Genuinely Christian Education: Courageous

Every aspect of a Christian School should reflect a desire to know God and a desperate dependence on God.

If a Christian School is to be redemptive, then it does not have the luxury of sending children elsewhere to get their act together. As a parent of vulnerable, impressionable children, this truth frightens me. Because parents entrust their children with those who serve in a Christian School, wisdom and dependence on God’s transformative love is critical for all involved. A wise application of standards does not send the troubled child away, but it may place additional boundaries on the child and his parents. Mandatory attendance in a recovery program and periodic drug testing are reasonable expectations of a child who has struggled with substance abuse. Regular pastoral or professional Christian counseling may be necessary for another family. In other words, we do not eliminate standards and thus ignore real problems. In humble submission to God’s direction, we lovingly enact standards believing that God’s mercy is far reaching; his grace is sufficient and his love is redemptive.

Spiritual standards are imperative for teachers, administrators and parent leaders. Ongoing discipleship, consistent fellowship and group prayer are paramount if a Christian School is to remain genuinely Christian. The leadership must habitually seek God for direction, protection, and life-changing intervention for both individuals and the school as a whole. Only then is a school prepared to reach out to the family where none profess faith in Christ.

When the school does embrace the unbelieving family, it must cling tightly to the primary mission of every believer, “to make disciples.” A school should never court the unbeliever to obtain financial security, academic gains or prestige in the community. When a school is committed to reaching the lost, it must be equally committed to maintaining spiritually mature leadership who understand the magnitude of their task. Such leaders know they live in utter dependence on God.

The call to create a genuinely Christian School will demand approaches that are expensive, time-consuming, challenging and sometimes frightening. And yet, we believe it is imperative that the Christian community attempt to tackle God-sized tasks. In this manner, we distinguish ourselves from those who have no hope. As we courageously confront our fears, our pride and our failures, we shine as beacons through whom God can transform and challenge the values of our culture.

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