Head of Education Steve Beegoo shares about an encouraging recent conference for Christian school staff
For Christians concerned about the profoundly secular and anti-Christian trends in education, a recent Christian Schools’ Trust conference provided an example of hope, as disciples of Jesus Christ who are in the teaching profession took seriously what can be done to support the discipleship of children.
Sold out Residential conference
Over 130 Christian staff from schools and educational organisations gathered in person at the end of February for what was an outstanding three-day residential conference near Derby. The conference was supported by speakers from Christian Concern amongst other excellent speakers and exhibitors. Tickets sold out for ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ weeks beforehand due to the number of Christian teachers wanting to gather. Delegates were encouraged through meeting with the staff from the Christ-centred schools from up and down the country, and from abroad, which are associated through the Christian Schools’ Trust (CST).
Preserving the heritage
Pastor Ade Omooba, co-founder of Christian Concern, shared powerfully on the Saturday evening on the importance of preserving the heritage which God has given us, through the work being done in these Christ-centred schools. Pastor Omooba shared a vision from the Lord received during the Friday night, which was of huge encouragement to those gathered. The Lord spoke about the importance of preserving the heritage he has given to us. As well as the legacy of Christianity it was explained how our very children are a ‘heritage’ from the Lord, as explained in Psalm 127.
One grateful delegate explained in their feedback, ‘If Pastor Ade had taught me science, I would have reached other galaxies’
The need for deep trust in God
Steve Beegoo, Head of Education at Christian Concern and CEO of the Christian Schools Trust, spoke from Isaiah 40 on total reliance and trust in God in the task of Christian Education. Soaring like eagles and not ‘flapping’. In a practical seminar on the issues surrounding the promotion of queer theory which we are seeing shape many schools’ ethos, Steve explained how the minds of pupils in other schools were being shaped. Teachers were encouraged to trust the biblical narrative and have deep confidence in the word of God and the story of identity given to us in the Bible, which can be taught throughout the school year groups and which will lead to flourishing lives as the children learn to trust His word.
The purpose of creation
Teachers were equipped, envisioned and encouraged in how all aspects of school life can be shaped by a Christian worldview. The presentations from Professor Stuart Burgess, demonstrated the wonder of all that our creator God has done, and how creation should be a main feature of teaching in multiple subject areas in deeply Christian schools. He explanations of the creation and design of the human hand and voice, which cannot be adequately explained by any sort of totally random process, was a particular highlight.
Amongst the comments delegates stated that they, ‘‘Loved looking at the purpose of creation’ & ‘I cannot wait to share what I have learnt with my children’
Low cost Christian schools
Low-cost independent Christian schools where there is a genuine occupational requirement for all teachers to be Christians, are increasingly being looked for by parents as an alternative to what the increasingly post-Christian state provides. Many are looking for an alternative as they are seeking an education which is fully supportive of the faith of the parents, as it is clear this significantly helps the faith formation of children and young people. Teachers at this conference were trained in the distinctive way a Christian approach can be used in all subject areas, as they learnt from best practice across the many different schools represented.
Supporting the discipleship of children
While at the conference, several of the Christian Schools’ Trust (CST) affiliated schools reported developing waiting lists for many year groups, but others find they are not known about or that they are still seen with suspicion by local churches, in a similar way to how home educators are often viewed. Christian education and home education are radical and counter cultural. The Education department of Christian Concern is working with over 25 groups who are looking to start new initiatives. If you are interested in this movement join us on Saturday 13th May. For Christians concerned about the profoundly secular and anti-Christian trends in education, such an event provides an example of hope, as disciples of Jesus Christ who are in the teaching profession take seriously what can be done to support the discipleship of children.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV)