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Sharing Christ in the school

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–With school back in session, drivers are heeding the warning again to slow down in school zones. Public school buses loaded with excited children are rolling down our streets. If school hasn’t started back in your area, it will soon. The start of a new school year marks not only a milestone for parents and students but it also presents a great opportunity to share the claims of Christ.

Without getting into the church/state discussion, there are opportunities for you to tell others about Jesus. There is no legislation against sharing your personal beliefs when asked. So put yourself in a position for someone to ask.

Are you a student? Then be a dedicated Christ-follower on your campus. There are Christian clubs meeting on many campuses. Opportunities arise before and after school to meet with other believers for prayer and Bible study. If there is not a club on your campus, meet with a couple of friends and begin to invite others to join.

Are you a parent of a student? Be involved with your school and make sure there is such a club. Provide the donuts and milk and they will come. If you can’t meet on campus, meet at a restaurant or church close to campus.

Are you a teacher? You may not have the opportunity to teach a Bible class but there are abundant opportunities for you to reach out to your pupils and parents. Ask God to give you the opportunity to be a compassionate witness. When they ask why you go the extra mile, the door has opened.

My wife, who is a teacher, told me about a parent who brought a rose at least once a week to a different teacher in her school. He would give the rose to the teacher as a reminder that he was praying for her on that day. (I don’t know what he gave the two male teachers, but the females appreciated it.)

Everyone can prayer walk or “prayer drive” your school campus. If you aren’t involved in a local school, you can nonetheless pray for the board members, principal, teachers and students. Teachers and students can pray for others during the day. Pray for the people who sit around you and the people you pass in the hall. If you pick up your student at school, pray specifically for the teachers and students you see.

Students, you can have a great impact on your peers. Your friends and acquaintances are not necessarily interested in how much of the Bible you know. They are interested in how much of the Bible you live.

Specific opportunities arise almost every school year that will allow you to share Jesus with others. When families go through crisis — such as a sickness or death — offer to cook a meal or cut a lawn. A very small act like this may open a door to share the love of Jesus.

Even if your witness is limited in your public school environment, everyone can become a good inviter. Invite your friends to church events. If you are a student, weeknight activities at church are great places to invite friends. Weekend events and church services are good, too. Look for the person who is new to your school. Find people who want to make new friends. The opportunities are endless, if you look for them.

Same thing goes for teachers. When a student asks what you are doing this weekend, tell them. If there is something special at your church, invite the parents of your students. Don’t forget to invite your co-workers too. Find ways to invite people to hear the Good News.

So the next time you enter a school zone, slow down and pray. Pray for the “missionaries” and the mission field on your local campus.
Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s evangelism & church growth team.

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  • Keith Manuel