Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
It was nice but truthfully felt pretty weird to sleep in just a bit this morning. It was also a nice change to throw on the well-worn blue jeans and t-shirt that is my standard fare for any day that I will not be teaching or preaching. Many great preachers wear suits and ties every single day, and I have no problem with any of them. But my day at church often swings back and forth between desk work and fixing a plumbing or electrical or other maintenance issue pretty quickly, so for twenty-five years, I have been a jeans and t-shirt kind of preacher until it is actually time to preach.
But a couple of years ago, I got an unexpected call from a wonderful Christian school in our area asking if I would be interested in teaching the first-period Bible class Monday through Thursday. As ultra-busy as I stay, I expected to say “no” to that question, but immediately in my heart knew that God expected me to say yes.
And I did.
For two years now, I have taught this wonderful class of young people, and in addition to that have also preached the junior chapel for the younger grades on Wednesday morning during second period. I still get to the church plenty early each day, and since we stay till fairly late in the evenings anyway, it has not been a problem to get all of my needed church work done. The only appreciable change has been that I get even less sleep than normal.
On a side note, I also get to be “the voice of the Mustangs” during basketball games, calling out the starting lineups. And if you ever heard the announcer for the Chicago Bulls during the Jordan years, you would not be able to tell much of a difference; I mimic him successfully and shamelessly.
As you perhaps can tell, I am a huge believer in and advocate for Christian schools.
The school year is just about over for the year for everyone across the land. And many parents are already looking ahead to next year and thinking through which way they will go. My encouragement to everyone is to at least consider a Christian school.
One of the things I deeply appreciate about Christian schools is that the teachers, staff, and administration do not just educate their students; they intercede for them. My practice is to pray for each and every one of my students by name as I drive to school each day. Many other teachers gather together before the students arrive and lift them all up in prayer.
Another thing I love is that every teacher and staff member views this as a calling, not as a career. Every single one of them could make vastly more money in some other setting or some
other career but has chosen instead to give that up for the chance to guide young people toward success both academically and spiritually.
The atmosphere is also worth the weight of an elephant in gold. Having grown up myself in a Christian school, having sent my own children to two wonderful ones, and now teaching in a fine one, I can say with confidence that they tend to be safe, fun, caring places. I love watching the kids interact with each other and the adults; it is like a big family. My students trade “dad jokes” with me. They care about each other. They have room to let their personalities shine.
The academics are superb. I breezed through college after graduating from a Christian school. My own two daughters are a year away from graduating with university degrees in teaching and nursing. My son owns and operates his own business. One of my students this year has been accepted into a nursing program; one is going pre-med, another is heading for her teaching degree, and another is going to college for sports medicine. These kids are bright, well-trained, and ready for college or career.
The spiritual component is clearly the best part, though. I have nineteen students in my class that learned the book of Romans inside and out last year and this year have gone through the book of Proverbs with me. Most kids their age have never heard of Hebrew poetry and do not know what parallelism is, much less how it works. These kids now know it well and can use it to dissect and understand the meaning of each proverb in the book. The chapel services are Spirit-filled and enjoyable. Each class prays together. Each subject is handled from a Biblical worldview.
It is not cheap. Sending kids to a Christian school does take a bite out of a budget. But I believe it is one of the most valuable investments anyone can ever make. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Christian school helps to make that goal a reality.
My junior chapel kids high-five and fist-bump me on the way out every Wednesday. We “Climb Sunshine Mountain” together each week. My high school class repeatedly asks, “You are coming back to teach next year, right?” There is a wholesome closeness in the Christian school setting that is utterly priceless.
Consider it. Pray about it. Talk it over as a family.
In the meantime, my jeans and t-shirts and I are going to enjoy the summer.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books and other resources are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner