Christ's Methods Alone
e are now almost to the end of another school year. Another group of students that have been introduced to Jesus or had that relationship deepened by Christ-centered teachers. It is important that we share content and develop the intellectual environment that helps students to be lifelong learners. Yet, if we do not share our personal relationship with Jesus and help the students to know Him better, we are less than we should be.
Most of us will have a bit of a break over the summer. We all need it! Being a teacher, and in some particular ways an Adventist teacher, is a very, very intensive position. Grading papers, developing lesson plans, providing classroom management, and playing control tower agent to helicopter parents, etc. is grueling, and in many cases unappreciated by those that we serve. Here is why we do what we do every day:
“The great principles of education are unchanged. . . . for they are the principles of the character of God. To aid the student in comprehending these principles, and in entering into that relation with Christ which will make them a controlling power in the life, should be the teacher’s first effort and his constant aim.” (Education p. 30)
This summer in the middle of the time you need for yourself, remember that you need to renew your spiritual batteries as well. You give so much, and students take so much, that it is important that you have something to give to them. Many of you have heard me say that spirituality is caught not taught. You can be the best teacher, yet if you have nothing for students to catch from you spiritually, you are not fulfilling your role in God’s plan for your life, or for your students.
I spent some time googling quotes for this piece. It was interesting that most sites that spoke about teachers sharing spiritually with their students used the term GURU. Teachers should be gurus in the life of their students and lead them down a path of enlightenment; Eastern Mysticism masquerading as spiritual guidance. You see, we cannot lead our students down a path alone. It is not up to us alone to convince students to trust God with their lives. It is our purpose to share the Jesus that is real to us, who you trust with your life. Only then, using “Christ’s methods alone”, can we help our students know Jesus in a way that will change their lives. Hopefully He has changed yours!
Dr. Larry Blackmer
VICE PRESIDENT, EDUCATION
Larry has served at Grand Ledge Academy in Grand Ledge, Michigan, as both teacher and principal; at Adelphian Academy in Holly, Michigan, as vice principal and boys’ dean; and as principal at Mount Pisgah Academy in North Carolina and Takoma Academy in Takoma Park, Maryland. Larry also served for seven years as associate superintendent in the Michigan Conference. He also served as superintendent of schools in the Idaho Conference. Prior to serving as the vice president of education for the NAD, Larry served as associate director of education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. His duties include secondary education, marketing and technology.