Teaching as ministry

Classroom teachers have the opportunity/responsibility to minister every day to the the children and young people in their classrooms by what they teach, how they teach, and who they are as representatives of Jesus.

If the Bible is irrelevant to the most important things taught in school, then it will certainly be irrelevant to the most important things outside of school, too. This is the devilish outcome of dualism. In the end, we all lose.

Is it any wonder the biblical foundations for law, civil government, economics and family that once provided accepted harbor lights for our society have been replaced? The incessant move toward the secularization of education and the privatization of Christianity has been enormously successful, being expedited greatly through elementary and secondary schools.

Is it any wonder our youth are disinterested in church today, since Christianity is deemed irrelevant to the majority of their waking hours?

What would your church and pastor do if the superintendent of your local public school district walked in and said, “We want to turn the leadership of our public schools over to your church. You can teach anything you think is necessary to provide children a quality education. By the way, the government will fully fund the schools.” How would your church leadership team respond? You may be thinking that will never happen, but in some places in America, it is essentially happening.

When was…

  1. The last time teachers in your congregation were publicly prayed for
  2. The last time current issues in education featured in a sermon
  3. The last time a teacher spoke about his/her work publicly in a service
  4. The last time a pupil spoke about his/her work publicly in a service

Dr. Roy Lowrie in “Christian School Administration,” The Christian Teacher (May 1960),1 listed 22 objectives for Christian schools. As I considered his list almost 60 years later, I wondered what such a list should look like in 2017. The principles of a Christ-centered education are not restricted to any specific time and place, but our focus is definitely shaped by our environment. Should there be additional objectives now? Should any of these be removed? Would changing the order better reflect the needs of students today? After all, the digital environment in which students now live, did not exist in 1960. I noticed that #19 was written from the perspective of an active participant in what God was doing in in the USA, but changing "American heritage" to "national heritage" could better reflect what we now see God doing throughout the world. What do you think? Do you have a comprehensive list of objectives that guide your decisions?

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen"

The Great Commission, as it is known, is broader than many Christians realize. First of all, it involves Christians being sent into all the world. "As my Father hath sent me," said Jesus to the disciples, "even so send I you" (John 20:21). Then, just before His return to heaven, He told them what they would do as they went, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth." But how could they (or we) possibly do such a thing? "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8), was His statement.