Every SU member is conversant with the term Schools’ Work in the Scripture Union Ministry. But how many of these members truly understand exactly what Schools’ work means? Another name for Schools’ work is School Visitation. The two expressions mean exactly the same thing and can be used interchangeably in the context of Scripture Union ministry.

Today we shall explain what is Schools’ work, how it works and why it is so important as a component of Scripture Union ministry in Nigeria and other national movements.

SO WHAT IS SCHOOLS’ WORK?

Schools’ work is a term used in describing the work of Scripture Union in secondary and primary schools. As stated above, another name for schools’ work is School Visitation. And the individuals who are involved in this Schools’ Work are referred to as School Visitors. This department of Scripture Union work is supervised by a committee known as Zonal School Implementation Committee (ZOSIC).

WHY SCHOOLS’ WORK IS A MUST

Why is Scripture Union investing so much into Schools’ Work? How come there is so much emphasis on school visitation to the point that SUCF has a slogan ‘Every SUCF member is a school visitor’?

1. It is the place to get young people in their numbers

Scripture Union is a children and youth focused ministry. And if you are thinking of where to find children and youth in their numbers it is no other place than schools. For that reason Scripture Union is committed to schools’ work as a means of engaging children and youth in their numbers for Jesus Christ.

2. There is a need to catch them young

The Scripture admonishes us to “train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it – Proverbs 22:6“. And there is a popular saying “that it is far easier to train a child than to amend an adult”. All these shows that it will be easier to capture them at this tender age than wait for them at their work places later in life.

3. The devil is also interested in children and youth

It is sad to note that all the vices which tertiary institutions are known for have now permeated the membrane of most secondary and even primary schools. Today, there is cultism in secondary and primary schools. You will discover that lesbianism is common in most girls secondary school. Boys are getting drunk in their hostels. Masturbation, immorality and all sorts of evil have gained ground in secondary and primary schools.

4. Examination Malpractice is now a culture

I weep for the future professionals we are likely to have if nothing is done to avert this. From government owned to private owned schools the story is the same. Whether it is internal or external exams students are no longer ready to write on their own. It is not a hidden thing any longer. Teachers are aware, parents are aware and the various examination bodies are aware and no one seems to see anything wrong in it. But Scripture Union believes it is a disservice to our nation and to the students. And that is while the ministry sees Schools’ work as a priority.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE INVOLVED IN SCHOOLS’ WORK?

I was organizing a Schools’ Work workshop sometime in the past and someone asked me what exactly we do in those schools. It is dangerous to assume that everyone understands what needs to be done as a school visitor. So here is a non-exhaustive list of activities that are carried out during schools’ work.

1. Moral Instruction

Scripture Union organizes moral instructions across different schools all over the world. From UK, to US, to Kenya to Nigeria, it is a common practice. As a matter of fact, moral instruction is an integral part of the weekly schedule of most schools. In most schools it holds during the morning assembly of any selected day of the week.  Though there are a negligible few that prefer to have it during break. Scripture Union usually will have an arrangement with the school authority to come in and share God’s word with those children during the period of moral instruction.

Moral Instruction in SU Nigeria
Moral Instruction in SU Nigeria

It is usually a compulsory programme for all students without any exemption. In fact I know that there are some states in Nigeria where the government has given an exclusive right of handling the moral instruction in all their schools to Scripture Union.

Scripture Union School Visitors seize this opportunity to emphasize important godly values and morals that children and students must embrace. Though this period is more about morals, values and ethics yet testimonies of salvation have emerged from them.

Also see: SU CHORUSES – THE SPIRIT FILLED SONGS THAT MAKES SU UNIQUE

2. Life Skill Engagement

Life skill is a Scripture Union unique seminar engagement for youths. Usually different practical topics that affect youths are chosen for discussion.  The ministry deploys well trained Life Skill facilitators to various schools on a termly basis to facilitate the life skill programmes.

3. Bible Studies

Bible Study is a core programme of Scripture Union and school groups are not exempted. The school visitor sometimes join the students leaders in the preparatory class. Every school group has a Bible Study Secretary, always a student. And it is that Bible Study Secretary that is in charge of all the Bible Study programmes in the school.

