Five ways to make a difference for God at school
Simple tips to help you shine a light for Jesus in class and with your friends.
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. This is a small step to take to show people you care about them, and will help you build relationships for Jesus' sake.
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. If they are open to it, keep a list of their requests and tell them you're going 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 you care about them – and so does God. Speak the truth loudly and regularly to help counter the negative voices in their lives. Pray for bullies and invite the hurting to join you at lunch, in social activities, or at youth group.
4. Invest fully in whatever you do
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. Giving your all in whatever you do lets people know you are an authentic person who cares about others.
5. Enjoy school, but keep it in perspective
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 seeking wordly acclaim rather than making our Saviour known in this world. Be a light in your school. Yes, enjoy the dances, work hard, and reach goals. But just make sure the things of this world don't become more important to you than the maker of the world.