Teaching SRE, or Scripture, is a really wonderful ministry, and it’s one that many apprentices get involved in.
Of course, it looked a bit different this year – as Neil Auranaune, apprentice at Albury Presbyterian, learned…
This year being a Scripture teacher has had a whole new set of challenges to work around. I was only able to teach 2 weeks in term 1, none in term 2 and only 3 in term 3 – and being in the border bubble threw in even more challenges!
We weren’t in a position to do remote teaching this year which is unfortunate. But one advantage to doing SRE in a regional city is that some of the kids I teach Scripture to on a Friday at school also come to our Friday kids club and to church on Sunday. So even though Scripture didn’t happen for the majority of the year I was still able to maintain relationships with some of the kids.
In term 4, when I was able to get back into the classroom, I noticed kids asking plenty of questions about my faith. One kid in particular likes to say we are learning about an imaginary person in the sky, and when I explained, “I have been teaching you truths from the Bible,” his response was, “I don’t believe that yet.”
I told him, “That’s okay I didn’t believe it until I was 33.” The kids all wanted to know how old I was, so I told them I was 37. So, they worked it out that I had only believed in God for 4 years and they were amazed I was already teaching Scripture.
I told them that when you really believe in something you want to tell people, and teaching Scripture was a way for me to share with people what I believed.
Isn’t it fantastic that Neil has been able to have conversations like this, and maintain his relationships with the kids, despite the challenges of COVID! What a special privilege.
Next year, Neil will be working with Focus Military Ministries, evangelising the defence forces. He’ll probably encounter more cynicism and disbelief in that context – but he’s well prepared, thanks to his apprenticeship, to answer their questions and share the Good News.
Ministry apprenticeships really do help prepare people for a lifetime of ministry in diverse and even challenging contexts – but they wouldn’t happen without your support.
We don’t know exactly what 2021 will hold, but we do know that God will remain indescribably good and faithful – and He will work through your support.