Who are the best people to teach SRE?

Image: Who are the best people to teach SRE?

Ivan Harris

Who are the people in your church that might be suitable for the amazing work of SRE? It may not be who you expect.

I recently spoke to three SRE teachers to get their unique perspective on SRE teaching.

The retiree

I ran into an old acquaintance who shared how he has used his new retirement to help teach SRE at his local High School.

He finds it a great joy and challenge to help students as they explore big issues in his class for 40 minutes each week. What a great way for him to use the freedom he never had while working full time and a busy father!

The newish church member

I had a different experience with another retiree who only recently started attending church. During his working years, he was a truck driver and SAS soldier. He isn’t your typical SRE teacher (is there such a thing?).

He joined me as a helper in my Scripture classes and immediately saw the benefits of SRE. He looked forward each week to seeing his Scripture students learning about the Bible and faith, just as he had recently done in his 60’s!

In less than 6 months he’d grown in confidence to take his own class. The kids loved him and his joy in teaching them was radiant. Maybe there’s someone you have overlooked because you don’t expect them to be an SRE teacher?

Young adult students

At the other end of the age spectrum I’ve seen university age students give up a morning to help teach an SRE class.

While SRE is about teaching students, it also helps build knowledge and character in the teacher as well. I know I’ve had many personal growth moments as an SRE teacher myself.

My five tips for SRE recruitment

Whatever the age, we need to be inviting other church members into the joy of SRE, and that happens best when they can join you in the classroom to see it in action. As you consider who you might invite, remember these five things.

1. Vision is king

Christian SRE is all about giving students the opportunity to understand the Christian faith and explores matter of life and faith. Share this vision with those in your church. Make use of the ‘Why SRE’ website and brochures available online.

2. Invite them along as you teach

No one wants to sign up for something they are not sure about. They need to know what it looks and feels like. If they like what they see, they will be keen to know details. They will need an up to date Working With Children Check and Safe Ministry training to become a helper. More info on SRE teacher requirements can be found here.

3. Make clear the involvement and expectations

  • Time commitment week to week in the school
  • Preparation time if helping
  • Termly meetings
  • What training they require

4. Get them involved in the lesson as quickly as possible

Start by delegating a fairly simple and straightforward part of one of your own lessons to begin with.

5. Invite them to SRE Conference at the start of 2018 school year to inspire and equip them

Spend some time with church leaders thinking and praying for people in your church that you could invite to become an SRE teacher, and then organise to attend next year’s SRE Conference together!

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