I am sure you’ve never been out in public with young children and been embarrassed by their behavior. Never, not you. Not your kids. But just…
The start of every school year feels like a whirlwind. Maybe it’s because I homeschool 4 kids, however, I don’t think I’m the only one that feels this way. We all have new schedules to work out, new routines to work on, supplies to buy, and a variety of other details to think through.
I’m not sure how, but somehow we all get through it, and we live to school another year.
But truth be told, none of us want to merely survive these initial weeks of school—we’d all much rather begin with purpose and intentionality. In fact, it’s a great reset opportunity, allowing us to make sure we’re thoughtful and purposeful with our daily lives (and the lives of our kids).
And one of the most helpful ways we can do this is to take a step back and remember that school is not only about school…
The Bigger Picture
While our kids need to do this thing we call school, and they need to learn some stuff, that’s really a minor issue in the scheme of life (and eternity).
What we really need to care about each school year is what an ambassador would care about. Because that’s exactly what we are as Christians (2 Corinthian 5:20). We live in this world, but our home is with Jesus and we’re meant to represent him. So whether we are interacting with teachers, or tutors, or coaches, or other parents, we should be looking to spread the life-changing, eternity-altering, good news of Jesus Christ. That is a goal we should have in our back-to-school plans and ambitions.
What does that look like? Well, we still need to care about backpacks, and binders, and books, and curriculum, and schedules, and all the rest — but alongside it all, we should be identifying who in our sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus. More importantly, we should be praying for those people, asking God to ready them for repentance and faith!
The truth of the matter is: God placed us where we are, with certain teachers around us, certain friends arounds us, certain neighbors and coaches and acquaintances, and we can be certain God wants us to purposefully represent him among them all. So let’s start just by recognizing the mission field around us.
Not only is a focus on evangelism appropriate and worthwhile, it also fulfills another key role we have: being an example to our children. Just as we educate our kids academically, we ought to educate them spiritually. And by that I mean, they should learn from us what it looks like to follow Jesus and represent him.
What a shame it would be if our kids thought academic success, or well-oiled routines, or cute back-to-school gear was what we cared about most. Instead, they should know their parents are especially passionate about the gospel! They should see they really care about non-Christians. They should sense their commitment to sharing biblical truth.
All that to say, talk about the gospel opportunities you hope for. Pray with your kids about the opportunities you’re looking for. And give them a front row seat to the excitement of sharing the gospel with people who desperately need it.
Back to School Prayers
While there are many things to do this time of year, if we take a step back and remember what life is all about, it’s not hard to see that a school year is about far more than school. It’s a new season with new opportunities and relationships— and specifically, new souls that we can impact for Christ!
So may your back-to-school preparations and plans and prayers reflect this eternally important reality! And don’t forget to bring your kids in on the process.