The Power of Kingdom Education: Transforming Students, Empowering Educators

When you embarked on your journey as an educator, did you envision…

…your passion for teaching flowing endlessly, infusing every moment?

…your classroom brimming with eager minds, hungry to learn?

…your students forming a profound admiration for you?

…each day’s drive home echoing with the triumphant declaration, “I’m living my dream!” knowing you’re shaping the future?

…the love of Christ radiating effortlessly through your teaching, fostering a genuine love for learning?

When you began your teaching career, did you think…

…your love for children would just ooze out all day every day?

…your students would always come to your class eager to learn?

…your students would love you?

…you would drive home each day declaring, “I’m living my dream!” because you knew you were making a lasting impact?

…you would automatically reflect the love of Christ through your words and actions as you cultivated a love for learning?

Personally, I was drawn to teaching because people told me I had a gift for working with kids. So when I started teaching, I expected that my struggling middle school readers would see my passion for helping them succeed and love their time in my classroom. However, my hopes were quickly dashed.

In reality, my sixth, seventh, and eighth graders hated coming to my classroom. They resented having a class that took away their opportunity for an elective and involved extra reading instruction to catch them up to grade level. As a result, I became the focus of their frustration as the teacher of this dreaded class. 

By my third year of teaching, I began to fear that becoming a teacher was a huge mistake. Not knowing what else to do, I tried to improve my instruction methods through training, district mentorship, and working toward a Master’s Degree. But none of these endeavors helped me overcome what felt like a tragic disappointment.

However, when an inner city youth worker named Andre Benjamin offered to mentor me, my perspective began to change along with the trajectory of my career. At the time, I thought Andre was asking me to think outside the box. But looking back, I realize he was laying the foundation for my identity as a teacher on a mission—or what I now call my “Kingdom Educator” identity.

During those first three years, I thought I was doing everything right as a Christian educator. Every day, I prayed on the way to work, interceding for my kids, school district, and administrators. I even fasted each week, longing to see God use my interactions with students in a meaningful way that would make a difference in their lives. I asked God to touch my students’ broken hearts and give them vision to see their life’s purposes. And, I truly wanted my students to receive salvation.

But Andre was inviting me into so much more… 

Through Andre’s mentorship, God revealed ways I had inadvertently separated my vocation from my relationship with Him. Over time, Andre helped me understand that as Kingdom Educators, we are actual carriers of the Kingdom of God because the Spirit of God lives inside of us (Luke 17:21). Furthermore, God has called us to be ambassadors of His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20), which means we fully represent the principles of Heaven itself. When Jesus came to Earth, he healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, opened blind eyes, and caused the mute to speak, the lame to walk, and the demonized to be set free because sickness, blindness, muteness, lameness, and demons do not exist in Heaven. And because God commissions us to teach, we inherently carry His name, His authority, and His good nature into our classrooms. Therefore, being a Kingdom Educator means that we are invited to partner with all of Heaven for our mission as educators (2 Peter 1:3). 

I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how much my perspective had been limiting God’s ability to work through me! 

In the past, I had relegated praying for healing and deliverance only to church or on my personal time, but Andre encouraged me to see how God also wanted to use me as His vessel in my classroom, school, and district. 

As my perspective changed, I began dreaming bigger with God: 

If all things are truly possible for he who believes (Mark 9:23)…

Could miracles happen in my classroom? 

Could God deliver my struggling readers from what inhibited their reading comprehension? 

Could my kids with learning disabilities be healed? 

Could I steward God’s presence in such a way that salvations occurred because kids encountered the King just by entering my presence? 

With growing faith in my new identity as a Kingdom Educator, I began writing out Scriptures to declare and hold onto each day. Then, I arrived early to pray over the furniture, windows, doors, and specific students or circumstances God brought to mind with an awareness that the Holy Spirit was eager to partner with me in setting the atmosphere for Heaven to invade my classroom. I invited the Spirit of wisdom of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) to illuminate my imagination to receive downloads from Heaven and answers to problems I was facing. 

And you know what? Things began changing! 

A young man in one of my classes struggled to respect women in authority, including me. After months of praying for the Holy Spirit to invade his heart and mind, a miracle occurred. Following a heated student debate about the three world religions connected to a social studies lesson, he came up to me with tears in his eyes after the bell rang and said he needed to give his heart to Jesus!! (I’m embarrassed to admit that even though I had been praying for salvation for my students, I was shocked when this happened.) I had done nothing to prompt this response. Clearly, the Holy Spirit had accepted my invitation to invade my classroom and touch the heart and mind of my student. Two classmates proceeded to lead this sixth grader through the salvation prayer. The following day, he returned a completely different person—happy to learn and very respectful.

I also recognized God at work in my classroom when my principal informed me that my students’ test scores had risen so much that we no longer had enough students needing extra help to sustain my position as the reading support teacher. Back when I first started working with struggling readers, I had prayed that God would help me combine my three curriculums to create a stellar program that would catch my sixth, seventh, and eighth graders up to standard. God answered my prayers by inspiring and empowering me to create a miracle-working curriculum. In addition, colleagues from other schools and other districts came to observe the successful literacy teaching methods I was using in my classroom.

The more Heaven invaded my classroom, the more my students’ behaviors and attitudes about learning changed. Many of my colleagues recognized these transformations and asked what I was doing because these same students still exhibited apathy in their classrooms. In response and with the Holy Spirit’s help, I used secular terms to explain the Kingdom principles I had implemented in my classroom to write the book Speaking Words of Life in Your Classroom: A Practical Guide for Calling Students Up into Their Highest Potential. Before my perspective shift, I never would have dreamed of writing a book. But the more I function in the Kingdom Mindset, the better I understand that, with God, all things are possible. 

These testimonies do not prove that I am someone special. However, they do prove that I was given a revelation by God to invite the Holy Spirit to partner and co-create with me in my classroom. And because I chose to accept this opportunity, my students and colleagues felt the admonition of the Father through me—a carrier of the Kingdom. 

These breakthroughs hinged on me embracing my Kingdom Educator identity, one that went well beyond what I had originally believed my calling from God entailed. My new identity took on an allegiance to my King, bearing His name with honor and intentionality. It recognized that my presence at work represented Heaven because I carried the King within me. It required me to let go of the victim mindsets my colleagues often wore like badges and grab ahold of Heaven’s hope-filled perspective. It demanded that I stay tightly connected to the Vine because, apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Admitting our dependency on the Holy Spirit requires humility and faith. Yes, we may have natural gifts, talents, and abilities, but God ordains the favor for our specific positions, schools, and students each year. We remain powerless without partnering closely with the Holy Spirit. My first three years of teaching prove this! 

I don’t know about you, but I want to live in the fullness of the life Jesus paid for—nothing missing and nothing lacking. This starts with fully understanding and embracing our identities as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christian educators, let’s begin this school year anchored to the hope-filled perspective found in embracing a Kingdom Mindset, knowing that we serve a God who longs to partner with our surrendered hearts every day in our classrooms.

Jesica Glover is an NBCT, Educational Consultant, author, podcaster, and the CEO of Kingdom Educators. She’s passionate about empowering Christian teachers to grab ahold of Heaven’s hope-filled perspective, so they can activate transformational impact in their classrooms and communities.

Want to learn more about the Kingdom Mindset? Check out Jesica’s book, Kingdom Educators, Grab Your Hope Goggles. In this five-week devotional, explore how to teach as Kingdom Educators with the expectation of His engagement in your classroom. Experience breakthroughs in the way you view yourself and your assignment in the world of education.

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