In some of our public schools spiritual revival has become a big hit with students! Prayer and Bible reading have never left the schools. The only thing that has ever been illegal is school-sponsored religious activities. When it is promoted and organized by students, without any administrative or faculty involvement, it is entirely legal. It is part of students’ First Amendment rights. It is equally acceptable for outside off campus groups to conduct meetings.
It is within this context of freedom of religious expression that students have more parameters than many people realize when it comes to sharing one’s faith and even doing evangelism. One example is what is happening in southern California. Clubs composed of Christian students at schools in the Los Angeles area started inviting Brian Barcelona from the organization called, “One Voice”, to speak. He is a speaker who is dynamic, relevant, and knows how to connect with teens. His ministry first began in northern California until God gave him a divine directive to go south. There are 15 high schools participating, with an estimated 2,500 students hearing the gospel each week!
There is little resistance from the faculty and administration due to the dramatic change in the lives of students during the past two years. Some have been delivered from drugs, violence, sexual sins, and hopelessness. A Grant High School girl went to a club meeting, heard the gospel, and accepted Christ. She had been planning to commit suicide at the end of the school day! At Roosevelt High School two gangs dropped their weapons and met for prayer in the gymnasium. Our teens are looking for answers. One of the advisors said, “This is something extremely new to the students. Many days you see kids with tears in their eyes asking Christ to come into their heart.”
We know from scripture that the Holy Spirit of God is at work. First Corinthians 2:4-5 says, “And my message and my preaching were not of persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” God is using Brian Barcelona and other people like him, to bring revival in the public schools, more than in some of our churches. This writer comes across articles continually about students all across the nation who are taking bold stands for their faith in our nation’s schools, sometimes against much resistance.
If you are a Christian student what are some ways you and others can cultivate a spiritual climate in the school you attend?