I do not want to make any assumptions about other Christian Colleges. I can only speak from personal experience working in my role as Chaplain at Thornlie Christian College. In my time here I have found that there are students who have committed to the cause of Christ and are wanting to live out their faith and find out how it applies to all areas of life and study, but they make up the vocal minority. What we stand for at Thornlie is in our name as an academic institution (that being ‘Christian’) and we promise to help our
students “Learn for Life.” This issue needed to be addressed.
The format of our Chapel services is almost guaranteed to be different every time we meet together. The services are scheduled in for a Thursday morning on a fortnightly basis during the first module of the school day. All students from years 7-12 attend. There is no seating plan, staff are encouraged to sit amongst the students and there is an open invitation to parents as well as community leaders in our local churches. The body of Christ is big and we can all help one another in this journey called life, we just need to carefully and purposefully facilitate ‘community’ to happen. When the students can see that their teachers are their brothers and sisters who are just further along in their journey and are wanting to educate, support, guide, love and grow them,amazing things happen in the classroom and playground!
We have had teachers give testimonies, students give testimonies, guest speakers and guest artists. The methods of delivery are always different, the topics and stories are unique to the individuals that share, but above all, the common theme is that in Christ and through Christ we are together as one. The Holy Spirit is alive and at work in the lives of His people today! One of the most fruitful aspects of what we are doing is that after chapel, which only runs for 30 minutes, students go back to their form classes and talk over with their peers and form teacher what was discussed is Chapel till the end of module 1. Reports back from some of our teachers have been really encouraging, and its obvious that the Gospel is offending some and provoking much thought! Should we expect anything else?
The Journey So Far…
God has been so faithful as we have stepped out in faith! If I was to say to you the process has been painless and all smooth sailing that would be a lie, but the most important aspect of all of this is that God is at work in a powerful way. Students are giving control of their lives over to Jesus Christ and asking what it means to follow Him. As I spend time with these young people and go through the cost of choosing this path and as they realise what this means for them individually, they just get hungrier.
For those students who do not subscribe to this worldview, all we want to do is shower them with love and continue to show them the way to the One who is Truth and gives life. The message is confronting, but our focus in delivery is that this message is for everyone. There is still much that we are learning. We make mistakes along the way and recognise regularly how far short we fall, but we long to see this community catch a glimpse of what their lives could be when united with Christ.
This is a small step forward for us.
For more info, contact Amit Khaira on email@example.com