My Story: Opportunities and Challenges

By Gary Brown

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This is the fourth in a series of “My Story” articles.  Mine isn’t the greatest of stories; but, it is my story.  My hope in sharing my story with you is that you will be inspired to begin to write your own story.  If your story is in progress, share it with me.  Who knows, it might appear as one of these articles!

God bless you as you journey to discover His story for you.

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I stood in front of my first class of fourth and fifth grade boys to teach “sex education” and a whole new world opened up to me; a world of new opportunities and challenges.

I was successful in getting condom education out of the schools; I was not able to get the male and female reproductive systems section removed.  I wanted the sex issue completely removed so I could teach Character Education and the principals wanted all the children to get the character education from me.  The inclusion of “basic male and female plumbing” called for the separation of the boys and the girls.

We solved the problem by creating two sessions; we separated the boys and girls for “plumbing” and brought them together for my character education material.  A female teacher taught the girls “plumbing” section and I taught the boys.

My fear going into this project was that the administrators and the teachers would eventually shut this down; I am a pastor and this is a public school.  To my amazement the opposite turned out to be true; the school officials were thrilled I was there.  As a matter of fact, they could not believe a pastor would spend this much time with children, in the schools and teaching this subject!

Later in my teaching experience I discovered that not everyone was excited about a Baptist pastor involved in the public schools, but in the beginning I was received like a rock star.

Folks, our public schools are spiritual battlefields. There are Christian administrators and teachers fighting the good fight of faith in a secular, anti-Christian culture.  When we as Christians and as pastors get involved in the public schools those teachers who are lifting high the banner of Christ in hostile territory are eternally grateful!  I cannot count the times Christian teachers have pulled me to the side and whispered a heart-felt, teary-eyed “thank you” in my ear.  And the children felt the same.

A pastor teaching sex education in public schools was such a novelty, two questions were often asked of me;

  • “What is a pastor doing talking about sex?”
  • “How do the people in your church feel about this?”

At first I had a difficult time answering.  In seminary, we pastors are not taught how to teach sex education in public schools.  Were we prepared to preach each week; yes.  Were we trained for pre-marital counseling; yes.  Were we equipped to infiltrate the public school system and devote a great deal of time there; no.

“What is a pastor doing talking about sex?”  That question turned out to be easy to answer.  Think about it.  God created sex and as a pastor I work for God; that makes me a sex expert!  People are floored when I say this.  But this is true.  God did create sex; pastors do work for God and it is time that the Church reclaims this issue in our culture.

The very first words out of God’s mouth to humans are recorded in Genesis 1:28.  “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.’”  Long before God created a church, He created a family. Children in America need to understand the importance of marriage and family.  And when it comes to sexual involvement; God created sex for marriage.

God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful.”  I do not believe that God was telling them to plant orange trees!  He was commanding them to reproduce.  The way God gave them to reproduce; sex.  God then gave them the context in which to have sex; marriage.  In Genesis 2:24 we find God’s words; “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

Folks, God used me teaching “sex education” as an opportunity to talk to children, in public schools, about God’s plan for marriage, family and how God gave sex to married moms and dads as the means for bringing children into this world.

What an incredible opportunity!

The second question; “How do the people in your church feel about this?”  I’ll answer this question in my next article.  But let me leave you with a tease.

Christian teachers and the parents of the children were cheering me on.  I wish I could say the same about the leadership of my church.

The church was the challenge.

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The Moral Liberal, Contributing Editor, Gary Brown, is the President of the Idaho Values Alliance, and Founder and Executive Director of Reach America