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Who was the well-known church father that said something like: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and when necessary use words" (St Francis Assisi)? I'm sure he didn't mean this to be absolute, because words are definitely needed. But I do know the power of what he inferred. A teacher effectively communicates a little by what is SAID, a little more by what is DONE, and mostly by who (s)he IS! So it is also true of Christians, and doubly so when the teacher is a Christian. I taught in an inner-city public school district for 3 decades and was not allowed to speak the Gospel. However, I strongly lived Truth every day in my interactions with students in encouraging them to respect and honor each other as I did them. In coming to my classroom, I wanted all students to experience the difference between dark and light--between an unsaved teacher and a saved teacher. For many students, my classroom was their sole time of security, comfort, and success. In my entire public school career, God only gave me a few glimpses into the spiritual world of whether or not I was an effective witness for Him. Here's one of them. A 4th grade student walked up to me in the hall one day and said, "Can I ask you a question?" "Sure!" I replied, "If I don't know the answer, I'll get it for you." He simply asked, "Do you love God?" After a moment of stuttering to regaining my composure, I said, "May I ask you a question? What ever made you ask me that question!?" And just as matter-of-factly, he replied as he turned to walk back to his classroom, "I CAN TELL!" I realized then the power of living the Gospel. I also realized there are two things in this world that you cannot fool--they both see straight through you--one is a dog and the other is a child! Moral of the story: "Your life is a sheet of clear glass--everything had better agree!"

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Thanks, Pastor Joe, for your great comments. I'd certainly like to hear a copy of your sermon!
Blessings, Dave
Hi Steve,
I have heard all kinds of comments regarding public schools and what Christians should do or not do about them and the whys of Christian Schools. However, I am unable to address any of your observations or comments. The only thing I know is the overwhelmingly CLEAR MANDATE God gave me 35 years ago at the beginning of my teaching career when I was faced with the decision of becoming a Christian School Headmaster or a public school teacher in an inner city school run by gangs. For me, God clearly told me He wanted me to go to the darkest situation so that my light would shine the brightest. (Notice I said, "For me...") So, consequently, I taught three decades in inner city public schools. With that mandate in front of me from the very beginning, I fearlessly spoke openly of God when the opportunity availed itself.

One day when the principal overheard me and commented I shouldn't do that, I immediately told him/her that that was EXACTLY what the kids NEEDED to hear. And the next day, I handed him/her a copy of John Whitelaw's "Rights and Responsibilities of Religious Persons in Public Places" to keep in the office. That was the last negative I heard from that principal.
Blessings, Dave
Dear Pastor ,
I havve a problem . I need monthly help to cotinue runing the God's people Radio www.manancialfm.ning.com

The Rádio will Continue only if apears the donates. I's terrible.

Gos Bless you,

Missionary Luis
Missionário Luis Correia said:
Dear Pastor ,
I havve a problem . I need monthly help to cotinue runing the God's people Radio www.manancialfm.ning.com

The Rádio will Continue only if apears the donates. I's terrible.

