Approximately three weeks ago, I submitted an application to the Emerging Prophets Mentoring Programme with the Global Prophetic Alliance. On Monday, I found out that I was accepted to begin training online, effective immediately.
Right, but what does that mean?
As part of 5-fold ministry, the office of a prophet is to discern what God is saying at the structural level to organizations, in order to bring them into alignment with his Kingdom purposes. Since my work is at the intersection of Christianity and the Field of Education, I have been looking for greater training in hearing God’s voice so that organizations in these fields can thrive. While many secular school reformers or entrepreneurs use secular strategies to reform organizations, individuals called to the office of a prophet practice discernment so that organizations can Holy-spirit-led structural reform. Done correctly, these reforms lead to regional and organizational healing and wholeness. Check out more on the office of a prophet here.
The requirements for this program are rigorous, and is specifically created for those who:
As part of this commitment, I will be learning through recorded sessions, live Zoom sessions with the Global Prophetic Alliance, and an in person trip to Glasgow, Scotland, currently scheduled for November 2021.
Why the Global Prophetic Alliance?
Through hearing Emma Stark speak when she came to D.C. about 18 months ago and listening to the Global Prophetic Centre’s Pour Hour series, I have grown to respect the integrity, organizational culture, and framework of the Global Prophetic Alliance. Here is one of my favorite public teachings that the Global Prophetic Alliance has produced on their Power Hour Series.
Contextual Study: Writing Process
In December, I finished gathering the information for my Contextual Study, a 20-25 page research paper I’m writing for seminary on my (teaching job) school’s history. As of this month, I have begun to outline, organize, and condense the information I’ve found. I have various steps ahead in the writing process, but so far it’s been an encouraging and captivating labor of love.
Returning to the Classroom
Since doing middle of year testing this month, I’ve been surprised by how many students have managed to maintain their current levels of growth in spite of little in person instruction. While many students are breaking even as compared to their beginning of year scores in math and reading, about 25% have dipped and about 25% have grown dramatically. Unfortunately, these results loosely correspond to what students have sufficient supervision at home.
Starting next Monday, 2/3rds of my 3rd graders and 1/3rd of my 4th graders will come back to school on an every-other-day basis! I am confident that these students will remember the routines that we practiced in October, and with a few reminders, will be good to go. Based on testing data, my teammates and I are hoping to launch some socially distant book clubs, and I am hoping to develop some hands on learning opportunities students can do from the comfort of their desks. For me, this decision to pursue project-based learning is an effort to increase our collective joy and engagement at school!
Here’s a picture of me trying to hype up my fourth graders to pick up new materials they will need for learning at home!
- Planning my Vegetable garden for Spring 2021
- Vibing off the passion and fire others have for their field of ministry
- Grocery shopping with friends
- Open and honest conversations with my Dad
- Starting a book club with 3 ENTHUSIASTIC second graders in my neighborhood (for tutoring $$)
- Longing to read this new book
- Simple new strategies for exercise
Celebrating my Students
This month, I witnessed many breakthroughs with my 4th graders and 3rd graders!
Overall, there were so many things to celebrate in Fourth grade this month!
My students have integrated their personal convictions about environmentalism (which were heavily cultivated before I became their teacher) with their faith. In whole class discussions as well as in individual students’ research, I frequently heard students drop the word “stewardship” this month as they passionately related their ecological concerns to God’s Genesis 1 mandate to steward the Earth.
Among this group of 20, we’ve prayed for 12 different nations over the past month! I am beginning to see them develop a passion for learning about praying for the nations. I saw students who rarely speak or exert themselves during Zoom giving their all in prayer for other countries, and I can’t wait to see what God is teaches them next! Check out this post I wrote about the experience.
As some of my fourth graders have been grappling with deaths of loved ones, I’ve been functioning as both intercessor and pastor. We’ve had various conversations about mourning, celebrating the lives of those we have loved and lost, making sense of supernatural healing and how some individuals still die, and the hope of the resurrection. As we have these difficult conversations, I am praying to bind a spirit of Death and Suicide, and that students will find their strength in Jesus’ example of surrender. Check out this post I wrote about facilitating a conversation on faith, death, resurrection, and dying.
