Pupils may encounter Christian faith in school through RE lessons on Christianity or through an activity run by a Christian group in school. Many young people discover Christian faith for themselves as a direct result of the impact of the lives and example of the Christian teachers and pupils they encounter on a day-to-day basis.
This emphasises the need for churches to pray regularly for Christian pupils and school staff in their congregations!
Churches can make a very real and significant difference to pupils in a local school as they explore what Christians believe by actively supporting groups for Christian pupils or for those wanting to explore Christian faith for themselves. This might mean supporting an existing group or encouraging a new group, such as a Youth Alpha group, to start. Alternatively, a church could advertise out of school church-based opportunities for pupils to get together to explore Christian faith.
Practical support from the church for such opportunities might include prayer, a small grant for resources or refreshments, offers of venues for additional meetings, transport to Christian events, access to a library of resources to use in school meetings or books, videos and DVDs to borrow.
School Christian groups have long been a significant way to help pupils apply their Christian beliefs to real-life situations, to learn more about what it means to be 'salt and light' in the school and to explain their faith to friends and peers. Linking the school group with external church activities can also provide a way for other pupils to discover more about Jesus and explore the Christian faith.