Gos Bless you,

Missionary Luis

Dear Luis,
You have entered a Christian discussion site on the web. Would you like to post a Discussion entry on financial needs and ask other pastors and ministry leaders how God has supplied their needs? They may be able to give you some great insights.
Blessings, Dave
I think your quote was by St. Francis of Assissi. Appreciate your comments--makes me think of one of my favorite verses in Eph.4: Live a life worthy of the Lord. With words or without, we are called to be good representatives of the One we claim to follow and love. Clearly, you were!
Poppy Smith,
www.poppysmith.com
www.poppysmith.blogspot.com
Thanks, Poppy Smith, for the author of the quote. I have three thoughts: (1) I listened very carefully to the hearts of my students, true to the Chinese proverb, "If you would be a teacher, by your students you'll be taught." (2) I also learned how students learn from a teacher. Students learn this much from what you SAY (put your thumb and index finger about a 16th of an inch apart). Students learn this much from what you DO (put your thumb and index finger about 1 inch apart). BUT, students learn this much from WHO YOU ARE (spread your arms apart as far as they'll reach). Who you are is entirely dependent on what you have allowed God to do inside you (sanctification). (3) In another Chinese proverb, I learned how students learn subject matter. "I hear (Tell me), I forget. I see (Show me), I remember. I do (Involve me), I understand." Music is not something that is primarily "talked about information" but is something that is "performed skills."
Consequently, it was easy to teach Truth in my music classes because music is absolute, like God Himself and His Truths. There is no such thing as "almost everyone" on the beat or "almost" on the beat, and there is no such thing as "almost everyone" in tune, or "almost" in tune. You're either on or you're off, as an individual and as a group. With running a music class of that high artistic quality and having my classroom management style reflect love, respect, peace, safety, and harmonious cooperation, it was easy to "preach" the Truth.
I challenge any teacher (public school or parochial) to seek out how to teach his/her subject in this manner.
If such an achievement was possible in an inner city school of unsaved kids influenced by gangs, drugs, and the worst family problems imaginable, I challenge any pastor to operate the same atmosphere of vision, integrity, and expectation in his/her church. Unlike many present church membership rolls, I didn't have an inactive list in my classroom. Every student WANTED to participate. Concerning behavior and musicianship, every time I raised the "bar" on my students to a higher level, they never failed to match and exceed it. In fact, it turned itself on me, I never found the limits of my students' learning levels or performance capabilities, I instead only ever found the limits of my own teaching vision and abilities.
Blessings, Dave
What were the other glimpses into the spiritual realm God gave me?
I mentioned in my initial discussion post of God giving me a few glimpses into what was happening in the spiritual realm during those three decades of public school teaching. I described the one above about kids and dogs. Here are the others. (2) A parent walked up to me one day and said, "We didn't know what to think of you when you had our first child. But now that you've taught all our children, you've literally changed our whole family." (I have NO IDEA at all of what happened or how.) (3) Christian parents came to me and said, "You haven't said so, but we know you're a Christian just by the way you love our kids, how you instruct them in the lessons of life, and how you run your classroom. By the way, isn't there anything else that happens in this school besides music? Because we only ever hear them talk about music, as if everything else died. Your music class is the topic at our dinner table every night." (4) My daughter was a counselor at a Christian camp during her college years, and a girl camper approached her one day and said, "Miss Sarah, is your last name Knauss? Are you related to a Mr. Knauss who taught music at Cochran School? Would you please tell him I'm a Christian today because of him!"
Amidst all the horrendous pressures of secular public school kids, their behaviors, antagonistic parents, and day-to-day battles in the spiritual, these were all the glimpses I ever needed to "keep on keeping on!" God, do Your work--I'll just keep on being obedient!
The well known church father was St Francis Assisi who said "Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words." I don't think he meant for it to be the new way of evangelizing. I think he was exhorting people to live out the bible and be a living demonstration of the gospel.

Agreeing that teaching is a little said and a little done :)
Hi Paige,
You are so right for being a living demonstration of the Gospel. With 35 years of teaching, I found out kids learn a little from what you SAY (5 degrees), a little more from what you DO (10 degrees), and mostly from who YOU ARE (360 degrees--the whole circle). The 360 degrees is my definition of what it means to be a complete living demonstration. What do you think?
Blessings, Dave
Dave,

Agreeing fully....when I stepped into being the children's minister I had to look hard at myself, asking AM I what I am teaching them. Oh yeah, and I have to ask myself that every day too...haha!

I liked your analogy with the 360 degrees....it makes me think of the verse "If my people who are called by My Name, will humble themselves(put others before themselves) and pray(have intimate relationship), and turn from their wicked ways(360 degree living)......then God is showing up and doing awesome things.
I think ministry or spreading the gospel should be done according to the "if my people" verse. If we get that...we barely need words to spread the gospel.

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