Christians who choose to work in the traditional teaching environment have a unique opportunity to step out in faith to bring positive and needed transformation to the workplace. As believers in Jesus Christ, our school campus is our mission field, and we can shine our light to the degree allowed (Matthew 5:16, NIV). Within the guidelines set by federal law, we have the freedom to share our faith in several different ways. Although it is both a privilege and responsibility to model and even share our faith with students and staff, we want to do so respectfully and with consideration for the established leadership of our school site.
Here are some suggestions that fall within the guidelines of the law:
Religious Education Through Biblical Accounts
We can teach about religion, including biblical accounts, when used as one of many historical texts. If we include religious music or literature in the curriculum for an academic purpose and it is balanced with other selections, we are within the boundaries of the law. Although we cannot promote Christianity above other religions, we can include the tenants of our faith as a part of the conversation about religious choices.
Answering Student Questions
Another liberty we have as a public servant is to answer student questions about faith or personal beliefs. As teachers, we should consider what is age-appropriate and refrain from proselytizing. We can also pray, read the Bible, and have spiritual conversations with colleagues when it does not interfere with our duties as educators and our colleague initiates or expresses interest in the topic of discussion.
How To Share the Gospel
Teachers can volunteer with a community ministry that holds religious meetings before or after school. In the same way, Christian teachers can be faculty advisers for an official school Christian club that is student-led. Within this context, we would ensure that the faith-informed opinions of all students are treated with respect. If you want further insight into how we can engage in faith-based activities at our campus, Teach with Faith, not Fear is a helpful resource.
As Christian teachers, we have a front-row seat to the emotional, social and spiritual struggles that our students and colleagues experience. We know the One who offers hope when life is hard. A gospel song that has been sung for years, “This Little Light of Mine,” includes a repetitive message that reminds us to allow the light of Christ within us to shine to others. When you walk onto your campus each day: pray this prayer. “Lord, please show me how I can shine your light to students and faculty today.”
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.