What is CTC?

The Christian Teachers Coalition (CTC) is an organization I hope to begin.  It has never officially begun, but I wonder what would happen if a group of passionate Christian teachers were to unite through blogs like such as this.  Read about these ideas below.  If any of it sounds appealing to you and you would like to join me, feel free to contact me at theteachersdevotional@gmail.com.

What is the purpose of CTC?
The purpose of this organization is simple: to connect Christian teachers everywhere. I know many schools have prayer/support groups for staff members, and this provides a larger organization to unite them through support and prayer.

What plans do I have for CTC?
I would love to take baby steps this school year in giving birth to this group. The plan would be to meet once a quarter at most, maybe once a semester, at a local public coffee shop or restaurant to share ideas, pray for one another, and fellowship.

Why CTC? Reason 1

There are so many reasons why the Christian Teachers Coalition is needed, but I want to boil them down to the essential. Probably the largest reason could be summed up in a single word: support. We all need it. Colleagues around districts could support one another in numerous ways.

1.Let’s say you’re having one of those years. You’d soon rather pluck your eyebrows out one by one with some rusty tweezers than teach your 5th hour class (isn’t it messed up how your 5th hour always seems to be the hour that makes you pull your hair out–or in my case what is left of it). We’ve all been there right? In meeting with fellow Christians around the district, you could get much needed prayers, not to mention ideas on how to better influence your classes in a Christian manner.
2.You are a passionate Christian in your building, and you want to start up a prayer group, but you have absolutely no idea how to make this happen. Quite frankly, you’re scared about what others will think of you, and you feel like your leadership skills are better suited for the classroom. Would you like a blueprint for success on how to get a prayer group started? If we combined our forces together as Christian teachers, we could teach others how to do this! How amazing would that be … to give other schools the gift of a prayer group. As they used to say in that old credit card commercial, it would be priceless.
3.What if you’ve already started a group but it is floundering. Attendance is down, you’ve severed some relationships, and you feel like nobody cares anymore. Would you like suggestions on how to improve it? Talk to your fellow colleagues here! They’ve been through the same stuff. They can tell you of their successes and failures, and they certainly can support you with ideas on how to fix what is broken. At the very least, Christian teachers can support one another through praying for one another’s prayer teams.
4.We all have personal lives too. I laugh when students see me in public and their faces twist in confusion. I can see their minds whirling inside, thinking Woah, he actually has a life! We likewise miss out on time to support our Christian friends in other buildings and connect with them through fellowship. I know one reason I look forward to inservice days–did I just say I look forward to inservice days?–is because I get to keep tabs on my Christian friends in other buildings that I have grown with over the years. CTC gives us the opportunity to spend time with quality individuals who all have the same goal in mind: to spread Christ’s love to all.
5.One final reason that we may need support is in standing up for our rights to practice our faith as Christians. Perfect example … a fellow colleague of mine from another building said that her students had arranged a “meet me at the pole” prayer session. Her principal had walked by and told a faculty member that she needed to get inside the building when she was seen praying with students. This gal, however, knew her rights, and she politely informed her principal that her contract time did not start until 7:30 am, and she certainly had the right to pray with the kids before school. Do you know your rights? Passionate Christians that are part of this group are sure to know their rights to freedom of religion according to the bylaws of the district, and there would be no better way to seek advice than from a group of well-seasoned Christians.

Talk about support! And this is just warming up the crockpot of my ideas. Do you realize the umpteen different ways that others will think of in how we can support one another once this organization gets rolling? If you are reading this and CTC sounds intriguing to you, what are you going to do about it? Will you forward it on to your Christian friend in a different building? Maybe someone I have never had the pleasure of meeting? Or will you smile and tell yourself Oh well, neat idea! Hope it works out for him! and then go about your day without doing a thing to spread the word. This organization can only be born if we tell others about it. Just be sure to use your personal e-mail or talk face to face with someone. Questions? Comments? Feel free to share below.

