When Jesus Is a Joke at Your Christian School

One of the saddest comments I ever read on this blog went like this:

I go to a Christian school, but we’re at the stage where Jesus is irrelevant and a joke.

After spending a week at a Christian school, I saw firsthand the kind of peer pressure (or is it persecution?) that takes place from other students at Christian schools.

I don’t share this with you to discourage you; I just don’t want you to be shocked or unprepared when you walk into your Christian school . . .  or even your local church.

Because this is a fact: Lots of people who claim to be Christians aren’t. Jesus is clear about this in Matthew 7:21–23,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

So what can you do about this?

1. Make sure that you know that you are a genuine follower of Jesus.

If you’re not positive, begin by reading “Are You Good Enough to Go to Hell?” Then pick up your Bible and read the book of 1 John (you can do it; it’s just five chapters!). As you read, ask God to help you know whether you really belong to Him.

2. Don’t expect everyone in your class to be a Christian just because they’re at a “Christian” school.

In fact, I think it’s wiser to assume that “Christians” don’t know Christ—until the “fruit” of their life proves otherwise. (For more on that, check out “Treasure Trove or Garbage Dump?”)

3. Point your friends to Christ. Often.

Not to rules or Bible facts, but to Christ, and how His death, burial, and resurrection changes everything about their lives. (For more on this, read “Three Truths That Forever Changed My Life.”)

4. Pray that if you or any of your friends are deceived and think they’re a Christian when they’re not, that God would reveal the truth to them.

Have you experienced anything like this at your Christian school or church? I’d love to hear about it. If so, what will you do to know Christ yourself and then make Him known at your Christian school?

Because like it or not, you are no longer just a student at a Christian school; you are now a missionary. Shine, Christian!

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York. You can catch all her writing on PaulaWrites.com.

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  • lostgirl

    Well I don’t go to a christian school, but I can relate. To be honest, I don’t even know what it mean to be a follower of Jesus. All the Christians I know seem so happy like almost fake. I’m just really confused….

    • phendricks

      Dear Lostgirl,

      I love your honesty. Thank you.

      You’re not alone. When I was a teen, I thought following Jesus was all about playing a part. Looking a certain way on the outside. I was so wrong.

      Following Jesus is about staying close to Him. It’s about no longer doing life alone. It’s about giving Him control of your life so He can love through you. It’s about wanting to please Him most, but knowing that the only way you could ever be pleasing to a holy God was through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection on behalf of your sinful heart. It’s about leaning into His strength when you’re utterly weak.

      Does that make sense or not at all? Do you think you know Him in this way or not?

      I’d love to hear back from you,


  • Anonymous

    Paula, what would you say to someone who really wants to believe the gospel, but still struggles with some doubt? If someone mostly believes in Christ but sometimes still questions that he is real or that he can save them, would that person not really be saved? This has really been bugging me lately and I hope that someone can help me understand it.

    • phendricks

      Dear Anonymous,

      I’d tend to think that if you really want to believe the gospel, God is drawing you to Himself. None of us can love or desire Him on our own. He’s pursuing you.

      People can experience doubt, for sure. Just don’t let doubt become your identity or think that it’s somehow more “genuine” than belief.

      I’d encourage you to examine the “fruit” of your life (see the link in the post above), and to also share your doubts with wise Christians who can pray for you and help you search the Scriptures for answers to your questions.

      I hope that helps in some small way.

      Praying for you now,


  • Ella

    I’m struggling with sin right now. I repent, ask God to forgive me, but then days later I break my promise to God and continue. Sometimes I go months without sinning but it always comes back. I hear preachers and my pastor saying that in order to break free from bondage of sin I need to confess to someone so we can pray about it. However I am so embarrassed to confess and I don’t know what steps to take in order to be completely free.

    • Stephanie

      Hey Ella,

      I’ve had that same struggle before. I knew God wanted me to share with someone about my sin. I was so embarrassed and scared. When I realized that God would be with me as I told someone, I trusted Him and prayed that God would help me not to be afraid. After I told someone about my sin, it helped free me from bondage of that sin. It was almost like a weight was off of my shoulders. Afterward, I still struggled with that sin but it was less frequent. When I felt more of a struggle, I would share my sin with another person. I shared it with someone that was a godly woman and that I could trust. I know it’s hard to share with someone, but that’s the best way to receive accountability. Just know, if it’s someone you trust, they will not judge you but love you. Also remember no matter how often we sin, God will forgive us continually (1 John 1:9). I will be praying for you!!

  • Melissa Kollar

    Me and my friend were just talking about how it would be better for me to go to a public school because everyone in my class is really mean to me even though I go to a Christian school. GOD MOMENT!!

  • Kaitlyn Hulstein

    There were two milestones in my life that really helped me know what being a true Christian means. After I went on a church retreat called Power Connection I saw what genuine worship should be, and I then came home to see how fake it all is in my community. People worshipped because it was expected of them, not because they wanted to. That really hurt my soul, and I would say I had minor depression from that. Also, reading Not a Fan, a book about what being a Christian really looks like and is, didn’t help those emotions. I learned more of how to improve my faith, but I also saw how fake other’s faiths were.

  • Thank you for writing this. I believe all of us here have struggled with this throughout our days.

  • joenia25

    I have a similar situation at my Christian school. It is so hard to be a true Christian because others see you as a goody- goody and they think you are judging them.

  • Kibble

    I can relate. It’s really hard for me to not be able to talk about God with my friends who say they are christian. :(They just change the subject.