4. School Fellowship

This is the end goal of Scripture Union Ministry in schools. This involves setting up a standard and functional SU group in the school. It is a full fledged SU fellowship for students and ran by students.

Usually there is a unified programme produced by ZOSIC. In the programme, they have different activities like talk, teaching, seminar, bible study, varieties etc.

5.Student Leadership Training

Another crucial aspect of Schools’ work in Scripture Union is Students Leadership Training.  The training is meant for students’ leaders who are elected to lead their various school groups.

6. Schools’ Rally

This is one major programme that adds to the uniqueness of Scripture Union. It is a one day elaborate programme that involves the coming together of students from different schools within a particular zone. In the programme the students participate in different fun and spiritual exercises and compete among one another in a Bible quiz competition.

SU Schools' Work in Kenya
SU Schools’ Work in Kenya

PRINCIPLES OF SCHOOLS’ WORK

For effectiveness of schools’ work and to ensure that the general objective is achieved there are certain principles that must be followed.

1. Consistency in Visitation

There is a particular need for consistency in the issue of school visitation. The people we are dealing with are children and mostly teenagers and any small gap can be disastrous. The devil can easily sneak in and sow tares if the labourers go on unnecessary break. For this reason SU had recommended that fellowship holds at least once every week and if possible twice. In schools where it holds twice in a week, a day is for the fellowship while the other day is for Bible Study or evangelism. And for each of those meetings a school visitor must be in attendance.

However, the ministry recognizes the fact that the school visitors are largely volunteers. What this means is that they are not full-time staff with SU. Each of them have their own jobs or businesses. And for this reason they may not always be available at every point in time. To address this, SU recommends that ZOSIC assign at least 2 school visitors for each school. With this they will be rotating their visits and no single person will be overburdened. And one will not have to go for schools’ work more than once in a week or once in 2 weeks.

Have you read: THE HISTORY OF SCRIPTURE UNION INTERNATIONAL ?

2. Good Rapport with the School Authority

SU don’t enter any school through the back gate. So we always make it a point of duty to carry the school authority along in all we do in schools. In fact a copy of the group’s programme for each term is usually given to both the principal and the matron/patron of the fellowship. Also, every school visitor assigned to a school is always officially introduced to the school authority.

This will help reduce the possibility of intruders and wolves sneaking in to devour the sheep (students) in the name of being school visitors. Because of the relationship SU builds with school authorities the ministry has received tremendous support from most of these schools.

3. Regular Training

SU is a ministry that believe so much in training and this equally applies to the area of schools’ work. So the ministry strongly discourages anybody being a school visitor without being trained. And the training is not one-off, rather it is always an ongoing exercise. In SU it is called training and retraining, because it has to happen at least every session.

4. The Programme must be strictly followed

SU don’t support any school visitor going to any school to run his own programme. Usually, there is a general programme from the ZOSIC that is to be used in all the schools. So school visitors are encouraged to follow it strictly for a systematic disciplining of the students.

5. Proper records must be kept

Each school is to have a register of activities and also attendance to the fellowship. The school visitor is expected to ensure that those records are updated every fellowship day. This will help for a seamless handover when new leaders take over in the fellowship or if a new school visitor is assigned to the school.

6. Proper preparation is necessary

Schools’ work is not something you just jump into anytime you like. If you do it will be a mechanical exercise and it will produce zero result. Every School Visitor is advised to take time and prepare for every visit. You prepare in the place of prayers, study and putting together all the necessary materials depending on the aim of each visit. When you do this you see tremendous results emanating from those meetings.

WHO IS QUALIFIED TO BE A SCHOOL VISITOR?

1. He or she must be born again

This is a primary requirement for SU. Unless SU have a genuine testimony of one’s salvation such a person cannot be allowed to visit any of the schools. This is particularly important as school ministry is a fragile one and there have been some records of unfortunate cases where wolves that disguised as born again crept into the school and messed up the students instead of helping their lives.

