Religious Education

We are having  an RE evening each week and we have a new church friend who is carrying some really substantial baggage about religion.  He is very interested in participating and loves to share uncomfortable stories with us in a very dramatic way.  I’d love to know how other people have handled such persons.  It’s not a total hijack of the class but his comments don’t actually answer the question that was just asked.  Our RE leader was adept at bringing him back into the conversation.  And I think given an opportunity I would have him do readings for us as much as possible.   I’m sure you’ve run across this type of person before.  I’m trying to figure out how to help him and the class to be able to accept him (I think we are doing fairly well so far but would love to have insight from others. )

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3 Responses to “Religious Education”

  1. altonwoods Says:

    I think that to some extent I was that person at one time. All I can really suggest or advise is to continue to be patient with him. He’s someone who really needs exactly what we’re supposed to be about as Christians…love

    Underneath his facade He’s confused,hurt,lonely,and most likely clueless as to what to do about it. As personally difficult as it may be,try to get close to him and be his friend.

  2. joylightning Says:

    I fully plan on being his friend as possible. I look on him as an opportunity to learn the hard lessons of ministry. He’s a challenge, so he’s also an opportunity. This is a good preparation for me for later, certainly.

    How to set boundaries, but not be attached to them so you can teach those who don’t fit in properly. What’s the line between bringing them into the community in a healthy way and allowing the highjack of everyone else’s experience. I think mostly we have to let him learn. And then see how he gets in. At least his willing to show up for Religious education. He has lots to learn and unlearn from his life in the past. Early religious trauma, of the mildest variety, that effects this sensative man in a profound way. I worry that eventually we will disappoint him when he finds out that goals and intention rarely exactly meet execution. I suspect he has high expectations!

  3. altonwoods Says:

    I suppose it all hinges on whether he actually understands that he’s being disruptive/inappropriate or not. Either way, it will most likely be difficult to fully address with him. You mentioned a class leader, maybe if they had a short talk with him after class and made it really clear that while his participation is valued, he needs to respect the other members of the group it might help. It is difficult…

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