I remember a missions trip to Indonesia and how important it was for me to learn a little about the culture before I went. Getting clued up a little was very helpful; I learnt a few words; a few cultual ways and I was suprised how more effective I was at being able to minister to the people.
Working as an outreach worker in our Aussie schools is somewhat like going on a missions trip. Listed are some cultural considerations that I discovered over the 14 years I was involved in schools.
1. Within the culture are:
Year level hero’s
No mate people (unpopular, lonely kid)
Averages (fit in, not popular or unpopular)
NB Different cultures have different problems
2. Within the Culture are different Age Groups with Characteristics
Year 7 & 8
Short attention span
Fidgety and hormonally controlled
Think in pictures (good illustrations work well when preaching)
Semi-innocent age yet inquisitive age
7’s – not to sure of their new environment, now the bottom of the school (we need to make them feel safe & settled)
Year 9 & 10
Probably the most difficult years of a teenager
Like to show off
Discovering their age, what they can & can’t do
Very authoritative group of teens, who want to rule and gain a right to rule
Age of ‘experimentation’ – smokes, drugs, and alcohol
Age where they begin to ask questions about life, God & sexuality
Very opinionated but open
Lots of masks, basically to cover up
Year 11 & 12
More mature & thinkers
Have already formulated major opinions
View themselves as a cut above the rest
Working through key decisions for their future
As we consider and learn a little about the secondary culture that we are ministering to, we become equipped to be more effective in our missionary endeavour.
God's Richest Blessings as you serve in our local schools.