Schools – reaching the next generation

Schools are one of OAC’s key ministries in a large number of countries across the world. Indeed, in several it is the ministry which occupies many workers most of the time.

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Every school day we are reaching thousands of children around the world. They hear the stories of Jesus, the Old Testament (as in the video), and other stories which explain Christian truth. Often we also have the privilege of an adult audience as well, since in addition to the teachers, parents are also invited to some school events, like ours.

A session training new Schools workers

In order to pass on our message to a younger generation, we also need to pass on our skills, so training seminars are an important element in the staff’s year. Pastors from local churches, other Christian workers and stay at home mothers are welcome to join these sessions and may then go on to working in a local school or more. As with the training for Open Air ministry, we teach a number of visual methods. These are very effective with the young and help to hold their attention. But the training is not just about methods. We need to instruct our trainees in the basics of good biblical theology (although a week’s course is hardly seminary), how to understand and then turn a Bible passage into a message for the children, as well as legal matters relating to work with children, ‘safeguarding’ and other such matters.

In many countries there is no restriction on us, but in some countries we can only work in Christian schools. In general we aim to work in the public education system. This way we can address an entire generation in a district. OAC is intentional in working within the curriculum and statutory requirements of the local education system. We are often speaking to children from a wide variety of backgrounds. Generally, it is fine to tell the young people what Christians believe. We can even tell them how people come to know Christ, or how to pray. We are confident that the Holy Spirit is quite capable of doing the rest. Sometimes, when we are out on the street, we encounter some of the kids from local schools – or people who heard us speak in their school many years ago! It’s an opportunity to find out how much they remember and if it has had any impact in their lives. We are often quite encouraged.

There are many more photos and details of the ministry in the national information pages.


Author: Chris Mathieson

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