It is time. I felt God wanting me to share this months ago. Now that summer is slowly expiring and the day of return looms near, I wonder if there is anyone out there who needs to hear this. Well, let me be blunt … I KNOW teachers need to hear it. I just pray that the teachers I created this blog for who are already part of a prayer group in my building will have the courage and boldness to pass it on. Let me begin with a specific prayer … Father God, I pray that this message will inspire at least one school to begin something glorious for You. I pray for teachers across the world to feel comfortable expressing their love for You in a quiet setting amongst their colleagues. May our love for You trump any hesitation in our hearts that holds us back. It is in Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.
I decided to give my life to Christ in the summer of 2012. The new world He opened for me was all to magnificent not to share. As I grew in God, He began whispering to me. Why not start a Bible study at my workplace? Why not reach out to others around me who need support to show them what He showed me? Oh sure, I heard the counter arguments too. It’s too risky. It won’t ever happen in a public school. You should just keep your faith to yourself on the job. But God’s voice was stronger! He assisted me in sketching out ideas to begin a group for Christian teachers in my building that was born in January 2013. It started as a Bible study and morphed into a prayer group in the spring of 2014. I cannot help but share with you today the blessing that this group has been for me and likewise to challenge anyone who does not have one that it is never too late to begin one.
Every Friday morning during the school year our prayer group meets at 7:00 am in my room. I wouldn’t begin my Friday any other way. The life of a teacher can be trying at times, and it is impossible to count the number of times others have come in broken, beaten, and defeated only to be lifted up and strengthened by God’s omnipotent power. We have shared laughter, tears, testimonies, love for one another, and even a delectable donut or two when someone is so gracious to purchase them. We lift up our students, our school, our administration, and our fellow believers—practically anything on our hearts is fair game. It is fair to say that being in this community of believers has stretched me and challenged me to be the Christian teacher that God called me to be. And it is all done legally around the boundaries of separation of church and state.
Are you curious about this? Is God whispering to you the same way He whispered to me way back in December 2013? Let me reach out to you. Let me guide you through the same steps that I took to get our group started, and then let Him take over. If you truly believe in the power of God, you know that all things are possible through Him (Mark 10: 27). This is the Cliff’s Notes version. Something to just get you started. If you are reading this and have any questions about your legal rights or want to know specifically how to make this happen, I will most certainly make time to reach out to you. Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will walk you through. Alright, let’s get down to business.
Step one: Seek out one or two other believers. You cannot do this alone, and having them on your side will strengthen you. If you get the right people on the bus, your group will flourish!
Step two: Talk to your administration. Be open and honest about your desire to reach out to the staff. How could they say no to that? You have every right in the world and are protected by law to meet outside of school hours to do this, but be respectful. Ask how they would prefer you to get the word out.
Step three: Promote, promote, promote! Word to the wise … the best way to get the word out is by word of mouth. You are not allowed to use district e-mail to let the entire staff know, but nothing can prevent you from talking to your colleagues outside of school hours.
Step four: Get your group together and sketch out some norms. What day will you meet and for how long? Will you be a prayer group, Bible study, or combination of both? Hear everyone out, and pray together.
Step five: Fill your meetings with a variety of activities and see what works best. Here are some ideas to get you started … Have members bring in scripture or devotions. Try online devotions. Create a googledoc where group members can share prayers online. Sign up for treats. Share testimonies. Pray together. Ask your principal where you could perform community service in your building together. Try a bit of everything and see what works best for your group.
Step six: Commit yourselves to the norms above and see where God takes you. Invite more friends as you see fit. If there is any teacher in the building that does not know your group exists, you are not doing your job. It is a team effort, and all members should be involved!
Acts 2: 42-47 shows an example of the original prayer group: “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.”
Isn’t it time the believers in your building united like the disciples once did? What wonders and signs is God planning in your building? Maybe you’re someone that already has a group like this, but I bet you know a teacher friend in another building that lacks one. Will you share this with them? Every school should be so blessed to have a group of Christian teachers that unite regularly to support, challenge, and encourage one another. It only takes a spark to start a fire. Be that spark! Kindle the flame and set your school ablaze with the love of Christ.
(Check out Unspoken’s “Start a Fire” here) … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrEzr-rWwe8