Five ways to make a difference at school

Image: Five ways to make a difference at school

How to be a light for Jesus in the classroom.

No matter whether your school year is just beginning - or you're right in the middle of it - it's always a great time to use your life, words and actions to show the love of Jesus to those around you. Here are five ways you can make your school years count:

1. Learn people’s names

Our names are the word we long to hear most. It indicates intimacy, friendship, and being known. Learn people’s names and use them as often as possible. Seek out hidden people like maintenance workers. Welcome outcasts, new students, and quiet peers with personal greetings. Use their name in the hallways no less than you would your closest friends.

2. Thank your teachers and pray for them

Occasionally ask your teachers how their lives are going, and keep track of when they share aspects of their struggles with you. Keep a list of their requests and choose a moment to pray for them.  Follow up in the future to ask about the topic or situation happening in their life. Let’s not forget teachers are real people. They go through struggles, sickness and hurt just like we do, and prayer is powerful!

3. Defend against cruelty with encouragement

Fighting cruelty with cruelty is never a good idea. God just won’t have it. Seek out those who are bullied and intentionally build them up. Tell them who they are becoming and speak truth so loudly, insecurities are drowned in Christ’s love. Pray for bullies and invite the hurting to join you at lunch or in social activities.

4. Invest fully in what matters

How do basketball or art club matter? Alone, they don’t. But your participation, treatment of teammates or use of your gifts - these matter a lot! Jim Elliot, a famous missionary murdered by those he went to reach, writes “Wherever you are, be all there.” Don’t spread yourself so thin you cannot be fully present.

5. Be concerned for people, not popularity

Athletic team try-outs, grades, and goals can leave us clothed with competition instead of compassion. Dances, dates, and smiles in the hall can leave us wooed by wordly acclaims rather than making our Saviour known in this world. Be a light in your school. Enjoy the dances, work hard, and reach goals. Just make sure you’re looking vertically and not horizontal.

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