2. He or she must be an SU member

It is also recommended that the person be SU member that understands our core mission to the schools. There are cases of people from some denominations going to schools to canvass for members and to promote their churches. But SU insist that our mission to schools must be to present Jesus and him alone to the students.

3. Must have Love and passion for young people

This is an important driving force for this work. That you are born again and an SU member is not enough to make you a school visitor. Until you have passion and love for the young ones and see their helplessness you will never appreciate the huge investment being made into that department.

4. Discipline and Self Control

Discipline and Self Control are very important in schools’ work. There are many channels pf temptation in schools’ ministry and the devil can easily lay hold of anyone through those.

Among the people you shall be ministering to are young and beautiful girls at a very critical stage of their lives. Because they see you as a role model and one they can trust in all things they will throw themselves at you. As a brother, you must have the grace to exercise restraint while guiding them alright.

Monetary matters, time management, anger management are some other areas where your discipline will be tested.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A SCHOOL VISITOR

Schools’ work can be very demanding, but I must tell you that the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice involved. Personally, I have been a school visitor for 19 years and I have no single regret being involved.

1. A perfect avenue to fulfill the great commission

Most Christians can stay up to 6 months and they have not stepped out of their house for evangelism. Yet, they want to go to heaven. But as a school visitor you automatically get this wonderful opportunity of ministering to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people at once. Who knows, some persons might get saved in the course of your ministry and heaven will credit that to you.

2. Avenue for personal development

As a school visitor one key principle you must imbibe is proper preparation before each visit. Some of those preparations might involve study and research and in doing so you learn, grow and become better.

3. A watchdog for your own life

If you ask me I will say this is the biggest benefit of being a school visitor. As a school visitor the students sees you as a pastor and as a role model. Now, you leave in the same city with some of these students, you enter the same train, bus or taxi with them. They probably worship in the same church with you. You could stumble into them in a mall, in the market or at the cinema.

But guess what? You can never recognize all the students you are ministering to because they are much and always in school uniforms. But all of them will recognize you immediately and anywhere they see you. So imagine you as a school visitor fighting, quarreling, stealing or even having an unholy affair with the opposite sex without knowing that one of the people watching you is a member of the fellowship you visit.

Personally I have ran into my students countless times and I never knew them until they intercept and greet me. Knowing that the eyes of your students are watching anywhere you go will help you be on guard and watch your steps.

4. Opportunity to mold destiny

There is not much difference between the influence you have on the students from the influence their teachers have on them. They see you exactly as their teachers and in most cases they even respect you more. Of course it depends on how much you makes yourself available to them and how much you cares. So just like a teacher, you have got a great opportunity to shape and give direction to the life of hundreds and thousands of students every year. What a privilege.

My prayer is that God will never allow you to misuse that.

God bless you.

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SHARE WITH US

Are you an SU member? If yes, do you have a school you are visiting? What has been the experience? Is it something you enjoy doing? What areas do you think Scripture Union need to do better in schools’ work in your own country? Share with us in the comment box and you can be sure that SU leaders across the world are reading and will definitely take action.

God bless you.

 

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6 thoughts on “SCHOOLS WORK IN SCRIPTURE UNION MINISTRY

    • Author gravatar

      Pls,let have complete Su chorus book available to su bookshops. Also encourage all our members to learn our songs and also teach it in the school. Is one of our su choruses that God use and draws me to Himself. Why did he love me I never can tell…..

      • Author gravatar

        We are glad to hear your testimony Ifeanyi.

        Yes, it is really important that we sing these choruses more often because we trust what God can do through it.

        And we have made it available here, so that even when the booklets are not available brethren can get all they need here.

        God bless you

    • Author gravatar

      God is our helper. I trust the Lord that as we are already in the day of his power, that his people, members of the Scripture Union shall be willing.
      The scope is wide and the task too demanding for the few that currently engage in it.
      Godwin Osuji
      SU Owerri East Zone

      • Author gravatar

        God bless you Mr. Osuji.

        May God reward people like you who are currently involved in the work.

        Our prayers is that more people shall become willing.

        Meanwhile one way of encouraging them is letting them see writeups like this so that they can have better understanding

    • Author gravatar

      As God is supporting me I will support SU

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