Christ in Me


Kaitlyn Shacklett, Co-Editor

As students flooded into the school just in time for first hour on Wednesday, September 28, they may have noticed a large group of their peers in a circle around the flagpole, heads bowed in prayer.

This event has been known to many Christians around the globe since 1990 as “See You at the Pole,” an annual gathering of millions of Christian students in front of their local school at 7:00 A.M. for prayer, worship and scripture reading.

One question stands out that we as Christian students ask: Are we allowed to talk about our beliefs openly and participate in prayer in a public school setting? The answer is yes, but this action took time.

In 1982, 20 years since the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public schools as violating the constitutional separation of church and state, President Ronald Reagan proposed a school prayer amendment, offering freedom of prayer in these institutions. He stated that the nation’s liberty constituted from “an abiding faith in God” as well as “the public expression through prayer of our faith in God is a fundamental part of our American heritage and a privilege which should not be excluded by law from any American school, public or private.”

According to the amendment, students are allowed to express their beliefs in and outside of the classroom as well as in school assignments. Students also obtain the rights to pray individually or in a group setting and form religious clubs with the same rights as other clubs in the school. All of these actions must be student-initiated and can not disrupt instruction time.

If we as Christians know that we can share our faith with our peers at school, what holds us back from doing so?

Junior Mackenzie Bohn found a place in her church’s youth group every week, but ponders the same question of why she and other Christians shy away from spreading the word of God.

“I guess we’ve always thought is wasn’t acceptable in our school. I think the confusion is really what keeps us from doing it. Once people know what we are able to do at school, we will be most willing to share the love of God to everyone we know,” Bohn said.

Other likely causes of dilatoriness of conversing about faith in school include fear of not having the knowledge to answer questions, fear of rejection, or not having the right opportunity to start a conversation that deep. However, Romans 1:16 states, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”

“It gives me a lot of confidence to be bold about my faith at school like reading my Bible at lunch and talking about my faith openly with my friends,” Bohn said.

Christian students may have the desire to openly proclaim their faith to their peers at school, but are clueless of where to actually start.

Senior Christian Tathem uses school as a way to stretch a hand out to an unreached people groups. Olathe East Game Club allows people with a love of video games to get together during seminar to meet others with similar interests and play against each other. Tathem took this club as an opportunity to spread the Gospel with people who are not Christians. A Super Smash Bros tournament at Olathe Bible Church became the answer.

“We have done about four tournaments since last school year, I believe. We partnered with an organization that helps out with underprivileged kids to create a huge Smash Bros tournament,” Tathem said.

The tournament consisted of almost 100 people playing against each other in fellowship. Afterwards, a message was given to present the idea of God to those involved.

“Our church’s mission program is for unreached people groups, so we found a way to bring this group of people to church. The presentation of the Gospel is like putting a rock in their shoe; they aren’t going to stop thinking about it,” Tathem said.

Through these events, a number of students including some of Tathem’s closest friends have given their lives to Christ. At the most recent tournament, October 1, five people filled out a card saying they accepted Christ.

“My hope is that this event will keep going on even after I leave high school. It’s a great way for Christians to converse with nonbelievers and get along with them,” Tathem said.

Tathem also founded the Olathe East Devotional Study his sophomore year along with a few of his friends. He joined Awake and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“Being surrounded by other Christians in your own school is really supportive. If you become alone in your faith, you have these people around you and to help you in a way others cannot. People that go to Olathe East and have gone through this study and other studies will become more solidified in their faith in high school and their transition into college,” Tathem said.


Kaitlyn Shacklett // Co-Editor