This is a slightly edited repost of an old blog post from my old blog. I found myself talking about some similar things with a few others lately, which prompted me to go look this post up. And after reading it again thought it might be worth re-posting. I would value your input:
I was in conversation recently on the state of education in South Africa and the pros and cons of homeschooling and what was apparent is that most of us think that the education system in South Africa has some real problems, challenges and difficulties. And as Christians there are some real issues we need to work through, think through and make decisions about, concerning the education of our (in my case future) children. They are not easy decisions and light answers will not suffice.
But as we spoke it suddenly occurred to me that there we were debating the issues and criticising the current malaise of the education system but what would it mean to be a missional church in this situation. To be missional in our culture/educational system should mean that:
1. We find ways to support, encourage and pray for teachers and educators in our communities (especially Christian teachers who are trying to be salt and light in a difficult and dark world).
2. There is a lack in our education system of passionate and qualified teachers; as well as a motivation for those teachers to be there. With the result that many good teachers leaving the profession on a monthly basis (so the word on the street goes?). If we Christians really love our city, and want to bring and embody the “good news” of the kingdom for our city, then perhaps we need to be encouraging Christians to consider teaching as a profession. It is a desperate need in our country and city, it is a way to love the city, to serve the city and that is not to mention the potential impact that could be had on the young lives being taught.
3. Given that many teachers are underpaid and under-resourced, perhaps we ought to find ways to finance, resource and support those we encourage to consider being “missionaries” in our educational system. I use the word deliberately because I think this kind of thinking must be accompanied by a gospel intentionality. Any push for educators must be accompanied by an envisioning that these men and women would not simply see themselves as teachers or doing a good thing, but that they are on a gospel mission to shape and serve the city with and through and because of the gospel.
4. A further realisation might also be that this would require a reduction in time that they could give to “church ministry”. This must not be frowned upon but we ought to release and commission them for an unconventional ministry outside of the usual structures.
Now that I think about it what about government and health care…