I have the great privilege of leading an incredibly wonderful Christian school system. We have a preschool, two elementary schools and a junior high. About 70 people serve on our two campuses. And I have deep respect and appreciation for all of them. They are Christian leaders in our communities and they are the “cream of the spiritual crop.”
With them in mind, I recently read an article entitled The Spiritual Lives of Teachers. It was written by June Hetzel and David Costillo and the article appears in the “Christian School Educator.”
A survey was done in May 2013 that involved over 1500 teachers who live in 38 countries. The majority teach in Christian schools, some in international schools and a small percentage in public schools. The purpose of the survey was to explore three themes: “the centrality of one’s relationship and dependence on God in teaching, the dispositions of the Spirit and relational harmony that is reflective of life in the Spirit.”
The study indicated that prayer and corporate worship are the most frequently exercised spiritual disciplines with fasting and retreating being the less often utilized. The study concluded that teachers (and I would include all spiritual leaders in this group) are most vulnerable when they are too busy and highly fatigued. Their spiritual lives tend to erode as they futilely attempt to do God’s work their way.
The spiritual attacks on these folks are real. They struggle with pride, busyness, and the neglect of spiritual priorities. Their frustrations include internal struggles like discouragement and self doubt and relational discords that show up as impatience and a critical spirit.
As I read the article, I couldn’t help but think…teachers and other spiritual leaders are real people. They struggle with some of the very same issues everyone else does. But their work puts them on display and that display can occasionally leave them open for attacks by the enemy.
So this week, can I please encourage everyone to stop and pray for the Godly teachers and other spiritual leaders in your area? Pray that they are immersed in God’s word on a regular basis. Pray that prayer is a natural part of their every day experience. Pray for their marriages and their children. Pray that they would balance life and get sufficient rest. Pray that there would be fruit as a result of their efforts.
These are real people…and they deserve your consistent prayer support. Start today!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel