If God is the goal, education is the medium. For how can you worship something you don’t know? How can you be a missionary if you are not taught how to? How can you be a business person, government worker, doctor, etc. if you are not guided and given the skills to carry about God’s mission in your life? This is why I believe that claiming your mountain requires education, making educators one of the most influential people.
When I was in graduate school learning about education, the prayer I kept praying to God was: God, how are you moving in the field of education? What does it look like to be a Christian teacher, vs. a good/humane teacher? I was inspired to love my students and sow into the next generation, but I wanted to know what bring a Christian educator meant because there must be a difference between being a good person and living kingdom minded. God is continuing to speak to me about this, but I hope the revelations I have received can be of benefit to you.
Current State of Education-Humanism
Many people view schools as a safe place to send their Christian children, but I am seeing that the education field is growing increasingly humanistic as are many other mountains of influence in America. God is being written out of textbooks, individualization is being celebrated, and teachers are constantly being pushed to be accountable for more, while students are accountable for less. This is all framed under euphemisms such as collaboration, meeting the needs of “all learners,” and socio-cultural teaching. Teachers are now not just expected to teach to the text, but to teach things the other mountains have failed to steward.
How is God moving corporately?
It is crucial that Christian educators stay aware of the spirits at move in our schools and stay in line with how God wants to redeem education for His glory. I am a firm believer that God wants to bring revival specifically through His young people in a student missions movement. Many will call this generation spoiled and without regard for authority, but I have faith God is using this generation to bring back unity into families.
From Burnout to Refreshing: As more teachers are getting burnt out at their workplaces, God wants to refresh educators by teaching them how to value truth/discipline over what the world demands—hyper grace/to enable unbiblical behavior. He is allowing teachers to experience healing for themselves and the value of abiding in God to love CORRECTLY. On the flip side, there are many teachers protesting with unions in frustration and hurt, but I trust there is a silent majority of teachers who are turning to God in prayer to seek aid and healing.
Empowering and emboldening: It’s true that people are speaking up more than ever, and schools are guilty of adding to the noise of an offended America. Students are being emboldened to even question long standing political figures. The seeds of improper parenting from the former generations are growing within our youth. Yet, God is empowering students through spiritual gifts and prayer to shift this culture.The prayers I have heard from my students have been more honest than I have heard from the most pious leaders. They are free from expectation and religiousness. They are so willing to move with the things of God. Although many students have grown up surrounded by voices of anger, teachers have the unique opportunity to help heal these symptoms of offense and empower their students in love. One could say that teachers are not only teachers of a subject but they are also pastors--guiding and shepherding in appropriate discourse, to be evangelists--sharing new knowledge and what God’s love looks like, and apostles--empowering and equipping the future heroes of faith to be all God has called them to be.
When I first started teaching, I thought I could change the world. I was unaware of the political side of teaching, and I had a naive and idealistic view of what love looks like. God put me in one of the hardest and darkest areas of California—a city full of crime, broken families, and poverty, to show me that it is the poor who will see God.
Teachers need to be in it for the long game, and often the fruit is not very visible until years later. God has taught me to be thankful for the small things—a student achieving success in an assignment, a student feeling known and accepted, an enlightening conversation—and seek His heart in prayer.
One incident where I have seen God move through small acts of obedience is when I felt an inclining to pray for a specific student who had been sick at school one week. I decided to get him some tea in class the next day. After class we walked together to get some more hot water for his tea. Along the way, I asked him why he got sick. He told me that he had gone to a Muslim retreat that past weekend. This opened up a conversation to have him attend our own church’s retreat where he was saved the first night. The God of the harvest is so faithful to the small yet valuable sacrifices of teachers and uses small moments like these to bear much long-term fruit.
God works directly, but there is often much joy in the hints of Him I see embedded into the framework of education. He is our great Teacher, the One who shows us how to wield our weapons of spiritual warfare, and to pray in our times of need. The One who comes in close to tutor us individually and walk us through when we don’t understand His mysteries. I learn so much from teaching because I get the privilege and blessing to see children from the eyes of the Teacher--with the summative assessment and goal in sight, and co-laboring in the midst of the struggle and process of learning. It is true that not all are called to teaching, but it is truer that we are never exempt from the role of a student with God.