Core scripture: “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” (Matthew 4:19)
Message: If someone asked you what you do for a living, what would you say? I suppose most of us would say teacher or educator. After all, that is what we do. But what if we flipped the switch? What if we proudly declared that we were something different? What if we said we were fishermen?
Interesting thought! That would be one way to put our faith right out there for all to see. Jesus wants us all to be disciple makers, and this would certainly put that out there. But here is the problem … how can we be fish for men at work when public schools restrict our religious freedoms? Believe it or not, we can still live bold lives as Christian teachers. You just have to know how to do it.
- Fish for colleagues: When was the last time you invited a colleague to church? Easter is on the horizon, and the last time I checked, there was no law against inviting friends to Easter. Prayerfully consider a few that you think would be good candidates. I know I have a good friend that would fall into this category. He has politely declined my invitation as many years as I have known him, but who knows? This may be the year he changes his mind.
What about other believers? You could open up your room for a faculty Bible study or prayer group before school hours. I began our group back in January of 2013. Seven years later we are still going strong with a teacher prayer group that meets on Thursday mornings. The relationships I have built through the years are priceless. None of these relationships would have come to fruition unless I started a group in the first place.
- Fish for students: You can live out your faith in a way that displays love, grace, and forgiveness in the classroom. The other week our cheerleaders got involved with something they knew they shouldn’t have done, and one by one they had to come apologize to me. I explained to each one that my faith allows me to forgive. You should have seen the smiles on their faces following those conversations.
Another way to fish for students is to open your classroom up for a Bible study. You cannot participate, but bold Christian students can lead studies that lead others to Christ. I have had students lead Bible studies over lunch and even before school hours in my classroom. Sometimes it takes a little encouragement from you to get something started, but once the ball gets rolling, there is no telling how far it will go.
So, what do you say? How many of you would like to change your profession from a teacher to a fisherman? Or is there such a thing as a fisherwoman? You all have a license to fish whether you know it or not. To get more information about how to live your faith out in the classroom, go to https://gogateways.org/what-we-do-1. Not sure about you, but I am ready to go fishing!
Challenge: How can you be a fisher of men? Go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him how He could use you in your school.
Just for fun: I wonder if any of you feel like Jerry Seinfeld in this old SNL clip. Try not to laugh at this one back when SNL was actually worth watching.
Prayer: Lord, use me in mighty ways to be a fisherman at work. Amen.