This weekend is the one year anniversary of the passing of one of my students’ mothers, who was a vibrant part of our school community. I enlisted the help of my teacher friends to put together a digital memorial for her, and will be sharing it tomorrow with my students’ family, as they hold their own memorial. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one or know someone who is, you are welcome to download this free, editable Google slides template to use as a resource I made as a copy. You can easily add text, images, and change the background pictures to customize the digital memorial for the person who has passed.
Students’ with Personal Breakthroughs:
I also saw some heart changes in students this month! For example,
- In a conversation about family conflict and arguments, one student privately admitted that he sometimes worries that his family will get rid of him. Earlier this year, God showed me just how greatly this student desires to belong, and how his desire for belonging was driving several unhealthy behaviors. Through prayer and several redemptive conversations we as a school have had with his family, this student is getting more attention and support from home with his assignments, doubling down on his work ethic, and demonstrating much greater maturity in peer to peer interactions. For his Religious Order project this month, the motto he created for his project demonstrates this shift: “When God gives you a chance, take it.”
- In another hard conversation with a student, I made it clear that I know he is capable of more. While this student scored at or above grade level in both math and reading at the beginning of the year, he has turned in barely any assignments since we’ve transitioned learning at home in November. He often gets overwhelmed and slumps into a victimized mindset at the slightest sign of difficulty, and has a tendency to make excuses to avoid exerting himself. In a conversation with our team and his mother, I explained that because I know he is capable, I am expecting more from him. There was a moment where I saw him take what I was saying to heart and understand. While I haven’t seen as much change in his habits since then as I would like, I’ve been praying that he would see and believe that God has created him for more.
This month, several third graders have drawn the connection between honoring their parents and a greater personal blessings. I’ve been praying that as students internalize the importance of obeying their parents, they will experience the benefits that come from obedience (prosperity, long life, happiness). While it’s important that parents do not strain their children, I am praying that as children learn the importance of obedience to their families, they will be more greatly equipped to obey God.
Theme: Right Pace and Focus
With just one month into 2021, things are speeding up! In 2020, God radically changed my life, bringing me to a new teaching job, new ministry training opportunities, starting seminary, new church, and a whole host of other opportunities. As I allow the Lord to move me at an incredible pace, it’s become more important lately for me to use discernment with friends, family, coworkers, and others to focus on what I am called to and allow them to fight their own battles. Often in conversation with individuals, I notice things that they are carrying. Many times, I’ve prayed and asked the Lord what is going on, and God has used these relationships to sharpen my own discernment and see what Jesus is doing in context. However, in order to move into this next season of life, I have to shrink! I have to become better at discerning what is others and is not mine to carry WITHOUT wasting time searching for details. I will need to practice asking, “Jesus, is this mine to take on?” Much of the time when I have brought what I’m noticing to the Lord, he responds with a quick, “Yep, they’re dealing with that. Say a quick prayer and let them deal from a distance.” In order to continue moving into the next season of my life with boldness, I need to continue reminding myself, “This isn’t mine”, and pivot more fluently.
I have sometimes compared the passion which I pursue different things I sense the Lord doing to running full speed up a hill. One stranger noticed this in a ministry training group recently, and even referred to the way God is leading me as “a Holy Spirit Tornado”. As a Midwesterner, that made me smile. But he wasn’t wrong. Over the last year, many people who are close to me have honestly not understood the unique pace of my life, and have been so afraid that I would fall apart or collapse from the many changes. This month, I had to discern whether one individual’s words came from a place of fear, or whether it was legitimate warning. From what I can tell, God isn’t calling me to slow down! If anything, he’s increasing my sensitivity, remain small, and digging deeper wells in my life for him to move.
What I’m Praying For
That my students would have their own stirring experiences with the Lord! That he would ignite passions in them that would turn into callings.
How you can pray for me
- Wisdom and grace to indulge in many project-based learning experiences from our desks in February
- God to continue multiplying my time and energy
- A greater awareness of Jesus as reflected in other people
- Favor as I start the Emerging Prophets program trainings
- Continued financial provision for all this and more
- Increasing accuracy in recognizing what isn’t mine, a quick faster pivot and greater finesse (gentleness) in doing so
Please pray that I would remain small! Please pray that my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit would increase, that my focus would be dead-set on Jesus, and that I would become even better at pivoting from what is and isn’t mine to carry.