“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.” - Isaiah 30:9

It’s worth reminding everyone of the mindset behind Queensland’s largest suppliers of school chaplains in the country – Scripture Union Queensland.  So, here are a few quotes their CEO Tim Mander has made over the past few years regarding the National School Chaplaincy Program.

Tim Mander, Scripture Union (SU) Qld CEO said Stock up For Hope would also raise vital funds for school chaplaincy services in rural and regional Queensland.

“Our school chaplains are finding themselves supporting students through issues such as parental separation, depression, financial problems, and even suicide,” he said.

“Many chaplains have found they’ve replaced counselling or welfare services, and they’re not just providing support to students either – that essential assistance and moral support is extending to family members as well.

During an interview on ABC’s “Life Matters” radio program on the 26th August 2010, Tim Mander admitted “chaplains are not formal counsellors.”

“But they’re making sensational inroads in bringing young people, their families, and entire communities, into a closer relationship with God.”

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a young person connect with the greatest hope of all: Jesus. The Bible is one of the best tools to help young people be transformed in their understanding of self and coping with the issues life throws at them.  SU Qld greatly values the work of the Bible Society Qld bringing the Bible to life in different forms and making it readily available to our chaplains and staff to give out to students.” – Tim Mander, CEO SU QLD

During an interview on ABC’s “Life Matters” radio program on the 26th August 2010, Tim Mander admitted that “Chaplains are not there just for Christians, not going to impose dogma, they are there for all kids, and never to impose their personal beliefs.”

School chaplaincy is one of the most exciting developments in Christian ministry in recent times. To have a full-time Christian presence in government schools in this ever-increasingly secular world is an unbelievable privilege.  Here is the church’s opportunity to make a connection with the one place through which every young person must pass – our schools.

The success or otherwise of school chaplaincy revolves around the chaplains themselves. These men and women of God are Christ’s ambassadors on the frontline of ministry. They come from all kinds of backgrounds – youth workers, teachers, mechanics, home managers, social workers, and psychologists, to name a few. Although their past experience are varied, the one thing they have in common is their commitment to helping children and young people reach their full potential in God.

Of course, chaplains do not proselytise, evangelise, or preach – that would be against the National School Chaplaincy Guidelines.  Right Tim?

They bring a Christian world view that provides answers to the big questions of life – why am i here? Only when this question is grappled with, and adequately answered, can one have true peace. This book ["The Chaplaincy Phenomena"] will give you a first hand insight into the day-to-day operations of a school chaplain.

I commend it to anyone contemplating starting a chaplaincy service in their local school, or becoming a chaplain themselves. School chaplaincy is truly at the cutting edge of youth and children’s ministry. You won’t regret becoming a part of this great movement of God.

Tim Mander, CEO, Scripture Union Queensland.

For the majority, this was the first time they had been inside a church. This experience demonstrates that school chaplaincy and SU Qld camps mobilise whole communities. SU Qld’s vision to engage children and young people with Jesus, the Bible and the local church has lead to whole community in the Caboolture area now experiencing connections to God and His Church.

The item 9 of the Code of Conduct contained in the National School Chaplaincy Guidelines which all school chaplains are required to sign states:

“While recognising that an individual chaplain will in good faith express views and articulate values consistent with his or her denomination or religious beliefs, a chaplain should not take advantage of his or her privileged position to proselytise for that denomination or religious belief.”

Is there any doubt what Scripture Union Queensland, and Access Ministries in Victoria, consider their mission to be within our public schools?  Given recent events it is clear they hold not respect for the Australian Constitution, the National School Chaplaincy Guidelines and regulations, the multicultural diversity with the fabric of Australia, and our desire for everyone to get a “fair go”.

If you wish to know more about the inherent problems of the National School Chaplaincy Program, please visit our campaign page.

Posted June 3, 2011
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