All the pieces matter: Evaluating Mission in Anglican Schools

Mission in Anglican Schools has gone through a renaissance over the last twenty years. Now more than ever people are thinking about and reflecting on the exact nature of our missional endeavour. Innovative approaches to proclaiming the Gospel that go beyond the standard model of chapel, chaplain, religious education and service are being explored. It is important that the church and its schools continue to commit to the value of our missional work and this requires us to be demonstrating the impact and influence we are having on the lives of students. This is not an easy or even comfortable task but it is one we must consider carefully.

This will probably be my last post for some time. I am stepping out of ministry with schools and into a role that focuses on parishes and other mission organisations. It is my hope that this blog will keep going and I am in the process of discussing how it might be handed on. So as I move on I want to offer one last thing that is the culmination of a few years of doctoral research, a Mission Action Evaluation Tool.

Mission Action Evaluation Tool

The Mission Action Evaluation Tool (MAET) has been created to help chaplains and others involved in the Christian mission of schools to make decisions about how best to design and implement processes to develop young people’s faith. It is based on Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems model and seeks to enhance developmental processes through the consideration of personal and contextual factors. While the tool does not measure student outcomes, these can be evaluated as part of its use.

This tool could be used by those working in Anglican Schools or in any organisation that has the intention of developing faith. The tool is formed as a series of questions with accompanying commentary. These questions help to draw together information that may aid in the identification of factors that may enhance or detract from the effectiveness of a mission action. The tool may be used as part of a team consultation or by an individual practitioner. Ideally the questions would be answered by a group of people who might offer their own insights into the characteristics of the students and the various systems (micro, meso, macro, chrono) that influence them. This is important for two reasons. First in‐depth research may not be available that pertains to the young people being considered. Second practitioner input provides information about local contexts and cultures. Some understanding of Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model will assist in understanding the logic and functioning of the tool however the commentary will also provide guidance.

The tool could be used for a number of purposes. It could be used to:

1. evaluate a current mission action or process,
2. evaluate a future mission action, or
3. improve current mission actions through an action‐reflection process.

The tool is designed to be used cyclically. Working from process through person, context and time brings reflection of mission actions back to the process as it has itself changed for further adaptations. Reflection supported by the tool could be performed through a number of iterations in order to understand the school community in great detail.

You can download the tool here.

If you are interested in reading the thesis that the tool was developed through you can find it below.

All the pieces matter: A framework for evaluating mission in Anglican Schools in Australia – Stephen Harrison

Let me know if you find the tool or thesis of value.

Sections of the blog post were first published in Harrison, S. (2018). All the pieces matter: A framework for evaluating mission in Anglican Schools in Australia

Stephen Harrison Written by:

Stephen has a passion for exploring mission and ministry. He has worked for the Anglican Church for the last twenty years mostly in the area of youth and children’s ministry. In this time he has worked for two churches, two Anglican schools, as a university chaplain and for the Brisbane Diocese as the Youth, Children’s and Families Officer. Currently he is the Director of Mission for the Anglican Schools Commission. He has degrees in Science, Theology, Community Welfare, Education and has completed a Doctorate in Ministry, focused on the church’s mission in Anglican schools.

One Comment

  1. Jane
    July 25, 2018

    Thank you for all your work and great leadership in Anglican Schools.May God bless you on your journey!!! Congratulations!!!!Jane

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