Holy Spirit-Directed School: Part 5
Dr. Dennis Demuth Superintendent
In Galatians, Paul addressed the error concerning the keeping of the law (all of the Old Testament do’s and don’ts) as the ground for the sinner’s justification. “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal. 5:18). The question raised in a Spirit-Directed school is, “If I am being led by the Spirit, must I continue to do all things being required in the ‘law’ of the school - poli-cies, procedures, management guidelines, depart-mental nuts and bolts?”
The answer is simple, “Teachers must have the free-dom to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in the day-to-day operation of their classroom, yet adhere to a certain level of conformity to the overall direction of the school.”
Freedom vs. Conformity
One of the best illustrations on how individualism can be coupled with conformity was presented by Richard Taylor.
Recently I listened to and watched a great Symphony orchestra, backed by a 300 – voice choir. As I enjoyed the concert, the thought came to me - here is the answer to the ques-tions, how can I be free to be myself and still survive? That night I saw the truth synthesis of individualism and conformity. In the great varie-ty of instruments and voices in the correspond-ing variety of lines and parts, each person was richly satisfying doing “his own thing.” Yet he was doing it in such a way that ‘his own thing’ found its common purpose and meaning in a common work of music performed under a common director. The result was composition -harmonious and beautiful - on a massive, soul-moving scale.
The synthesis of what each teacher wants to do in
his/her particular classroom must coincide with the total direction and vision of the school.
When Christ becomes a conductor along with the Holy Spirit, and we do not allow self to unbridle our total indi-vidualism, then we will be taking one giant step towards God's perfect will at VCS. Although it may be important what happens in your particular classroom, it is most important that your individualism is in line with the total picture and vision of the school.
Being made in the likeness and image of God, allows individual creativity to be a part of our lives. Releasing our God-given imagination and creative energy makes innovation and improvement possible. It is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that preserves and enhances our true creative instinct.
It is the role of the Holy Spirit and the results of a re-newed mind that guide our creative impulse. When this happens, the beauty of creativity is enhanced; if not, our creative efforts become watered down. For example, coming up with a new way of doing math drill without maintaining respect for the teacher cheapens the crea-tive idea. It is much like having a new car but failing to keep it clean – inside and outside, thereby taking away from its newness.
Indwelling Holy Spirit
The indwelling Holy Spirit preserves and enhances our true creative instinct by cleansing us from tendencies to let things go, to do less than expected, to go the mini-mum mile, to being late to appointments, classes, not taking control of student behavior, etc. In order for the creativity of the spirit to operate in us, in our classrooms, and in our school, we must come to a place where we will not be content with mediocrity in behavioral, aca-demic, and spiritual areas.
Furthermore, we cannot accept sloppiness which is nothing more than laziness. It is laziness that prompts us to overlook students who are in the hallway without a pass, students who are disrespectful, use rude vocabu-lary, throw paper and pen parts on the floor, to name a
Obey the Prompting of the Holy Spirit
Whenever we see something that the Holy Spirit says is not proper and we take action to correct it, we pro-vide a foundation for the release of creativity.
As we acknowledge the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and purpose to do what He says, He will infuse us with a deep sense of responsi-bility to ensure that our students respect authority, pay attention in class, and are guided to apply their efforts to the tasks at hand.
This instilling of responsibility helps us ensure our stu-dents learn rules and apply them to do their best, to finish the job they start, to work hard to get the right answer, to love wisdom, and to choose things that are excellent.
Obeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit is essential if we are to help students develop habits of orderliness, carefulness, alertness, obedience, persistence, hones-ty, accomplishment, cooperation, discipline, industry, and confidence. In many ways, teaching these values is far more important than teaching academic content. Academics are important ingredients for success; fur-thermore, this success is enhanced when students are able to demonstrate these important values.
The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is there to intensify our desire to see our students become all that God intends. Working towards improvement in the areas mentioned above leads to high aims, high standards, and valued students. When we, as the prime movers towards improvement, put forth as much effort as is possible in providing quality instruction and good classroom management, our students will con-tinue to improve in these areas.
Passion for Improvement
In order for us to move our students towards im-provement in these areas, we ourselves must have a passion for improvement and be earnest about our responsibilities as Christian Educators and consistent in performing them.
It is our responsibility to cause students to perceive those values mentioned above as being important for life. In so doing, we are also allowing them to see the importance of being led by the Spirit of God.
As a Spirit-Directed school, the number of challenges with the nitty-gritty educational duties should be very few. Staff should not have to be prompted by memos and verbal reminders to be their best. Conforming to required expectations needs to become an inner spirit and not just a learned act.
The impulse towards improvement must stem from a Spirit-filled heart with its underlying motives to please God. When this becomes the case, compliance will spring from love in the heart.
Passion for improvement is nothing more than zeal as presented by Paul, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto him-self a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
Zeal replaces apathy and gives us a "want to do" atti-tude.
As we fully embrace the vision and core beliefs and values of Victory Christian School and determine to do our very best in teaching and training our students - with a goal of pleasing God, the Holy Spirit will begin shaping us into the Christian educators we need to be!
Purpose to be Led by the Holy Spirit
Pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty said that being led by the Spirit is “knowing that you are doing the right thing at the right time, in the right place in the right way with the right people.”
In his book, Led by the Sprit, he offers three simple things to do to experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
1. Desire to be led by the Spirit of God. "If you want to be led, God wants to lead you. Desire is the biggest issue. People, who refuse to be led, or don't even think about it, seldom realize the leading of God's Spirit. Just say, ‘Lord, I want to be led. I'm open to it. I desire to be led by Your Spirit.” John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
2. Listen. Listening requires sensitivity to the voice of the spirit of God which is perceived in the heart. “God speaks to your heart, which is another way of saying He speaks to your spirit.”
3. Asked specifically. ”James 1:5-8 says, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that waivereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord’… Be specific in prayer based on the desire God has implanted in your heart.”
Pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty offers the following actions to remain sensitive to the voice of the Spirit of God.
1. Immerse your spirit in the things of God.
2. Commune with the Holy Spirit.
3. Read God's word.
4. Worship and praise.
5. Pray in the spirit