Friday, November 18, 2005

Go Therefore (to school) making disciples, baptising and teaching…

From The Tassie Conference Office

On December 17 the evangelistic focus at Hilliard Christian School in Hobart Tasmania will result in 15 student baptisms! Working together with his teachers, chaplains and students, Hilliard principle Bev Norman has created a soul winning environment that inspires involvement and empowers evangelism.

After a year of testing a different approach, the staff at Hilliard decided to try a bold plan. Students in the high school were divided into four groups of spiritual interest – ranging from those who were not interested to those who were passionate about spiritual maturity. Each group was assigned a teacher who felt spiritually drawn to this type of student. These four groups have met daily all year for the first 30 minutes of each day. This equates to 2.5 hours of small group Bible study each week!

After the first term another study group was offered to them. They were offered a spiritual development track leading to Baptism taught by high school chaplain, Pr David Edgren. This met every Thursday, in term 2 and 3, during the small group time. Those interested (about 30 kids) left their regular groups to meet with Pr Dave. The result of this strategic plan of daily small group time and focused study with their School Chaplain led to over a quarter of the high school students asking to be baptised!

The integrated nature of the Adventist schools and churches in Hobart had a large role to play in this amazing success. Glenorchy Church Pastor, Pr Alfredo Campos, also serves as the primary school chaplain at Hilliard. Pr Dave and Pr Alfredo see the school as their primary evangelistic field. They caught the vision cast by Bev Norman at the beginning of the year and have been integrating school kids into church life as much as possible. According to Pr Dave, “The role of the School Chaplain is to lead students to Christ and into a healthy relationship with Christ’s body – His church!”

Glenorchy Church leadership has taken ministry for the school aged kids very seriously. As part of their strategy to integrate the students into church life they took ownership of the Hobart area Pathfinder’s club. The December baptisms are a result of all entities working together – school, church, pathfinders, conference youth department, and personal relationships. The December 17 Sabbath of celebration and baptisms will be held at Glenorchy church and baptisms will be performed by the chaplains (Pr Alfredo & Pr Dave) and Tassie’s Youth Director Pr Tharren Hutchinson.

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