I have heard many Christian parents who are sending their children to government schools say something along these lines: “My child is salt and light.” What they mean by this is their children are evangelists or missionaries among the heathen culture of the government school.
As a mission committee member of a fairly large congregation supporting about 15 missionary families, I feel qualified to comment on this. Here are some of the things we require before sending people out.
They must understand that they are entering the front lines of a cosmic spiritual battle. We look at how many prayer partners they have. We look at their spiritual maturity. Have they weathered any storms with the Lord?
I can’t really see any five-year-old meeting these criteria, but a 15-year-old might. For the high school freshman that feels called to government schools, I recommend recruiting at least 50 prayer warriors that agree to pray for you and your classmates.
We look at the missionary’s team. We send people out in teams so that they have accountability and so that there is someone looking out for their spiritual welfare. Team members should already mesh well together. Usually they all work in the same village.
Again, a kindergartner is not ready to go into battle. The freshman would need a team of like-minded teens at the same high school. I would recommend at least two more making a team of three.
We look for people that have some training/short term experience. We want them to have an inkling of what they are getting into before they jump.
I would recommend an older student take the Perspectives course and participate in the Truth Project. I would also recommend that they be involved in several evangelistic Bible studies before entering the public school system.
So here are my recommendations for those of you who want your children to be salt and light in the government school system.
1. Do not force this on your child. Can you imagine forcing someone to be a missionary?
2. Make certain that you have a very solid Christian worldview. The Truth Project, Nehemiah Institute, and www.face.net have excellent resources.
3. Pass your worldview on to your children. The easiest way to do this is to homeschool. Another way is to find an excellent Christian school that trains specifically toward a God-centered worldview.
4. Show them an example of evangelism by hosting Bible studies in your home.
5. If and when they feel the calling to reach out to teens at the local government school, help them explain what they want to do and get prayer warriors lined up and a team of like-minded teens.