We were really encouraged by this story from Esther Bailey, Regional Worker in the Borders, and wanted to share it with you too! What simple action could you take today to bless your community? A home group from a Parish Church in the Borders were challenged to pray blessing on their community. One of the group members taught at the local primary school, and so the group started praying blessing on her classroom. The new term started and a class with a reputation for misbehaviour came into that classroom. The school operates a discipline system, where every child starts on green, minor misdemeanours move them to orange and major misdemeanours, or continued minor ones, move them to red. The teacher was mildly surprised to finish the first day with everyone on green, but quite amazed when at the end of the first week everyone was still on green.
Then it became ten days on green, 15 days... and the children started taking responsibility for each other - some bringing in spare gym kits, so that the class members who forgot did not lose their green status. As the term went on, they reached 50 days on green, 60 days... and there were occassions where one or two almost lost their green status but became aware that there were choices. They were able to discuss the things that had annoyed them and articulate the different options they had and the consequences of each option. They realised that they could deliberately choose not to get angry, not to take revenge for perceived injustices. At parents evening, a number of the parents wanted to discuss this unprecedented situation - two thirds of the term with the whole class still on green. It was beyond their expectations for their children's behaviour. And the home group kept on praying blessing - by now most of the church was praying for this class, and the ripples going out from them, affecting the whole community. By the end of term, every member of the class was on 83 days of green, and their self-esteem was so high. How long will it go on for, and what will be the long-term effects of this positive experience?
Esther is the Regional Worker in the Borders, and would be delighted if you'd like to receive her prayer newsletters. You can find more ways to be a blessing to your local school on our brand new Serve Your Local School website, or register to pray for them with Pray for Schools Scotland.