We’d set up for an assembly in a local school and all the students had arrived with their relevant form tutors. The form tutor nearest to me, a young woman in PE department regulation tracksuit leant over and said, “I remember when I you used to come into my school and take assemblies.” Crumbs… I remember her as a Year 10 girl and now the girl’s a teacher!!
This stands alongside my encounter with the guy behind the bar who, whilst serving me, said pretty much the same; “I remember you coming in to take assemblies.” I asked him which school he used to go to, thinking my way round the local secondary schools that we visit. “Eight Ash Green Primary School,” he said. So, that that would be at least 7 years ago.
Then there was the party of 20-somethings dressed as pirates who stopped to point me out as ‘that guy that used to take our assemblies’ and then proceeded to tell me that it had really made him think and that although he wasn’t a Christian we should keep doing what we do in schools.
From such encounters I draw two likely conclusions.
1. God may be telling me it’s time to pass the mantle to someone else (which is why we’ve appointed a new schools worker), but I’m not completely sure yet…
2. More importantly, these visits to schools make a positive and apparently lasting impact. It continues to amaze me that young adults often come up to us to tell us how much they appreciated what we did in their schools, even several years later.
We may not always see tangible fruit from our work with schools, but these encounters suggest we’re still making a difference. What challenges me most is how we go beyond making a difference to making disciples. One radical thought… we may need to extend our work to include 20-somethings.