How do you make Jesus your pattern…at home? at work? during leisure activities? in your rest?
To be honest, weaving Jesus into everything that I do has been something I’ve struggled with in the past. I think I’ve always tried to treat people in a Godly way no matter what the situation, but where I’ve really struggled has been seizing opportunities to actually talk about my faith and sharing with people what Jesus has been doing in my life. I’ve just always been very hesitant to insert Jesus into my conversations at work, whether it’s with my coworkers, students, or soccer players. This is definitely an area of my life that God has been challenging me recently to do more.
In order to do this, I know that I have to be more intentional, and in the past year of my life I feel like I have been. What’s really helped with this is, one, spending more time in God’s Word, and two, praying specifically for God to help me seize upon those opportunities that arise in everyday conversations in all areas of life. I know that God is still refining me in this area, but I really do feel like I’m being much more intentional recently. As I teach my history classes, coach my soccer teams, or spend time at home with my boys God has given me the strength to just be more open about my faith, and He’s allowed me to see opportunities where I can insert Him into my conversation.
How do you live out some of our core values at work?
When I was growing up I was an extremely shy student in school and speaking in front of large groups of people made me very nervous. So early in my college career when I felt like God was calling me to be a teacher I knew that I’d have to rely on Him to help me. Now in my 14th year of teaching I know God’s got me exactly where I’m supposed to be. A core value of ours that comes to mind when I think of my career is “we generously pour out our resources for a mission bigger than ourselves.” Working with young people is not always easy, and there are times when I feel like I’m putting in a lot of work and not making much of a difference, but I know that God is using me to make a positive impact in kids’ lives. His mission is bigger than me and there are times that I need constantly remind myself of that.
The core value that I am always asking God to help me with is “we serve by coming alongside people rather than completing projects.” There are times in my day where things get busy, and a lot of times I need to remind myself that I need to drop what I’m doing and work on building better relationships with my students and coworkers. By building these relationships, and really getting to know people, that’s when I’m able to “strategically engage” and “point people to Jesus.”
How do you live out some of our Behavioral values at work?
As I said before, an area where God is constantly refining me is the relational part of my work. I have over a hundred students this semester, about 60 soccer players that I coach, and many colleagues that I work with. I have to constantly remind myself that if I want to make a difference in their lives and point these people to Jesus then I need to prioritize them and build solid relationships with them.
Working at a public high school also means that I come into contact with all sorts of different people. So another big thing for me is trying to “engage culture without compromising Jesus’s values.” I need to find ways to connect with my students and coworkers, but at the same time I know that God has called me to live my life for Him. My hope is that my love of Jesus will shine through and that the way I live my life will prompt questions from other people, which will then give me an opportunity to talk about Jesus.
Does any particular Scripture inspire your approach to your job / craft?
One particular verse that inspires me at my job is Colossians 3:23. It says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” God wants me to work hard at my job and to be the best teacher that I can be, because I’m working for Him. I’m sure that everyone has parts of their job that they don’t enjoy, and working in education is no different. However, even when times get tough I need to remind myself that I’m working for the Lord and not for humans and when I do that it helps me to keep things in the proper perspective.
Do you have any stories of how Jesus has used you to impact your co-workers?
A few months ago I had a fellow teacher that needed to move his class into mine for the last period, since the air conditioning had gone out in his room. As his class ended I was busy working on something on my computer. When he started talking to me I could tell that something wasn’t right, and the Lord prompted me to stop what I was doing and just talk to him. Unfortunately, he had just found out a couple days before that his mother had skin cancer, and I think he honestly just needed someone to talk to about it. About 6 years ago my father passed away from cancer so I was able to empathize with what he was going through and we had a very good conversation. Not only was I able to provide him with some comforting words, but I was also able to pray with him at the end. It just reminded me once again that sometimes we need to drop what we’re doing and just be there for people and walk alongside them in their difficult circumstances. And when we spend time doing that God will open doors for us to be able to talk about Him.
Questions by: Todd Stevison
Answered by: Jon Brose