As Christians we are called to be prophets, priests and kings. As Christian school teachers we are called to be servants. As teachers it is also our calling to be leaders. But how do we do this? How can we be prophets, priests and kings yet servants? How can we be leaders and also serve others? Who do we follow as an example?
As prophets, we must consciously interpret subject matter in a biblical view. Through this we must show the student what effect his faith has on every aspect of his life.
As priests, we must, by our own walk, show the student the truth and faith we live and are trying to communicate to him. If we do not live what we teach to be true, the student is not likely to believe what we teach is the truth.
As king, we must rule. It is important to remember, however, that we rule under Christ and must not use this authority wrongly. We must rule in love, always teaching the student that there is one greater to whom they owe their obedience.
In all this, as prophet, priest and king we must be servants. We are servants to the students and to their parents. We must remember that in all we do we may not take away from the authority of the home. We must assist the parents in bringing up their children “in the fear and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) We are servants of God and are called by Him. To Him belongs the glory and honor, for without Him we can do nothing. To God we must ultimately answer for what and how we teach.
For this calling, God has given us the perfect example to follow in Jesus. Jesus Himself is our only Prophet, our Great High Priest, our Eternal King and yet a lowly servant. All this is shown to us in that; as Prophet, He instructs us by His Word and Spirit; as our Great High Priest, He sacrificed Himself for us in His atoning death and intercedes for us by the Father; and as our eternal King, He reigns over us, protects us and leads us. (Doctrinal Review, Question 30) That He is a lowly servant is shown to us in His lowly birth, His washing of our feet and His death on the cross for us.
We must remember that all this must be done in love and with much prayer. If we do not have love, our teaching is meaningless and bears no fruit. We see this in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: (Chapter 13:1-3 A.S.V.) “If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am become a sounding brass or a clanging symbol. And if I have the gift of prophesy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.”
The apostle Paul and Jesus teach us that through prayer we can accomplish anything.
“…but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6) “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22) Our responsibility then, as teachers, and servants is to rule, nurture, and serve as an example for our student in love, through earnest prayer to God.
- David J. Engelsma; Reformed Education; Federation of Prot. Ref. School Societies; 1977
- Norman E. Harper; Making Disciples; Christian Studies Center; 1981