Do you want to see your community saturated with the gospel? A great place to start is considering how your vocation can promote the flourishing of your community and making disciples. In this guest blog post, Daniel McDonald shares how educators can plant the gospel in the lives of students and their families.
“An elementary education teacher spends over 1,000 hours a year with their students,” my director said as my wife and I began our journey living on mission in a small beach town in southern Mexico. Next to parents, teachers have the most time with students to invest and influence.
My wife and I had recently married and I had just graduated from seminary. We were pursuing church planting in the Pacific Northwest when the opportunity arose to serve in Mexico. As a young married couple, we believed we were missionaries where we lived, and sought to make disciples in everyday life. When the opportunity to serve at a school in Mexico arose, we desired to do the same thing using education as a platform to proclaim the gospel.
In 2016, we moved to join a small team of missionary teachers to plant seeds of the gospel in the lives of students and their families. The school is not a typical private school. It is an English immersion school that is affordable, accessible, and gospel saturated; gospel saturated meaning that there isn’t just a weekly chapel or Bible class, but staff are encouraged, challenged, and equipped to saturate their classrooms with the gospel.
We quickly realized that we joined a community of believers unified in the gospel and on mission to the students and families of the school. Inside of the school, we had daily opportunities to weave gospel threads through the normal classes and disciple our students towards Jesus instead of mere behavior modification. Outside of the school, we had many opportunities to spend time with our students and their families at the beach or over dinner. We were discipling our students and their families as we modeled the gospel in our lives.
As a fourth grade teacher, my wife had many opportunities to weave the gospel through the classroom and into her lessons. This happened so often that during science class, one of her students asked if they were in science or Bible! What an incredible thing that when we intentionally seek to saturate our hearts and minds with the gospel, we see that Jesus is not something separate from real life, but He is in all of life.
A Story of Gospel Saturation
We have seen several students and their families come to faith. One student in particular comes to mind, who came to our school when he was in fifth grade. His family was not religious and didn’t know much about God. Over the years, he learned about Jesus and was being discipled. When he was fifteen years old, he went to a summer camp connected to the school and truly understood God’s grace. It was not only at the camp where He experienced God’s love, but through the everyday activities of life at the school.
After coming to faith, he wrote a letter to our staff and said, “When I came to this school, my goal was to learn English. Now, my goal is to know Christ more and make Him known.” He didn’t come to know Jesus at one event, but through the constant love poured out through the teachers and staff of a school saturated in the gospel. There are many more stories just like his. God is at work using His people to saturate communities with the gospel.
If you would like to know more about GEM or have a desire to be involved in what God is doing all over the world through education, please visit our website at www.globaleducationministries.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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