Last Thursday morning I walked to an elementary school in Barrouaille (it’s just over the hill) and spoke to the principal about ministering to the children there. Our meeting was very successful so I’m going to start helping out two days a week starting tomorrow or next Wednesday!
The truth is I am already pretty busy with afternoon Bible clubs, leadership of the Church, speaking four times a week, and one on one discipleship studies. But I also knew that part of Missions is ministering to a cultures deeper need…and many times it’s chaos
The word “chaos” can definitely be used to explain the Elementary School in town, though that isn’t their fault. A combination of small facilities, large amounts of children, and little help has resulted in overcrowded classrooms. It shouldn’t be surprising that they have a hard time keeping classes under control because all it takes is one child touching another, and it goes downhill from there 🙂
The fact that this school needs volunteers who will help by giving special attention to students who may not understand the material, or become “crowd control” is obvious. However as I prepare myself to step into this very needy situation I have to keep reminding myself of one thing.
It’s not my job to fix the chaos…but to be a light in the midst of the chaos
In other words my goal is to be testimony for Jesus Christ amidst that chaos so that students or teachers can see a difference in my life. That difference will eventually give me an opportunity to share Christ, or invite them to Tabernacle Baptist Church. Of course I am there to help teachers and students, but mostly by responding to the chaos in a way that’s radically different from their own.
Though I know this is the right thing, part of me wants to “fix the chaos” so that those children are well-behaved, and listen to their teacher. This probably comes from my being male (men love to fix things) but in a deeper sense comes from an understanding that children should obey their teacher..
The thing is that isn’t bad…in fact in my humble opinion this elementary school in Barrouaille needs more than a few people whose goal is to bring those large groups of children under control.
But I can’t be one of those people,
Because my goal isn’t to create a calm classroom, it’s to lead souls to Christ
And in the end that’s a much better goal
Yes it would be awesome to have classes full of students who followed Mr. John’s rules (sit up, look up, hand up, zip up) quietly but the truth is that won’t take away the chaos. Instead it will just be removed or controlled temporarily for a short-time. The real chaos comes from a sin-nature that takes advantage of an overfilled classroom, and lack of help. And no amount of Mr. John’s rules or discipline will take that away
So instead of trying to fix the chaos I bring the Gospel into it
- By showing love and patience instead of anger or frustration
- Developing relationships with them
- Becoming a Godly role model for them
- Creating outreaches and weekly programs at the Church centered around children’s work, and inviting students to visit
- And if possible begin a mentoring relationship with boys who may need special help
This kind ministry (inviting kids to Church and giving personalized help) isn’t glamorous or something that will bring overnight results. But in the long run it will make a deep impact upon the culture as children are won to the Lord and go through discipleship.
About five-minutes from my house is an elementary school that could easily be defined by the word “chaos” and I thank God for the opportunity to bring the Gospel into it.