A couple of years ago I visited a school with a new head-teacher, and as I went into the hall to set up, I noticed a sign that read something like ‘You are now coming into worship.’ It was a simple sign but it had a profound effect on me. Most of my work falls under the Explaining Christianity part of our vision and I absolutely love it! However, I had become guilty of always referring to Open The Book as assemblies rather than Acts of Collective Worship, if for no other reason, it’s a lot easier to say. However, that sign, and further chats with the Head encouraged me to change what I do and be more explicit about the fact that I am coming into explain Christianity to the children and whichever staff are in.
As a result, I now use the word worship whenever I encounter a school. It may be during the worship itself, signing in to the school, communicating with the Head or other teachers, or various other reasons but I try and avoid using the word assembly as that is not what I am coming to do – I am coming to lead the school in worship. It’s not that I have been trying to hide this fact, but I am wanting to let my light shine brighter rather than unintentionally hide it under a bowl.
Has it had an effect? It has on me! As I have two jobs, sometimes I feel constantly on the move or have and hundred and one things on my mind. I lead a lot of worship sessions each week in school and the danger is letting it become ‘just routine’ especially when I’m in a busy period. However, now, even if I have forgotten to pray on my way into a school, as soon as I write the word worship when I sign in, it helps me focus on God, no matter what kind of day I’m having, and that has to be a good thing for me and the work I am about to do.