Wisconsin: A “Mission Field”

“Equipping for the Harvest Field”

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

Do you think over 800,000 people from all walks of life constitute a mission field? If you do, then I hope you realize we have just that situation in Wisconsin.  Here’s the background, but first a little bit of a disclaimer.
Anyone who knows me or knows anything about our organization knows we are hard-core proponents and champions of school choice, especially private schools and home schooling.  We are constantly encouraging people to explore these options.
That said, the reality is by far the vast majority of young people in this state are educated in the public schools.  Right now combined, private school and home schooling enrollments comprise less than 15% of our total school-aged population.
In hard numbers, there are typically over 800,000 young people in Wisconsin public schools in any given year.  That means the vast majority of children ages 4-18 in Wisconsin attend a public school for at least 6 hours a day.  That number includes tens of thousands of children from Christian homes and children who would themselves identify as Christians.
ImageWe also know many Christians work in Wisconsin’s public schools.  I meet them frequently around the state. They’re administrators, teachers, aides, staff members.  Many are frustrated, especially teachers and administrators, because they just aren’t sure how to, or even if they can, present the truth of America’s Christian heritage, the Truth of our Judeo-Christian values and certainly the Truth of Scripture in their classes.  These teachers recognize the mission field they are in and they want to help; they keenly feel the responsibility for rightly educating those students who walk through their doors every day. They want their students—both Christian and non-Christian—to know the truth, but they also don’t want to purposefully run afoul of the law.  Most just don’t even know where to turn to get reliable help so that they can do the very best for the students in their classrooms.
We believe with all of these students in the public school system, we need to offer these teachers some help. Fortunately, there are some great partners we can work with to help those involved in the public schools know some of their rights and opportunities.  One of the best of these organizations is Gateways to Better Education headed by Eric Buehrer.  Gateways to Better Education offers “Faith, Freedom & Public Schools” seminars to help Christian teachers, in particular, learn how to address what we generically refer to as “the Judeo-Christian tradition” in the school in general, and in the classroom in particular.
ImageWisconsin Family Council is honored to be sponsoring a Gateways to Better Education seminar this fall.  We want teachers to come away from this three-and-a-half-hour seminar with practical ways to appropriately and lawfully include teaching about the influence of the Bible and Christianity as it relates to history, culture, and values.  We want the teachers to understand the 4 key principles to move from fear to freedom in their classrooms.  And we certainly want them to gain confidence and peace of mind as they discover simple ways to lawfully, appropriately and academically include how America’s Judeo-Christian heritage has influenced the various academic subjects; invite students to live their faith in the classroom; teach students what it means to be one nation under God; teach about America’s religious heritage, promote and defend students’ freedom of religious expression, and restore recognition of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
That’s a tall order, but we know Eric Buehrer and Gateways to a Better Education can do all that and more for Christian teachers in our public schools.  We are honored to sponsor Gateways to Better Education for the first time in Wisconsin. The seminar will be held in Appleton on Saturday, October 5.  For more information and to register, call 888-378-7395.  Space is limited; so we suggest you register early.
Surely nearly 800,000 students walking through the doors of Wisconsin’s public schools each school day constitutes a bona fide mission field. It is critical that we equip and encourage Christian teachers in these schools to be able to legally and appropriately challenge these young people at all ages with the truth of Christianity and the truth of the impact of Christianity on America.  It may be that for many—and how ironic would this be—that the only place they are confronted with the Truth of the Gospel is in their public school.  Truly the fields are white unto harvest, just waiting for equipped laborers to share the Truth.
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