Roy W. Lowrie, Jr., Ed.D. (1981)
A Keynote to the Christian School Teacher
It is an honor and a blessing to serve God in a Christian school. Being a part of the faculty and staff is an upbuilding experience over a period of years. The faculty and staff at your school are like a microcosm, a miniature, of the body of Christ. That includes you.
When you stop to think about it, it is remarkable to see how God brings the faculty and staff to the school to serve Him. First, God saves us and gives us spiritual gifts. Then He trains us in various schools and through many experiences. Then He asks us to serve Him in Christian education. To top all of that off, He has led us to minister in this particular school.
Christ is HEAD of the school. God, by the Holy Spirit, has placed each of us faculty and staff members in the school as it has pleased Him. In this local body, we need each other. I Corinthians 12 speaks of this. The school is one. It is not that the high school is better than the elementary school. It is not that the varsity coaches are better than the early childhood teachers. It is not that the administrator is better than the custodian. No, that is not the right way to look at it.
In this faculty-staff body, we all are part of one whole and we all need each other. This is true right now. You don’t need to be at the school for 5-10 years before you are part of the body. You don’t need a graduate degree before you are part of the body. You have your part now-and you have responsibilities.
The Bible says that the body of Christ grows by that which every joint supplieth. Each of us is to minister, then, to the faculty and staff as well as to the students. It is a precious thing to be in a Christian school where the faculty and staff understand and practice this matter of building one another up in Christ. This is far more than just developing nice working conditions.
There are several major ways that the faculty-staff body grows. The first is through sharing together in the Word of God. This is the highest form of ministry to one another. Nothing does more to bond the faculty-staff together. This is why devotional times together are so important. (To me it is unthinkable that someone would teach in a Christian school and then not be prompt to morning devotions.) This is why it is essential for us to all speak freely when the Word is opened. Devotions are not the time to share silence. We need the comments of each other.
Praying together is another means of building and of bonding among us. Studying the Word and praying are the highest forms of fellowship among us, even better than having coffee and donuts together in the faculty room, although there is certainly a place for that. It is wholesome to pray earnestly for one another for God does something in the life of the one who prays as well as in the life of the one for whom prayers are made. Although God hears silent prayers as well as He hears audible prayers, the members of the faculty-staff do not. This is why we pray aloud so that all may participate and be blessed.
Over the years God will also use suffering to build up the body. Faculty-staff members or members of their immediate families will be sick or hurt. Some will even die. These are times of stress, times when we are cast upon God in deep ways. God says that when one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Even though all of our hearts are hurting or broken, we are ministering to one another and the body is growing. Helping a hurt member of the body is a clear spiritual experience and should not be avoided because we aren’t sure what to say. The gift of your presence at times of grief says a great deal in itself.
God also says that when one member rejoices, all the members should rejoice with that one. Rejoicing causes the faculty-staff to grow. Good things will be happening. We need to be happy with those people, rather than morose because that good thing did not happen to us. Our day will come.
Keep your relationships with all members of the faculty-staff clear and open. As a result, God will work in you as well as through them to you. Avoid any schism. Together you will be growing in the Lord. When that is happening, the school will be maturing and the work of God will be going well in the lives of the students.
Think on these seed thoughts and you will discover other ways to nurture the faculty-staff body. My prayers are with you in this.