I very much enjoyed Mark Roques's article on how our faith overlaps with ordinary life. It's so easy to separate the strands of our lives, seeing some bits as more spiritual then others. To churchify our Christianity if you like. But Mark's writing is a great reminder of trying, and I guess praying for, ways that we can integrate our faith into our every day living. It shows too how our attitudes towards the world and others are an expression of our faith. Thanks Mark. And thanks BT for publishing his article.
Mark Roques has with his usual incisive brilliance, opened up an aspect of learning, which has increasingly troubled me over the years, as a former teacher. Mark clarifies the landscape around us, the prevailing culture of secularism, relativism, and consumerism which pervade the school and university curricula. Language-learning has partly become a branch of shopping and the holiday-tourist industry. There are millions of young people whose families cannot afford to join the round of fashion-shopping or hedonistic holidays. In any case, there are so many more important matters to discuss in a foreign language, even with an elementary/intermediate vocabulary, such the beauty of nature or walks in the countryside or urban parks with friends or family members or sport and sportmanship!
At a deeper level the teachings and priorities of Jesus' Good News are absent, even by implication. Not only has Christianity well and truly ceased to form the backdrop of our national culture but the whole spiritual dimension of life is excluded, with a relentless focus on the merely material. It would be interesting to hear views of teachers in other subjects. In many fundamental areas we Christians share common moral ground with members of other faiths, who could have much to say as well. Thank you, Mark
Thank you for publishing the insightful article Serving God as a French teacher. It can often be tempting to leave what we learn at church just for Sunday or for other church activities, but praise God His word is applicable for all of life!
This article challenged me to think how I can bring the Bible's perspective into my workplace and challenge the prevailing philosophies with the hope of pointing colleagues to the Truth.
When I first read Mark's story, I reflected on how often Christians in the workplace can see their role as twofold, demonstrating integrity as a person and waiting for opportunities to share faith. This story provokes a much more imaginative response, a baptised imagination where in every job and role we can invite the Holy Spirit to help us to express the Kingdom of God.
The story of the French teacher has helped me to have a prompt to think that in every work situation there are things we can do which are more than trying to convince people we are good people and they should listen to us tell them about our faith. There will be opportunities to express Kingdom the God which bring joy and insight to those around us as well as challenging the cultural values we are living in.
Once again Mark Roques challenges us all, in an entertaining and amusing way, to consider how we interact with those around us. He is right that in many spheres of life we simply do not bring our faith in, meaning that we perpetuate the secular agenda of the world by default.
Remembering back many years to my French O level, he is right that all the sentences I learned were "how much is the loaf of bread" ...... and now I can just about manage to order a bottle of beer! I definitely can't have a discussion of faith in French, but there's no reason why I should just talk to colleagues about what I've bought or where I've travelled. I need to think more about how I can tall them positive tales of God's love in his world.
Mark Roques always comes at things from an interesting angle. Language teaching does probably come with many old world unimaginative assumptions, but the point is not so much about the actual teaching technique, but more the teacher's automatic assumption that faith and professional life are exclusive of each other. The teacher is bound to register exactly how the preacher conveys his or her message ( she is after all a professional communicator herself ) , so why not allow others to appreciate the influence of her faith in the words and phrases she teaches?
Re: Mission weekend in the Northern Baptist Association
This is absolutely fantastic! What a brilliant idea. Sending up prayers that many seeds will be planted and result in good fruit!
Sharon Jones (via Twitter)