In January, we shared our plans to introduce our new digital game, Guardians of Ancora, into schools, and asked for your support. Through your generosity, your prayers and God’s blessing – it’s happening!
We are always looking for new ways of sharing Jesus with children and young people. Across the country, our local mission workers are out sharing the gospel with children every day, and are often the first to spot new mission opportunities and develop initiatives to use them.
So when we hear about these initiatives, we take them and turn them into something that can be shared with other churches and local mission partners, so that many more children and young people can be blessed.
When we launched our digital game Guardians of Ancora in July 2015, we hoped in particular it would mean that children with no church background could hear the gospel perhaps for the first time. Katy Finney, who works for local mission partner Blackpool Schools and Youth Work (BSYW), has developed an amazing new way to do this in a schools setting.
Katy already runs lunch and after school clubs for children aged 8–11. When Guardians of Ancora launched, she immediately spotted the potential for creating new clubs based on the game.
She sounded out some local schools on the idea – seven were interested straight away! Katy worked with one of them to pilot the first Guardians of Ancora club last October. Since then, six more schools have launched clubs (and there’s a waiting list of children keen to join), and a further ten local schools have asked Katy to set up Guardians of Ancora clubs for their children too!
At the outset, Katy loads the Guardians of Ancora game onto computer tablets (most schools provide these). The children start by playing the same session of Guardians of Ancora. Then Katy runs an interactive session, such as a quiz or discussion, to draw out the scriptural meaning of the games session. Katy says, ’I don’t need to say much – the children are usually really keen to share their thoughts with each other!’
What’s really exciting is that many of the children know little of Christianity and have no church background – but they go on to download and play Guardians of Ancora at home in preference to some of the most popular commercial games. And Katy knows, from the subsequent club discussion sessions, that they are learning loads about Jesus!
Rob Steward, SU’s schools worker in the area, heard about this success and wondered if it would work elsewhere too. He and Katy shared the Guardians of Ancora school clubs concept with other local mission partners, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
"It’s a really flexible, fun way to do mission in schools." Katy
If you’ve not worked with schools before but are keen to do so, this club might work really well for you. It’s proved to be really popular with schools and with the children, but it’s not something you have to commit to do long term. You could just go in for a term, try it out and see how it goes.
It really is so easy to set up and run. If you’re not comfortable with technology, don’t worry – the schools are usually happy to do the setting up for you. You just need to introduce the game using the online materials, and run the complementary activity afterwards. It’s flexible, it’s fun – so have a go!
Want to learn more?
Guardians of Ancora is a great way to get children into the Bible, and it works brilliantly in schools. But it's also great to let the children in your life discover Jesus for themselves in an exciting way.
- Guardians of Ancora
- What your support enables