Today I was involved in a training day, leading a workshop on the title above. I guess we were thinking in particular at how we could start to see our work in churches as not just occasional forays into enemy territory but establishing a missional presence in the heart of our communities.
Some thoughts – that where once church was the focal point of community (even in terms of the way a town was often built around the church – for example, Exeter cathedral in the very heart of the city), schools have often taken its place. So it’s a natural place for the church to encounter its community.
Secondly, we had an interesting debate about what makes church ‘church’. For example, what construes an act of worship. I know what I think on this, but it would be interesting to hear what others have to say.
Thirdly, perhaps the difficulty we face in many congregations is our lack of training in how to share our faith, whether it be through words or through Christ-like living. So in other words, before we launch ourselves into our schools we need training in sensitively and authentically communicating the gospel through our words and deeds.
Fourthly – how important it is that our work in schools remembers not just the kids, but all the staff and the parents.
Finally, an interesting conversation about not viewing our schools work as fishing work for our Sunday services – viewing our ministry in schools as a congregation in itself.
Plenty to think through over the next few days…