The field of education has been my life for the last 32 years! I have been involved in education either as a student, athlete, teacher, coach, or administrator since I was 5. Being on a school campus is what I know. It’s what I am familiar with. For me, September to June is my “year”. I speak in terms of curriculum, textbooks, athletics, homecoming, discipline notices, suspensions, and master schedules. Specifically for the last 14 years of my adult life, Education has been my career. I’m trained for nothing else! It has provided for me and my family financially. We’ve been blessed to be able to send our children to Christian school. So why am I walking away from it all? Why leave the comfort and security of a contract, insurance, and benefits? Sounds crazy, right?! Insane? Loony? Foolish? Irrational? Un-American?
Let me first state that I’m not leaving because I’m upset, angry, or frustrated with the system of education. I have loved every year since I took my first long-term sub position at a public high school teaching Floriculture. That’s right folks! Need a flower arrangement? Corsage? Festive centerpiece made out of a pumpkin? Well look no further…than your local flower shop because I didn’t know then, and don’t know now what that’s all about. I have had so many wonderful experiences with the hundreds of students I’ve taught over the years. The friendships that have been forged with my colleagues are life long. The field of education is and always will be a part of my life. The reason I’m walking away is because there is something in my life that means so much more. It means more than the paychecks, insurance, benefits, community, and friendships my career has afforded me. It means more than any position I have or could attain in this field. It means more than any of the awards or accolades I’ve received (which in education means apples, candy, thank you notes, and coffee mugs). So again, why leave what you love and head in to full-time ministry? It simply comes down to these two words:
“Follow Me.” ~ Jesus
Please know that I am not saying serving in education is not full-time ministry. Serving as an administrator over the last 5 years is proof-positive that working with teenagers is absolutely, without a doubt, full-time ministry! I’m not here to slam anyone’s career. I’m not declaring that if you are a Christian and have a job outside of the church or mission field, you’re living in sin. Please understand, this is my conviction, my story. I fully believe that anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ can serve Him completely in whatever capacity He has called them to. Teacher, mechanic, lawyer, stay-at-home mom, doctor, politician, janitor, etc. As long as Jesus is at the center of your career, and you are sold out, living for Him in what you do, then that is your ministry! In my life, the call is clear. I will continue to follow Jesus Christ in what I do and where I go.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a)
I’m walking away from my career in the same manner the tax collector, fishermen, and others Jesus called walked away from their jobs. They left to follow Jesus. To serve Him. To dedicate their lives to Him. To walk with Him. Learn from Him. To do the work that He blessed them and sanctioned them to do. The Lord has called me for a different purpose. I could continue to serve Him in Christian education for the rest of my life. However, I don’t believe He’s called me to settle down in one place. The door God opened for me leads to multiple locations, multiple cities, and even other countries. Ministering to the students and families in Christian education is a noble call. It has been a tremendous opportunity to assist those who are growing in their faith and lead them towards greater faith in the Lord. Coming along side of the families and partnering with them to raise, encourage, discipline, and challenge their children in the Lord has been an immense privilege. No doubt in my mind I have done what the Lord wanted me to do for the last 14 years. Although this chapter is closing, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been preparing me for what lies ahead.
Part of how I will be serving the Lord is leading discipleship and leadership groups, and bible studies on local public school campuses. I’m blessed to bring the Gospel to students who don’t have the opportunity to attend weekly chapels, bible classes, and retreats with their schools. Where scripture and a biblical worldview is not incorporated in to their curriculum on a daily basis. See how amazing the Lord is?! With 14 years of education experience, I can apply all that in my ministry to students, teachers, coaches, and administrators. God is so good! Such wonderful opportunities await to see how Jesus will lead and the Holy Spirit will work in locations that are not very welcoming to the Good News.
I stated in the beginning that I’m walking away because there is something that means so much more to me than anything that comes with a career. That thing is complete, dedicated service to my Savior Jesus Christ. That thing is doing God’s will in my life. So as Jesus called His disciples, He’s called me. Ultimately, I’m walking away from the comforts, pleasures, and financial security that the world has to offer, and running in to the secure arms of my Heavenly Father. I don’t want to be anywhere else.
Am I afraid of financial instability? At times yes. But I fight those fears daily because Jesus didn’t promise that life of service would be easy or financially profitable. He told us to count the costs. He promised persecution and hatred. So I take heart in these three words:
“Do not fear.” ~ Jesus
So with my beautiful wife by my side, we press on in faith. No contract? No problem. We trust in God that He will meet our financial needs. Through unwavering prayer and dedicated financial support from those who want to partner with us, we will not fear. We trust in the Lord and learn to be content in all our circumstances. I leave with these thoughts and encouragement from my God above for you and me:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
* Should you want to know more specifics about this transition and how you can be involved, please contact me. I’d be happy to share more details with you.
Rak Chazak! May God bless you!