Spring has sprung, and with our calendar now reading May, most school districts only have a few weeks left! Spring break is behind us, and students and teachers are charging toward the finish line. Most aren’t in sprint mode though; it is more like limping toward the last day of school.
Our teachers, seniors, students, and parents definitely need our encouragement to finish their school year well. Most teachers are facing not only their own weariness but also the weariness of their students as well. Parents are tired of making school lunches, signing reading logs, and waking up early every day. Seniors are stressing over graduating, getting into the right college, and trying not to act scared about their last summer before freedom and tremendous responsibility.
We have a great opportunity to inspire, encourage, and motivate these individuals in our congregation to finish the school year well by:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
We want them to finish well. They want to look back at the school year without regrets, but this means persevering even when they are weary.
2) Glorifying God
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – I Corinthians 10:31
This is easier said than done when faced with the end of the school year, but it is possible. We can pray for them and encourage them to remember that facing each day with a positive attitude brings God glory. We should remind them that, as teachers and parents, part of our daily ministry is loving the children in our care well and pointing them to Jesus with the way we speak to them. We can remind them that they can only do this when they plug into the strength of the Holy Spirit. We all need His strength and empowering to finish well.
3) Remembering to be thankful
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15
Even though the year may have been long and full of great challenges, if we encourage them to take time to remember, certainly they will recall ways they have seen God be faithful. It might be a student that has made gains or a relationship with a parent that has improved or a child who has made a new friend. There is great power found in thanking the Father for the good we see in the past. It brings us encouragement and pleases His heart. Good always comes from being obedient and we can trust Him that if He commands us to do something it is because it is for our good as well. When we choose to give thanks, especially when we are weary, it turns our attitudes right around and gives us the motivation we need to continue.
4) Giving it their all
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24
Now is the time for them to leave it all on the field. We can encourage them to remember that the end is near and the Lord has good things for those who obey Him. Finishing well and doing what you are called to do each day with all your heart, as working for the Lord, is an act of obedience. That goes for the student who is asked to walk quietly in the hallway, the parent who is asked to make sure their child gets homework done and is in bed on time, the senior who finishes that last project well, and the teacher who tackles one more stack of papers that need to be graded.
Our congregations are made up of many, many people directly and indirectly impacted by the end of the school year. Spending some time encouraging our teachers, parents, and students will have a positive impact on the entire congregation. We are called to encourage each other!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – I Thessalonians 5:11
There are many ways to bring encouragement and many creative ways your church can speak life to your teachers, students, and parents during this final stretch before summer.
What will your church do this week to bring the encouragement needed to help them finish well?