My first post was in a very rough comprehensive school where there was no Christian witness. Thankfully, I found that there was another believer at the school, who was also in assembly fellowship. I approached him to see if we could start a Christian Union (C.U.) at lunch time. He agreed to help, whenever possible, if I organized it. The C.U. started within weeks of my arrival at the school. Initially, there was a great response from the students and I was amazed to see so many attend regularly. We shared the gospel and provided opportunities for the students to ask questions. We had a special session which was specifically geared to this at the end of each term. Everyone at the school knew that I was a believer and they were happy for me to run the C.U. This opened up very many opportunities to witness to staff as they wanted to know why I chose to teach maths instead of R.E. My reply was that if I taught R.E. they would think that I only did it for the money. However, doing it this way had a greater impact through the testimony of my sacrifice of time and energy to bring the good news to students.
Many heard the gospel through this avenue as over thirty children attended regularly and, on special occasions, the numbers rose to over one hundred. Specific topics for the meetings were announced in school assembly, on notice boards in school and in my teaching room. There were occasions when teaching colleagues were personally invited. Some came, especially when former students they had taught were invited in to speak.
My teaching career saw me eventually move on to a grammar school. The opportunities to present the gospel and influence people were numerous. Occasionally, I had opportunities to invite visiting Christian speakers to address a school assembly. On one occasion I was able to arrange for a visiting Christian speaker to address three hundred sixth form students as part of their preparation for university.
Some years I was able to influence up to eighty students to attend Christian youth camps for a week when they would hear the gospel each day as well as enjoy other activities provided. I was also able to advertise outreach meetings such as local Gospel Tent meetings as well as other activities taking place in our local Gospel Hall.
I found that living the Christian life and doing my job well as ‘unto the Lord’, Eph. 6. 5-7, spoke volumes to others and gave ample opportunity to witness to staff. Some did not like ‘born-again Christians’ and made it obvious. Generally, if people were in my company they would not swear or speak ill of the Lord but when people did someone would remark, ‘Dave is here’ and it stopped. If any difficult Bible questions arose from crosswords they would always ask me. Further, if any readings or topics were required either by staff or the Head for assembly they would ask for relevant passages and the relevant points, thus providing further opportunity to witness. It was known that I did not attend pubs for birthdays, goon pub crawls or gamble and often, when I was invited to, others would confirm that ‘Dave does not do those things’. This saved me justifying my position. Having taken my stand, others had high standards for me.
I feel it is vitally important for believers to pray about pursuing careers that will not compromise their Christian testimony. Christians should seek employment that will provide opportunities to witness to others. This can be a most effective testimony for the Saviour today.