12 WAYS TO BECOME A GREAT STUDENT AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP

School is about to be back in session. Parents are picking up supplies, back-to-school drives are happening in churches, stores have all sorts of sales, teachers are preparing their lesson plans, and classrooms are getting decorated and ready! Before you know it, the school buses will be trucking through the neighborhoods, ready to pick up thousands of kids in our community for a whole new school year. As parents of three wonderful kids, Leslie and I help our kids get ready each year by reminding them that their lives as students can be an act of worship to God.

1.  Go to school as an act of obedience and worship. Remember Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” If we are to love God with our mind, we need to use our minds to learn and educate ourselves, not only in the Bible but in all subjects! This is an act of obedience and worship by learning, and it leads to growth in knowledge so that we can grow into spiritual maturity.

2.  Pray for your teacher and classmates. Even if the students or the teacher are not your favorites, pray for them. At night before you go to bed or on the way to school, pray for those in your class, and especially the teacher. They need your prayers! Your prayers matter to God and make a difference in the world we live!

3.  Let other students talk too. It’s important to for you to share, but don’t take up all the time and be the center of attention. You want to let other kids have a chance too.

4.  Sit in the front row. Many times you can’t control where you sit, but if you can, sit as close to the teacher as possible. This helps you stay focused and less distracted by others in the class.

5.  Do your all homework. Doing your homework can be tough to do right when you get home, but maybe take a quick break and tackle it before dinner. Doing 100% of your homework each week is essential to good grades and remembering what you’ve been taught! More than half of school grades usually come from doing your homework!

6.  Build with your words. You’ve heard it said, “Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s not true. Words can really hurt people. Make sure the words that come out of your mouths are words that build others up, not break them down. Don’t embarrass anyone. No one wants to look dumb or uncool. Make sure your words are helpful, not hurtful. When you make a mistake ask the person to forgive you and don’t do it again.

7.  Be a shepherd. In life, there are shepherds, sheep, and wolves. Shepherds help care for the sheep; wolves attack and hurt the sheep. You are young, but you can choose to be a shepherd. King David was a shepherd boy, and later he was a shepherd to people as King over the nation of Israel. Best of all, Jesus is the Great Shepherd. We Christians can help shepherd and care for people too. We can run the wolves or bullies away and help look out for other kids that need help and guidance. Look out for the kids sitting alone, the kid's others call geeks, nerds, or dorks. If a bully tries to make fun of this kid, realize that bully is a wolf, and help protect the kids like a shepherd if they are being bullied by telling a teacher or speaking up for the kid.

8.  Don’t gossip. It’s tempting to talk about lots of stuff to lots of people. Gossip is when you share something that may be true, but you share with the wrong people, or maybe at the wrong time. You don’t want to be talking about people if they wouldn’t want you to say something about them. Ask yourself, Are these the right words, with the right people at the right time?” before you say something about someone else. Bottom line is… don’t gossip. It breaks relationships and hurts everyone.

9.  Be a friend to everyone. It’s super easy to be friends with the cool kids. But remember how Jesus would want you to be friends. Love and care for everyone! It's not easy... but it's right. Life is better when you make friends everywhere you go!

10. Help those who need help. Many kids need help. It may be a particular teacher or subject the kid is struggling with, or maybe they are going through a tough time at home. Many kids' parents get divorced or lose a job, and this causes lots of stress to kids. Do what you can to help. Look for ways to reach out.

11. Invite others in. Plenty of kids get left out. No one picks them, they don't make the team, or no one wants to sit by them. Be the one who invites others in. If you’re that person feeling left out, look around for someone else all alone and invite them to play, eat, or to sit by you, or to work on a project with you. Don’t do school alone, and don’t let others get left out.

12. Have fun. Learning is fun. It’s cool to know stuff about the world. All knowledge and truth come from God anyway. He’s the King of math, science, grammar, language, everything! He’s omniscient (all-knowing), and He’s omni-cool (all-cool) too! He’s a great God who wants you to enjoy the world and the life He’s created. Have fun and learn and grow with others as a student!