Why CTC? Reason 2

Why should Christian teachers unite across districts? What does it even matter? Why can’t we just live our own Christian lives and let others do as they wish? Here I am playing devil’s advocate to my own ideas, and believe me, I have a response. Much of it has to do with a Matthew West song that has become popular as of recent. If you listen to K-Love, you’ll know it. Check it out right below here. Listen to the words. Soak in the possibilities that come to your head. Let them marinate for a bit, then read on.

Pretty amazing stuff. Just when I thought he couldn’t top “Hello, My Name Is” or “Forgiveness,” he threw this one down and equaled–or dare I say surpassed–them with “Do Something.” I started asking myself some questions. What am I doing to spread the Great Commission? This charge from Christ, expressed very clearly in Matthew 28: 16-20, was not intended only for the disciples. It was intended for all Christians. This got me thinking about other people besides those already close to me. Was I doing a good enough job ministering to others? How could I reach out to people who may have gone through what I did a few years back?

The memories are all too thick to wipe away. They were released from my soul through a narrative that I wrote last year, but even with my feelings expelled, I still have my moments. Certain situations encountered today might induce another flashback if I read or see another person’s story similar to that of my own. Just as of recent those individuals include an ushering friend from church, a lady who participates in parent/child swim lessons with me, and as of this morning, a testimony video I just saw online. Nobody means to bring back these memories I’d rather forget. Like the wind is certain to eventually blow the tufts off a dandelion, the recollections of my depression grow like seeds inside me. No matter how much Roundup is used, you always miss some.

I remember those times. I remember thinking I didn’t want to scare my wife, refusing to tell her anything. I remember putting on a fake smile at church, work, basically anywhere in public. Those closest to me knew something was up, but to a stranger I was leading a normal life. I wasn’t! I was living a lie, and I felt there was nobody I could reach out to. Not at home. Not at work. Not with my closest friends. My feelings were too foreign to them. Nobody would understand. I mean why talk about things they had never felt before, right? So I kept it all to myself. I tried beating my issues on my own, failing miserably, and it wasn’t until I finally had a summer off in 2012 that I realized I needed someone else by my side. Someone whom I could turn to 24/7. Someone who would never leave me. Someone who knew me inside and out already–even before I was born. If you’re on this website, you know who I’m talking about … I certainly hope.

Enough about the past. Fast forward to now. Here’s me wondering how I can give people like my old self hope. I’ve been reaching out to others in my own building for a year and a half now. I’ve seen colleagues broken down to tears on Friday mornings during our prayer group meetings, myself included. These are people that I can connect to. Shoot, we can all connect to them! We’ve all had a rough go at a time or two in our lives. The difference between these colleagues and me a few years back is that they had the support they needed. I had nothing. They reached out to the group, seeing God’s power overwhelm the room. I let my feelings fester inside until they could no longer be held within. They were enveloped by God’s love. I sought help through worldly pleasures that did nothing but further my depression.

These friends at work, they deserved this. And ya know what? If you’re a teacher in another building, you do too! Doesn’t that sound phenomenal? A prayer and support group that will take you in? Colleagues in your own building coming together through the love of Christ! And this type of group doesn’t discriminate. It takes anyone! From the seasoned Christian to the infant, it reaches out to all. Maybe your building has a group. Maybe it doesn’t. The point is that during my tenure as prayer group leader in my building, I have seen our group mold lives, challenge others to live for Christ, support one another, and simply let God’s overwhelming presence connect us together like pieces in a puzzle. Most of these amazing people I would not know on such a personal level without this group, and it has more than assisted me in my walk with Christ.

But here’s the question … how can other schools do this? How can I connect to other buildings, even other work environments outside education, teaching them what I learned in starting my own group? Do you know how many buildings are in my school district? I don’t have a CLUE, and it would be a waste of my time to go online and find out. I just know the number is beyond anything I could ever imagine. There’s no way anyone could go around to talk to all these buildings to support them. That is where the Christian Teachers Coalition comes in. CTC could unite these buildings with a single meeting. All I would need to do is fish for one person, just ONE person, from each building to get the ball rolling. That person knows their building a heck of a lot better that I do. That person has already built relationships that I could never even begin to create. And in that meeting amongst the leaders from different schools, I could listen to them, support them, pray for them, and encourage them to do the unthinkable.

