I can’t believe I just completed week 10 at Joy Christian High School as a first year professional teacher. I love Room 1501 and even more the students that darken its door everyday. I am still “taking notes”, and “the jury is still out” in regards to me speaking about the differences between being a Bible Teacher in a teaching profession, and being a Senior Pastor of a large and growing Church. Having now done both…I’m having fun comparing the two. One little thing I’m noticing, which I will blog about in the future…is that whether I am teaching in a classroom setting, leading my mission org called Return Hope International, or being a Senior Pastor of a Church on some street corner….they are all the Church.
I believe our Christian culture has done a huge disservice to the work of the Lord
by compartmentalizing Jesus’s bride.
What do I mean? We have mission orgs, Christian schools, other Jesus centered industries, but for some reason we only call the building on the street corner The Church. I don’t want to get off track as to what this blog post’s purpose is, but the day is coming soon where I will blog about this huge disservice. The Church is way bigger than what we have dismantled it to be by compartmentalizing it the way we have. Sadly, we as the Church are the ones who have done the compartmentalizing. We must change this. (Another blog, another time.)
So on this week 10...I only want to blog about one day of it…and it was actually something that did NOT happen in Room 1501, but in the Library of Joy Christian School at 7am on Wednesday.
Wednesdays at JCS are not only chapel days for our whole school, but they are also Staff Devotion day for the JCS Staff. I have been asked to lead these devotions and I consider it a huge honor. I am very grateful for the trust and acceptance that the Joy Administration and the Joy Teaching Staff have entrusted to me. I will never take it for granted and I always look forward to Wednesdays.
Week 10’s devotion was only a half devotion due to the fact that Scott Brown, JCS’s Executive Direction, asked if he could have 15 minutes to speak to the whole staff. I think Christ-like character is displayed when the boss asks instead of tells. When Scott asked to have the 15 minutes, he could have just told me, but he asked. I love to follow this kind of leader. If you are reading this blog, I ask you to lift the Administrative Staff up in prayer as they make tough decisions to lead Joy into the future. It is not an easy task and they need our prayer and support.
Today’s blog is not focused on what I said on Wednesday at the devo, but what Scott Brown said in his 15 minutes immediately after the devotion.
Before I blog about his 15 minutes, I think it is apropos to first take a look at some phrases I wrote down at All Staff Training Day back on June 30, 2014, before JCS school officially started. So…back on that June 30th training day…
Scott said,“It’s time to change the conversation.”
He also said, “Be terrible at looking backwards.”
So, this past Wednesday was a refresher, on those two phrases and others, that we as Joy Christian School staff all agreed on when we signed up to accept the teaching and administrative positions we were offered.
Scott, taking the time to remind us of our commitment to keep Joy moving forward with positive change and growing academics at JCS, is the mark of a strong leader prodding our team to stay in alignment. He challenged us to focus on the positive, to think about the things that are admirable and to work extra hard to keep focused on what the main mission is at Joy Christian School… “Building Christian Leaders.” He talked about how we will fail in attempting to accomplish that mission if each one of us do not keep our eyes on Jesus, and check our actions to make sure they are matching Jesus’s. I know all of the JCS leadership and teaching team agree that we want Joy to move forward with great success in its mission. I think it is headed in that great direction and it will take many other challenges from our leader and each other to keep the focus on that forward movement.
What was amazing to me about this past Wednesday’s devotion, which was split up into two 15 minute segments, is that the theme was the same and Scott Brown and I didn’t plan it that way. It’s amazing to me how God knits things together. Before Scott stepped up to re-challenge us all, I read the passage in Scripture that Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4-8.
“4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I hope that passage impacts you as much as it does me. I like to say, “You and I will find what we are looking for.” What does that mean? It means that if you want to find negative about JCS, you can go looking for it and I know you will find it. The same can be said for your part in your marriage, your work, your attitude, your life. If I want to find negative about any one or all of those in your life…if I look and start asking around….I will find it. It is a fact that you and I will find what we are looking for.
So…let’s look for the positive…I know we will find it too!
If you totally focused on the Scripture passage above throughout the rest of this week…I’ll bet you find yourself having a great week. In fact, I don’t think you’ll find a great week. I don’t think great weeks are found…they are made.
So, as a very dear friend to me often says…
“MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!”
Great days/weeks are made, not found. And I think it’s all about attitude and focus on the good that is happening all around us. I pray that your week is a great one and that you will make great decisions that lead to more Christ-like unity and impact. I’m trying to do my part and I’m always looking for others who are contributing to the great as well.