public theology, ministry, and our schools

August 5, 2008

I’m at home for about a week. My dad is at the Willow Creek Leadership summit, receiving a prize for there work in home based care. My mom accompanied him. I’m at home, helping with my little brother and sister, working on my dissertation, and teaching. No, not university students this time, I grew up in a small town called Piet Retief. I’m teaching in my mom’s place. The only way she could accompany my dad was if she got a replacement teacher, and since I wanted to do some teaching for about two years now, this seemed like a good opportunity.

It’s a weird experience in some ways. Many of the teachers were on staff when I was at school there. Some I didn’t like, they are still there. Some I liked, they are still there, and I still see them as teachers.

I’m also reading some heavy work on Public Theology for my dissertation, this while sitting at school. You cannot help but wonder what the two have to say for each other. Shouldn’t theology have more to say in the public of the school setting? What would we then say? Maybe the idea of teaching isn’t that stupid at all? My own teaching ideas started out about two years ago when I listened to an ex-youth pastor who started teaching maths, because he realized that teachers have a much bigger influence on kids than youth pastors. This is where the future of the world is formed. This is where the values of a community, a community broader than the church, is formed. Shouldn’t we sometimes feel called towards this public?

The fact that the headmaster, whom I still know very well, and have a lot of respect for, had a conversation with me on how people with theological training could function as teachers also stirred some thoughts. Well, this has been on my list of possible futures for some time now, and it’s not going to happen in the near future, but looks like it will remain on my list.

Oh, and I enjoy the teaching. It’s much less preparation than for university classes, since the work is easier. And you work with people and explain things the whole day, which I love. Had some great conversations with my grade 11 IT class as well. Just talking about possibilities for their futures, what they could go study etc. After 5 years in university res you tend yo have quite a broad knowledge on what’s going on in different courses, plus I’ve always been intrigued by the IT courses. And then one of the girls started asking about theology and theological questions. I loved this! And it’s actually amazing. Here we are, talking theology in front of the whole class, everyone listening in

I’m planning on doing some intro to Web 2.0 stuff with the IT kids, since we are moving through the work quite fast. Will see how that goes down. Oh, and hopefully I’ll be able to start writing some of my dissertation ideas somewhere during the week, would love some feedback.

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