How to Be A Christian in Today’s Public Schools
Going to school today isn’t what it used to be when any of us parents went to school. Being a young parent about to send my oldest to kindergarten, I have become aware of the major differences that schools have made in the eight years since I graduated high school. In the relatively short time it has been since I graduated high school, there has been much that has changed. When I graduated high school, the first iPhone had just launched, alternative lifestyles were still considered taboo, and the majority of my peers identified as Christians. In less than a decade, so much has changed. We now have iPads and iPhone6, the alternative lifestyles of homosexuality and transgender are openly accepted and celebrated, and Christianity has become irrelevant and in many cases the offending party.
One might ask how did all this change happen? While there may be some explanations to that question, the reality is it’s where we are now and for today’s students it’s going to be different than what we experienced. Here is my attempt to help parents and students alike understand how to be Christian’s in today’s schools.
Set A Firm Foundation
We must start on the foundation of God’s Word so that we can have a proper perspective to being a Christian at school. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This verse gives both comfort and calling our lives. As Christians the school environment can be incredibly intimidating and in many cases, can be a very dark place, but we must remember and rely on God’s Word that we are a light in the darkness. Meaning that God’s peace and protection surround us and that our light penetrates the darkness.
Know Who You Are
It is vital that students know who they are in Christ otherwise there will be great challenge ahead. If a student knows who they are in Christ before they enter a classroom, they will have a better chance of withstanding the pressures to cave to teachings and peer pressure that are counter to the Christian faith. We can’t trust today’s schools to instill moral understanding into our students meaning its important that mom and dad make sure they instill God’s character into their children.
If a student is firmly rooted in the Word and well established in the identity in Christ, they will be prepared to love well in their school. To love well means to love everyone, which means your friends, teachers, the unlovable, and those who are most different from you. How this may look might be different for everyone but the call is still the same – love everyone. It might look like befriending the outcast, encouraging the ones who struggle in class or even reaching out to the student who’s an atheist. Bible study and prayer may have been taken out of the school by the administration but they will never be able to remove a student’s ability to love others.
All these things are great but to withstand nine months of today’s school climate as a Christian, you’re going to need friends in the faith to stand strong. Just like the disciples in Acts there are going to be times where you need to gather to pray and encourage one another. There are going to be times where you are persecuted and hated because you love. And in these times you will want to have brothers and sisters to help strengthen you. Finding a Christian community of friends at school will help keep the first three points strong.
Live For Revival
Now students, you have probably been told that you are in school to get an education so that you can graduate and go to college or get a job. And while that is all well and good, I am here to tell you the truth. That is not why you are at school. The first and foremost reason you are at school is to be the light and love of Jesus to your peers. Do you think it’s by coincidence that you are in the school that you are in? It’s not, you’ve been placed there, placed in the right classes with the right students at the right times because God intended you to be there – to be there so that you could learn and so you could represent His love right there for all to encounter. So my last point is this – live for revival at your school. This will require your reputation, possibly a friendship or two but the upside is that if you give your life to obedience to God and to sharing His love you will see God move in powerful ways that will be untouchable by any administration.
Here is how to live for revival:
1. Love everyone
2. Work with excellence – strive for all A’s always
3. Be diligent and on time
4. Be helpful and kind
5. Pray silently always and out loud when invited
Today’s schools may be different than before, but the opportunities are endless for what God can do. Just look at these kids who saw revival in West Virginia last spring! Don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid. God will see every student through. The most important thing is to rely on Him and seek His face in all things.[/column]