Why I Love Serving in a Lutheran School2 min read

Unlike most Lutheran school teachers, I never attended one. The Finnish Synod I was baptized into (the old NELC) didn’t have such things. The public schools my siblings and I attended served us very well. Two of my brothers are now pastors, both of my sisters worked in the mission field, I’ve served as a Lutheran teacher, a DCE, a Concordia faculty member, and now a Lutheran school principal, and my youngest brother is an amazing example of how a “layman’s” occupation—truck driving—can be a godly vocation.

But we all attended a Lutheran college—Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.—and there we discovered the astonishing gift of an education rooted in the Gospel. That experience didn’t lead us into church work; those of us who followed that route had made that decision during high school. And Concordia wasn’t what produced the confident faith we all share. That blessing was planted and nurtured in our Christian home and the vibrant, loving congregations we grew up in.

Concordia was where we finally realized it’s not necessary to compartmentalize our faith separately from our education, and that was a great joy!

I believe deeply in the role and promise of our public schools, in spite of their many difficulties and blunders. But I wish every child could share in the blessings offered by our Lutheran schools. As a college professor, I spent a lot of time in public schools with student teachers. I watched many competent teachers trying to help children understand and cope with the frustrations of schooling and of life. They did their best but, as I watched, I couldn’t help thinking of the difference a simple prayer would make, or what comfort could have been added if their hugs or reprimands were accompanied by the assurance of Jesus’ forgiveness.

As a kid, I occasionally wondered about what went on inside that German Lutheran school located in the next town over. All I could picture was a yearlong version of VBS, and I was secretly glad I went to a school that taught math and history, too. I know better now, and am indescribably glad I can teach at a school that includes all those other subjects alongside the one thing most needful—the love of God in Christ.

Photo (c) Kearsten/Lightstock

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About the Author

Dr. Timothy Frusti (emeritus) served as assistant professor of Education at CUAA, principal at Trinity Lutheran School in Jackson, and Executive Director of MOST ministries

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