Written by Donna Stief, Bible2School
I had the distinct honor of participating on a panel at this year’s Ohio conference. First, thank you for welcoming me and my fellow Bible2School (B2S) colleagues from Pennsylvania to join you! We were thoroughly impressed and blessed to have met the Ohio School Ministries members. Afterward, we traveled home and had a few hours to reflect on how passionate and dedicate your participants are about Released Time programs and reaching public school children for Christ. The energy in the room and commitment to excellence was undeniable!
As the last panelist for the “Doing What Needs Doing” Administrators/Board Members session, it was a privilege to hear each panelist educate and advise on best practices before I summed up the session at the end. I recall telling the attendees that I felt like standing behind each panelist as they spoke, cheering them on, as their words were true, critical and essential to the health of any release time program.
The overarching theme of the session originates from 1 Corinthians 14:40 “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way”. I don’t think the Good Lord would mind if I add “legal” as a description of “fitting and orderly”, after all, it is HIS program. We are His stewards over Released Time. We are all responsible for operating above reproach. Whether you work in a secular or religious organization, being above reproach and being legal are two different things. Operating legally is not the high standard, but rather the bare minimum standard of what must be done; however, to be excellent for the Lord and to be above reproach we are to implement best practices and policies that supersede the law (when it makes sense to).
School Ministries Ohio is spot on for incorporating this session into the agenda for its attendees. It’s no secret that the secular culture we live in is adverse to Christianity. We should expect that. We must also keep in the forefront of our minds that Jesus is the friend of sinners, seeking to save the lost. Opposing forces are out there. We need not be afraid, but we also must recognize we can be a target to our adversaries and must do our part and do it well.
What is the best thing you can do organizationally to protect the ministry?
1 Corinthians 14:40 “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way”.
Be above reproach. If you need to tighten up the reigns or make changes in your program, now is the time and you do not have to do it alone. Recourses and support are available through School Ministries and School Ministries Ohio. When we all band together to protect our ministry, we strengthen the ministry as a whole and God will use and grow us for HIS Kingdom! Blessings to everyone and always be excellent!