In partnership with LIFE Expo, Cross Teach, and volunteers from 14 churches across Tower Hamlets, Charlie Macdonald, LCM’s Pan London Schools team leader, helped turn East London Tabernacle Baptist Church into an immersive multimedia hub for children.
“We’re very excited about the exhibition because what we’d love to see is this exhibition put on in boroughs all across London so that lots more children will get the opportunity to discover who Jesus is and what he’s done,” says Charlie.
Using five big exhibition tents and everyday technology, children from schools across the east end had a fantastic time exploring who Jesus is and what he came to do.
“All week we’ve been looking at the prophesies pointing to Jesus, Jesus’ miracles, and his teaching. Through the exhibition, these children discover what Christians believe about Jesus and what the Bible says about Jesus,” explains Charlie.
Tower Hamlets: One of the youngest boroughs in the country
Recent census results show Tower Hamlets is one of the youngest boroughs on the country with an increase of 14% of under 15-year-olds in 10 years. 39.9% of people in our borough are Muslim, 26.6% say they have no religion.
Schools are incredible local communities where 100’s and sometimes 1000’s of young people congregate for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 190 days a year. Nationally 95% of children do not attend church, but most will attend a school.
“We might be struggling to get them into our churches, but this is one way people can bring Jesus into schools,” says Charlie.
“We want to see every school in London prayed for, and every school in London with a Christian witness. We want to work with charities, organisations, and churches to make this happen.
“It has been so encouraging throughout the week to see young peoples’ misconceptions challenged, to help them think again and question what they think they know.
“It was also fantastic to see volunteers from 14 different churches coming together in unity for a common purpose, forgetting their differences.
“I’ve seen volunteers grow in confidence as they talked to the children about who Jesus is and what he has done, and what he means to them.
“Everyone had a part to play: welcoming, stewarding, teaching small groups, talking to a whole class, IT skills, chopping fruit and serving snacks. A wonderful group of older ladies ran the café most of the week. They loved it and were brilliant.
“Schools Ministry is not just for those who can lead an assembly. God wants to use his whole church!”
Fantastic time had by all
For one of the volunteers, Winston, who attends East London Tabernacle Baptist Church that hosted the event, the week was incredibly encouraging.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working here. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to share the true message about Jesus,” he says.
What has been a real treat, for both volunteers and organisers alike, was seeing how engaged the children were as they immersed themselves in Jesus’ story. At some points there was absolute silence as they concentrated on listening, watching, and learning about the Son of God through their tablets and headphones.
The best part of the experience was the question and answer session at the very end of the experience. Children were given clickers to participate in a digital quiz and express what they thought of Jesus’ claims.
For George, who attends St Helen’s Bishopsgate and women’s bible study at the East London Tabernacle, volunteering her time throughout this week has been a real privilege.
“I mean, how often do you get to tell 120 people a day that Jesus is the son of God?”
Organisers of the event, like Charlie and others, hope the children who came will understand Christians care about them, and are passionate and excited about Jesus.
“I hope they get to understand a bit more about who Jesus is and what he did. My prayer is that the seeds soon will grow. That the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their lives,” says Charlie.
- That the children and staff who visited will remember what they saw and heard.
- For the volunteers and churches to get a taste for Schools Ministry.
- That strong trusting relationships between schools and churches would grow across the borough.
- For a Christian witness, a follower of Jesus telling pupils and staff about Jesus, in every one of the schools in Tower Hamlets.