Over the course of the last year and a half as a school administrator, my philosophy of education has shifted. I don’t want to say that it is completely different from where I started, but it has definitely changed course. Allow me to give you an idea of where I started. As I was finishing my Masters program, I was jazzed to start my new job. I had exuberant plans that I was going to come in and take Christian education to a whole new level. Has anyone ever experienced that “mountain top high” after you come home from a retreat? You’ve been blessed by the Lord through bible study, worship, fellowship with other believers, and the distractions of the world were left at the bottom of the hill about 5,000 feet below. When that retreat is over and it’s time to load the bus and head back to “reality”, you’re ready to face all the challenges that the world can throw in your face. That is how I felt in August of 2009. I was ready to face all of the challenges that Christian education was going to throw in my face. I was not even close to being ready. Let’s fast forward to the present day.
I have been involved in a men’s bible study and we have been studying 1 Samuel. As with the rest of God’s Word, there is a central theme in this book…Man’s way vs. God’s way. Saul was anointed king over Israel. As he gained more and more experience as king, he made more and more decisions on his own. He did it his way. He would not seek the Lord and tried to fight his own battles. God’s way was always made very evident, but Saul refused to listen. Then comes David. God anointed David the next king over Israel, and we see time and time again, David seeking the Lord in all that he does; granted, David is running for his life throughout most of the book. Still, he seeks the Lord and relies upon Him in the majority of his choices and decisions he makes. What an amazing picture this is for me as an administrator! With the myriad of decisions that I have to make on a daily basis, I can choose to do it my way, or I can choose to do it God’s way. Are you ready for the confession? Since August of 2009, my actions, decisions, and philosophy were more aligned to that of Saul, then David. All too often, I acted upon my own will. Seeking to make decisions on my own accord. Implementing, scheduling, disciplining, and administrating based upon what I thought was right.
Here’s an excellent correlation to what I’m talking about. In 1 Samuel 15, the Lord sends King Saul on a mission to attack the Amalekites and punish them for their atrocities against Israel. Saul is commanded to “utterly destroy all that they have.” Saul almost does what the Lord commanded him. However, he takes possessions for himself and spares the life of Agag, king of the Amalekites. Saul did things his way, not the Lord’s way. Because of his disobedience in this mission and others, the Lord rejects Saul as king over Israel and anoints David as the future heir to the throne.
I fully believe that the Lord has brought me in to a position of leadership. I fully believe without hesitation that I am where I am because of the Lord’s calling in my life. However, for far too long, I have been seeking to do things my way. I allowed myself to be blinded by my aspirations, my goals, my plans in what I was going to do as an administrator. I now see how I have been wrong. My focus and attention has been on education. My time has been spent on how to make my school better academically. My time has been spent creating an atmosphere in which my junior highers have a school, motto, and mascot that they can call their own. Now, some might question these statements. Why is it wrong to focus on academics? Why is it wrong to make sure the students and teachers in your school are striving to be better in all they do? It’s not…necessarily. It’s all a matter of purpose. We are a Christian school. We are to be set apart from the public schools. As a Christian school, if we focus only on academics, we are missing the boat. Let me rephrase that. We are on the boat, but when the storm comes and the boat starts rocking, fear and trembling will grab a hold of our heart. We forget that we have the One who can calm the storm with a simple command.
Next time, I will continue these thoughts and explain what my philosophy is now as an administrator, and where I believe Christian education should be. May the Lord bless you and may you keep your eyes focused on Him, and Him alone.