God on the Job

In January, I am going to teach a couple of classes at my alma mater.  Because it is a faith-based university, I had to write a statement explaining how I was going to incorporate my faith into the classroom setting.  I had been prepped beforehand that the wrong answer was to talk about starting class with a prayer or a Bible reading.  I’m teaching English, not a Bible class, and they were looking for something a little more subtle.

It was honestly a little bit of a stumper:  

How do I subtly integrate my faith into teaching English?

Basically, I concluded that since my whole life was to be lived to the glory of God, teaching English fell into that category.  I determined that I would try my best to imitate Christ in my personal interactions with the students.  I would treat them with love and compassion, recognizing that as college students, they are at a very vulnerable time in their lives.  Many of them have been displaced from their homes and everything they know, and are in a completely new place, where perhaps the only adults they know are their professors.  I will be mindful of that and try to support them personally as they navigate their brand new existences as college students.

Furthermore, as a Comp teacher, one of my main objectives is to teach critical thinking skills, which I believe are absolutely vital, both to a student’s personal development, and to the future of the church.  As Christians, we are called to interact with the world around us in a way that it can understand.  We need to know how do deal with different perspectives and different worldviews, and we can not effectively do that if we have not seriously examined our own worldview.  I have found that many students lack the critical thinking apparatus that allows them to do that; thus, one of my main jobs as an English teacher is to equip students to effectively engage with the “texts” around them, be they on paper, on the television, or coming from a pulpit.  The critical thinking skills they develop in Freshman English can serve not only to strengthen their own faith, but also to help them share that faith with the world.

That’s sort of the gist of what I wrote.  Maybe it was lame.  

But honestly, it’s harder than it looks.  Try it!  If someone were to interview you and ask how you integrated your faith into your job, what would you say?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. As a teacher, I have the ability to affect many lives…my parents, my fellow coworkers, and most of all, my students. Because I am a disciple and believe that God created me to teach, I teach with thr fruits that come from His Spirit that dwells within me. I strive daily and most importantly to love my God and to show that love by loving my neighbor. Through Him living in me, I pray that others see His face and His kingdom here on earth.

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  2. I’m reminded of the quote from Luther that says that the Christian shoemaker doesn’t show his faith by making shoes with little crosses on them. He shows it by making the best shoes he can and selling them at a fair price. As teachers, we can certainly be a witness by being unashamed of the Gospel and by giving our students examples of thoughtful, intelligent academics who are experts in their field and consummate professionals. This is great ammunition when they are faced with the caricature of Christianity so common among people who fancy themselves an intellectual vanguard.

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  3. Posted by courtneysteed on November 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Okay, mine is an easy one. Aside from being a mom (that is a no-brainer, so I will defer to my second job 😉 I am also an RN in a Critical Care Unit. I truly love my job, and love my pitiful little two shifts a month. Part of why I love it is because it is 12 hours of serving God’s children ..that is IF my perspective is right, my heart in the right place, and the Spirit is in me.

    I CAN do my job without those things – I will still get paid and I will still be a good nurse. I can go in there, give my meds, clean my patients and give CPR when the time is right. It moves from being a job to a 12 hour act of service in God’s kingdom when (because I dont always..I admit) I give each movement, process, and task to God. When I see the people that interact with, whether patient, family or co-worker, as people in need of comfort and a godly love.

    Before every shift I pray “please use me today” …I really am better at praying that before a shift at the hospital than I am at home. I need to work on that.

    I feel His presence the most when I am dealing with a patient who is dying. Then, I know I am ministering to both the patient and their family. I know that my role is one of comfort and blessing, and I need God for every word, every touch and every task. I am good about praying for his strength then, I couldnt possibly do it without Him.

    I think seeing yourself in the framework of working in God’s kingdom, wherever we find ourselves is the key to bring God to work with us. I can tell you there is a distinctive difference when I let me be there with me and when I dont.

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