We were asked to ask a lay member of the leadership team in your Church why it is that they ‘signed up’ to this role. As we are not meeting regulalrly I have chosen to ask someone in lay ministry in a wider church context.
I work in a church school, and last week we have a group called 'Open the Book' come in to take our assembly. The 'book' is the bible, and they come in and present bible stories with drama and props about once evry 6 weeks. The children really engage with the stories, and enjoy the sessions.
I asked the leader of the group how he had got involved in 'Open the Book.' He told me that someone in his church had known about his involvement in amatuer dramatics and had asked him to join. A few years later he was leading the local group. Before he retired he had worked with young adults who had been in prison. As a christian this was perhaps his first vocation and call. He realised that many of these people had not had a good start in life or good role models. Consequently, life had set them up to fail. 'Open the Book' has given him a way of introducing young children to christian values, with a hope that these will stay and grow within them. He said that children often recognise him in the street and this has also opened up conversations with their parents. He thinks of this as evangelising with a small 'e'. He really enjoys what the group do, the response they get from the children...and he also has real fun making the props.
It is clear to me that God gifted this person creative skills and life experiences in preparation for this call, to support christain teaching for our children. It is not a role he looked for, but God called him through someone else who asked him to get involved. It shows that we are never too old to be called, and we need to be listening for when we are called.
'Open the Book' is run by the Bible Society and trains cross-denominational volunteers across the country to deliver bible stories to children's groups. If you want to know more visit https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/open-the-book/
I’ve heard about ‘Open the Book’ from a member of our church who also takes part and loves it!
I enjoyed reading that somebody else saw this potential in the person you spoke to and that that was part of the reason he responded to use his existing gifts and skills to make Jesus known through opening the bible in schools.
Sometimes we don’t always respond and come forward, even when we have that internal niggle to get involved. If somebody else affirms that call to us it can cement what we feel God might be saying.
Equally we need to trust hearing God’s call alongside the encouragement of other. whilst it’s good to get involved and serve in different ways it’s always important to try to discern if we are operating within Gods will and call.
This is a very real challenge I have been facing during this course and am trying to be more discerning as I consider what God may want me to lay down.