that there are schools nearby who would be happy to partner up with us.
The main challenge of using volunteers in my context is recruiting them as people seem to be busy during the day and it can be difficult to even get leaders for our Sunday groups within church. The training has been useful in suggesting ways to do this but I think it may still be a challenging task that I will need to think carefully about.
Big Question: Evangelism or Religious Education?
I think that the teaching I have seen so far has been a blend of RE with evangelism. Children in the first session were not only taught about Jesus but about his message of loving one another. The children were challenged to think about how they might serve others in their own lives and this is not directly evangelism but teaches them the important message of the Gospel through loving others well in the way that Jesus did. A similar approach was taken in the second lesson where the children learned about Jesus claiming to be the light of the world and it allowed the children to think that what this might mean for them if they could envisage that light. Our own testimonies on this led to some really good discussions on the power of light in helping us through dark or scary times and this form of evangelistic approach allows the children to consider for themselves who Jesus is.