This Sunday, September 23rd, is Educator Sunday! It is a special Sunday in churches across America to honor educators in their high calling. Even if you never heard of Educator Sunday before, why not mention this opportunity to pray for the educators in your congregation. It doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take preparation. It doesn’t even take a lot of time. All you need is love and honor for those who are serving children in the public, private, charter and home school settings. When educators feel the support of their church community, it releases them to minister to the children God called them to serve. Did you realize that the public schools are the largest mission field in the world? There are millions of students and parents whose lives we touch that do not know the Lord. Educators are in a godly position to influence and though we always pray that every child has the opportunity to be positively influenced by our teachers, we know that is not always true. Praying for the teachers in the school where your children attend is a covering needed. Honoring the educators who attend your church speaks volumes to those who are “in the trenches.”
A simple suggestion for Educator Sunday is for the pastor to ask all the educators (administrators, paraprofessionals, and teachers) to stand and be recognized. The pastor and congregation can then pray over them and for them in a manner and style that is customary to their church. The pastor can briefly explain to the congregation the incredible role that teachers play as missionaries in all settings, public/private or home school. Finally, the pastor can commission these educators to be Jesus in their schools. You see, we all know, particularly in the public schools, that we cannot establish a religion, but every educator can “Be Jesus” to those children and treat them as He would have. What an impact our Christian educators can make in a school district when they are empowered by their church to be missional in their high calling and legal and graceful in their approach.
Christian Educators Association International, CEAI, since 1985, has named the Sunday before See You At The Pole, as Educator Sunday. It does not have to be that particular Sunday, especially if you want to prepare a special Sunday for all the educators in your church, but that pattern has helped congregations honor both the teachers and prepare the students for the incredible honor of praying for our schools. (More about what teachers can and cannot do on See You At the Pole coming in the next post!) CEAI has downloadable resources to help you plan and celebrate Educators Sunday on our website. It includes a brochure describing the event and bulletin inserts in a couple forms so you don’t have to recreate the wheel.
Educators are in a position to be the most influential people in the world. They teach and prepare us for all the other jobs and positions we may hold in life. National Teacher Day in May is a great way to celebrate educators, but Educator Sunday is a much more spiritual and empowering way to recognize how our teachers must answer to God first for all they do and be reminded of how important it is to guard every word, every lesson and hold up their position as the high calling it is. May God bless the educators of our great nation and in our congregations across America.
Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.