Teachers educate other teachers all the time. They learn the latest technology then pass it on to their colleagues. Why can’t spreading the love of God be the same? Let’s say you already have a prayer group started. No need for CTC, right? The ball is already rolling. WRONG! This is where CTC takes it to the next level! If you already have a prayer group started, who says it can’t be improved? My group went through many changes this year, and it wasn’t until April or May that we really hit our stride. My school should be able to express what worked and what didn’t work, encouraging others to try the same ideas that helped us grow. It’s a Christian teacher PLC! We crunch results, we reach out to one another, and we pray for one another. We support other teachers with ideas for their prayer groups, even their classrooms!

Can you see the possibilities here? I could go on and on. Every day something new pops into my head. So, where do you fall in here? What are you going to do about this movement? Will you be the one cheering from the sidelines, waving your pop poms? Yeah, that sounds fun but I’ll let the gung ho Christians do this for me. Woo hoo! You guys are awesome! Give me a C … give me a T … give me a C … what’s that spell???? CTC!!!!!!! Two, four, six, eight, these Christian teachers collaborate! (Alright, you get the point.) Or you could actually get in the game and do something to further God’s cause. If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Sound appealing to you? Shoot me an e-mail or a response. You can contact me anytime at theteachersdevotional@gmail.com.

CTC: Spreading Like a Wildfire

I have this dream. I wrote about it earlier under a different post below titled “Planting Seeds.” This notion has grown inside me over the past few months, new ideas flooding my mind. New purposes. It has grown into something that is more tangible now, beginning to take form. It is being molded weekly by new ideas, and I am now to the point of creating a blueprint to make this happen. I have heard the urging deep inside me, and it would be a sin to ignore it now. It is time to put this plan into action. It is time to make it happen.

What if there were an organization out there that supported Christian teachers in public education? I know these organizations exist now elsewhere, but what if we started one from scratch? The way it should be done. What if suddenly Christian teachers had a support group to turn to? Teachers to commiserate with. Teachers to seek help from. Teachers to stand up for their Christian rights. New ideas could be shared on how to let Christ’s love flow through your classroom. Lives could be changed. Other teachers might see your successes and inquire how you made it happen. Christian parents of the student body would be applauding you from the sidelines. And all this because you had the right support net around you.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? It is time. It is time that Christian teachers in public education bond together, support one another, and share ideas to change the world. I have already been scoping out my team of teachers to make this happen. I cannot do it alone, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me to choose the best of the best, a dream team if you will. Magic, Jordan, and Bird would have nothing on this team! One mind is powerful, but could you imagine the most passionate Christian minds working together for one cause? All it takes is a spark to start a fire. But before we start this fire, let’s lay down some ideas …

1. The organization would meet quarterly at a local public location.
2. Teachers would share out what has been working in their prayer groups or Bible studies to support one another. As Christian teachers, we must have these support nets in our own buildings to connect with others and challenge colleagues to live for Christ.
3. Teachers would discuss how they are sharing God’s love with their students. This obviously would be done in a respectful manner that would not cross any barriers in regards to separation of church and state.
4. Devotionals could be shared to inspire teachers.
5. A website could be created to support those involved with the organization.
6. Teachers could pray for one another.
7. Building reps could report back to their schools and spread encouragement.
8. A blueprint could be created once this group gets rolling, letting other surrounding school districts follow our lead and begin their own support groups.
9. Once other districts got started, they could collaborate together to become even stronger.
10. Suddenly we move from local to regional. The idea is catching fire.
11. Before we know it, a revolution is started.

Now, what about a name for this group of Christian innovators in public education? According to the dictionary, a coalition is defined as “a union into one body or mass; fusion.” The fusion taking place here, connecting Christian educators from district to district, is all too powerful. Granted the beginning would be small, but can you imagine if the right people were connected here? Can you imagine if the genesis of this idea were spread by some radicals? I don’t know you, but I am tired of being ordinary. I want this fusion to unite Christian forces everywhere into one body, one mass, one organization more powerful than anything ever seen: the Christian Teachers Coalition (CTC).

