he Christian mom on the other end of the phone
was insistent. She wanted to know how she could get her child’s teacher fired.
"What was the problem?" I asked. She explained that the teacher, a single woman
in her child’s public school, had recently gotten pregnant. She was concerned
that this was a bad moral example for the students and wanted the teacher
removed immediately. The caller added that the baby’s father had left the
teacher, and so she was single and pregnant, with little hope of marrying the
man. The Christian mom wanted to know how she should approach the school
principal and persuade him to fire this immoral teacher.
The next thing I said left the mother momentarily
speechless. "That teacher is probably feeling pretty scared right now—pregnant
and alone," I replied. "She needs a hug and someone to talk to." The Christian
mom admitted she hadn’t thought of that.
While I sympathized with her concern regarding the
moral message to students, the fact is the school couldn’t take any action
against the teacher. Besides this legal reality, what this Christian mom was
missing was an opportunity to share the love of Christ with a woman who was in
need of the gospel.
Christians today have many wonderful opportunities
to demonstrate Jesus to teachers in public schools.
I firmly believe that with 20 or 30 students in the
average classroom, there is at least one Christian family represented. That
ratio is a driving assumption of our national ministry, Gateways to Better
Education, which gives practical support to Christian families with children in
public schools. Imagine what could happen if millions of Christian public
school moms and dads looked for opportunities to talk to their children’s
teachers about Christ. The impact could be revolutionary!
A mom told me how God opened the door for her to
share the gospel with her son’s eighth-grade social studies teacher. During an
open house the teacher mentioned that he would include a section on world
religions. The mom used that as a starting point for conversation. The teacher
indicated that he liked talking about spiritual things.
Before Easter, she gave him our material on how a
teacher can legally teach about Jesus’ death and resurrection. This prompted
another conversation that ended with the mom giving the teacher a copy of the
A few days later, the mom’s son reported that the
teacher was spending the next four days showing and discussing the
JESUS video in class! In a subsequent conversation—while the mom was
volunteering in the school office—the teacher shared that his wife had recently
returned to her Christian upbringing, and he was wrestling with spiritual
questions himself. This time, the mom had an opportunity to explain the gospel
and how God had changed her life.
Each eight-page holiday card uses a humorous, non-threatening story to
persuade the educator that teaching about the holiday is perfectly legal. Each
card includes legal documentation to give the teacher confidence plus suggested
lesson plans that pass constitutional muster. They also include the U.S.
Department of Education’s guidelines on religious rights of students at school,
and they have a place for the parent to write a personal note to the
To order a Teacher-Reacher Packet, call Gateways to Better
Education at 800-929-1163. Churches receive quantity discounts.
Recognizing and seizing opportunities to share
Christ with teachers requires being concerned about their eternal destiny, not
just how well they teach our children. We must look beyond students’ needs and
see teachers also as people who need Christ.
Here are three actions Christian parents of a
public school child need to consider:
1. We are part of what God is doing to draw that
teacher to Himself. That teacher may never go to church, but each year God is
bringing another Christian family into that teacher’s life. As you and your
child enter a new school year, you are filling the vacancy left by another
Christian parent. Who knows how God used parents before you? Don’t skip out on
how God wants to use you this year.
Think of yourself as a missionary, not a tourist. A
tourist invests little time in impacting the culture or its people, only
interested in what can be gotten out of a brief visit. A missionary tries to
understand those in the culture, investing time and energy in meeting their
needs, looking for opportunities, both formal and informal, to share the
2. Pray for the teacher. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus
tells His disciples: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask
the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest
field. Pray daily for the salvation of the teacher. Pray and then watch
for how God uses you to be His laborer in the public school field.
3. Recognize your children’s school as a mission
field. Prepare for opportunities to show the love of Christ when you volunteer
at school, at special events or meetings. Be ready to share the gospel when the
moment is right.
For more information about Campus Prayer Journeys call 800-806-6940,
extension 5177, email email@example.com, visit studentz.com/prayer or write:
Campus Prayer Journeys, National Office, P.O. Box 552, Little Rock, AR
Matthew prefaced Jesus’ admonition to evangelize
with an observation about Jesus that is instructive for us. In 9:36 he writes:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. As Jesus saw people
weary of the burdens of life and without direction, He did not respond in
anger; He responded with compassion for their plight.
It’s easy to become angry about misguided programs
in public schools. Such programs, curricula or policies reflect people who are
weary, scattered, directionless. Certainly, there is a time to oppose school
activities or curricula that are academically inferior or morally and
spiritually harmful. At such times, parental involvement in meeting with
teachers and administrators is vital.
However, we also need compassion for a lost
world—including people in our public schools. As we are involved with our
children’s education, our example as Christians and our relationship with
school personnel may open up possibilities for us to introduce them to
Eric Buehrer is president of Gateways to Better
Education, a ministry of practical support to Christian public school parents.
He edits TrendWatch, a journal for educaton issues. For information,
call 949-586-KIDS, or visitwww.gtbe.org.
click here for:"Taking the middle school ground in
But the week before, Stephanie had attended a youth revival and surrendered
her life to Christ! As word spread, these mothers rejoiced—a wonderful answer
These six mothers represent a mighty prayer movement, Moms In Touch
International (MITI). They commit to pray together one hour weekly for their
children and their schools.
MITI was founded l2 years ago by Fern Nichols who believes that "where
prayers go, power falls." The organization includes 23,000 groups in the United
States and contacts with 89 other countries. Its vision and prayer focus is to
pray for every American school by 2003.
•Order a Moms In Touch Leader’s Guide and brochure from Moms In Touch
International, P.O. Box 1120, Poway, CA 19074-1120, phone 858-486-4065, email:
—Lettie J. Kirkpatrick
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC