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Lutheran School Teachers – Truly the most powerful people in the world!

As I begin to get ready this summer for year 40 in ministry in the LCMS, it’s a good time to reflect on how powerful Lutheran School Teachers can be and are to be for the Lord Most High. I have spent most of my ministry in the CNH District and the last two years here in the PSD; it has been an honor and privilege to be in ministry with a great number of people who are individuals after God’s own heart.

In our calling as Lutheran School teachers, I believe there is no occupation more powerful, caring and meaningful in our society. We will always need teachers to educate the current and next generations–and we have the honor and privilege of doing this in a Lutheran School. It is not a profession that should be taken lightly. It truly is a calling from the Lord that is a lifetime expectation. As I reflect on this, the following passages that come to mind:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:11-15

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:14-17

One of the best and/or most exciting things about teaching is that each day is another opportunity to experience new and wonderful things with our students. So much of a student’s ability to learn begins with us as teachers in the classroom. We have the opportunity and responsibility to set the tone as our students enter the room and throughout our time with them. At times, it will not go as expected, and we need to adapt and overcome and embrace each and every moment to do ministry. Every interaction we have with the children, parents, and fellow staff is a teachable moment. We should never dismiss those moments or take them lightly.

In my administrative days, working with my staff, I would share with them that our profession of being a Lutheran Day School teacher is not easy and at times we may never know what impact we will have on those we interact with. Back in the day when gas stations had people who pumped your gas for you, checked your tires, washed the windshield, etc., the attendant knew  they did a great job if the customer left feeling satisfied and pleased. We as teachers may not know the difference we make until years later or maybe never at all. We need to make the most of every moment we are given to share the Gospel and to love those God has entrusted to our care each and every day.

I have used the video clip, “Get Service,” many times over the years to show how we can use the times and places that God provides for us if we can just remember to follow and do His Will. Here is the link for it: 

We need to have the mind and heart of Jesus all the time and in every place. Each moment in time is precious.

As I close out this devotion, I am reminded of a powerful song that has stuck with me over the years, “Seize the Day” by Carol Arends. Here is a link to it: . My prayer for you is that, as you listen, you may find rest, relaxation, and a renewed spirit to be used by God in this most powerful profession for this coming school year.

To God be the glory forever. Amen

Dan Spiva, Emmaus Lutheran School, Alhambra, CA


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