It is time to stand up for ourselves. It’s time to empower one another and start a movement. How is it going to happen? I don’t have a clue. I’ll leave that up to God. And I already know that though God all things are possible. This supreme force has moved mountains in my life, and He will do the same for CTC. Are you ready for this? I can already feel the power of the Holy Spirit guiding me in starting small and going big. The question that remains is this … how big will it be? Will this ball start rolling because you were bold enough to step up and reach out to others? Or will it disintegrate into nothing because you were content in staying in your comfort zone, too scared about what others might think of you?

I can tell you this. Someone else would see you, and He would be proud. If you became a part of this movement, how strong could we become? How proud would Christ be for your boldness? Well, I suppose there is no “we” quite yet. There is only a “me.” I am getting ahead of myself. I pray for anyone reading this who is considering making this happen. I pray you will listen to your heart, erase all doubt, and simply believe in the power of Christ. I’ve held this power inside me for too long. It needs to be shared! And you have the power to share it too. So, I ask you again … what are you going to do about it?

Planting Seeds

It was about one year ago that I began my school’s Bible study. Through this group I have built friendships and strengthened relationships that I wouldn’t change for the world. Some group members that I barely even knew before have woven their way into my heart so much that I will never forget their impact on my life. Lives have been changed. I see people reaching out toward one another in love, and none of this would have happened without our group. Getting to school a little early on Friday morning might be somewhat of a challenge with my hectic schedule, but I wouldn’t trade my Friday mornings for the world!

I got to thinking the other day that every school out there should have a group like this. Every staff should challenge one another to walk the Christian walk at school, modeling Christian principles to their students and co-workers. People–teachers, students, and administration alike–should see these Christian teachers and say to themselves, “Wow, wouldn’t it be neat to have what these people have?” Every school should be so fortunate to build relationships such as the ones that have been built within the walls of our school. Then I asked myself the question of why not? Why not try to plant some seeds out there in other schools to get the same type of relationships started? It only takes a spark to start a fire.

My mind whirled. What if Christian Bible studies sprouted up in surrounding buildings in my school district? What about neighboring districts in our state? What if suddenly the entire Midwest was swept by this movement? Could we go nationwide? Could we expand beyond that to different countries? What if–and this may be the most amazing thought of all–a teacher in China did the unthinkable and started a staff Bible study amongst their colleagues? I had to stop myself. Ambition swept through me like a title wave, empowering me to dream and wonder. What if? Is that even possible? A smile crept across my face as I lay there in the dark ready to fall into a deep slumber. God’s whisper was crystal clear in my ear as He reminded me of my life verse: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Am I crazy? Is this idea too radical? Public schools all over the world starting Christian Bible studies in their buildings, changing lives and challenging one another to live like Christ? Sound off, please! Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below because even if you doubt this initial movement, isn’t the idea itself at least dreamable? It may take time to get the ball rolling. And yes, there will certainly be barriers to overcome along the way. Thousands of naysayers will emerge, and once Satan learns of this, don’t you know he’ll be spreading dissention to thwart it. But seriously, think of it … If God and Satan were to duke this battle out, who would win? Check your references. Go to Revelation 12: 9 and marvel at the thought there: “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Quick translation: the battle has already been won!

Good will always prevail over evil. God will certainly have the last laugh. As we Christians fight the good fight till our time comes to leave this world, God will smile at us, and our eternal life with our heavenly father will be our reward. Do you know what I say? Let the dreamers dream. Let the impossible become possible. One of my favorite movies of all time, the story of Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger, spells it out. Rudy, the passionate dreamer that he was, was told he would never play football at Notre Dame. His teachers, his family, even his friends told him that dreaming would only cause him heartache. But behind the few powerful mentors he had and with a willing heart, he made his dream come true. I have no clue whether or not this idea will catch fire or not, but at least let me dream. At least let me wonder. Give me something to hope for. Heck, give all of us something to hope for! In the midst of this society that is becoming more and more worldly, let us dream that tiny seeds of Christianity can spread like a wildfire, growing and sprouting into a kingdom that God would be proud of.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: