Core scripture: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Message: Christianity is not a light switch. When we choose to follow Christ, it is a lifestyle change that affects every part of our lives. We are always on. We should not flip our faith on and off, living it out only when it is convenient. This begs the question of how the Christian teacher can live out their faith in public education where Separation of Church and State restrain us. Here are five simple ways you can do this.
- Utilize the power of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 charges us to “pray without ceasing.” Pray when you step into your room and your computer is loading. Pray during down times. Stick a note on your desk as a reminder to pray. Pray before meetings. Pray quietly in your head as you see students struggling through an activity. Pray over a needy colleague. Use prayer as a way to fill up at different checkpoints throughout the day.
- Open up your room. Whether it is my Thursday morning teacher prayer group or my FCA students flooding my room on Wednesday morning to eat bread, my room is always open for business before and after school. It has become a safe place for my Christian students to live out their own faith. I have hosted student-led Bible studies and prayer groups. Opening up your room builds community and promotes fellowship.
- Play Christian music. I love incorporating Christian music into my curriculum. Sometimes a Christian song can speak truth to a novel we are reading. We just finished reading Freak the Mighty. In the novel, Max is traumatized by his past. Playing the song “Burn the Ships” by For King and Country would allow powerful discussion about leaving the past behind and pressing on toward the future.
- Paraphrase scripture. I rarely will ever quote scripture directly, but there are multiple times I will paraphrase. Yesterday, we did a Veteran’s Day lesson. I told the story of my brother, Curt, getting injured in Iraq. That near fatal injury allowed him to finish his deployment early and be the best man at my wedding in December. Something beautiful can always come out of tragedy. Very similar to Romans 8:28.
- Live out Christian principles. Do your students see patience in you? Grace? Do they see loving discipline? How about positivity? Passion? Enthusiasm? Allow the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to pour through your every essence. You should be seen and marked as different from the norm. Let your faith flood your classroom in how you conduct yourself.
Be bold in your faith. Paul writes in Romans 1:16 that he is “unashamed of the gospel.” As Christian teachers, we should likewise be unashamed of our faith. Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Live your life the same way.
Challenge: Think of different ways you can be bolder in your Christian walk at work. Choose the most applicable ideas from the list above and begin practicing it.
Just for fun: Are you a hand raiser during worship? Do you need some ideas? Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins, has some pointers for you. I dare you not to laugh at his video below.
Prayer: Lord, protect my faith at work. Let me live the way You need me to live, sharing Your light with others. Amen.