I left you last time with my philosophical “shift” in where I am headed as an administrator. From the mountain top, to the valley, and everywhere in between. Just this past Sunday, my pastor shared with us the concept of putting your hope in Jesus. There are times when we allow ourselves to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We forget what direction we were supposed to be going. Those are the times, we find ourselves in the valleys of life with no direction and no hope of getting out. Remember when Wesley and Buttercup had to maneuver their way through the Fire Swamp? Even Wesley said that it was “actually quite nice”, despite the flame spuds, quicksand, and the dreaded rodents of unusual size. Don’t settle for being in the valleys of darkness, when all you have to do is find the light, flip the switch, and start climbing. Well, here you go, I’ve flipped the switch.
Christian education is supposed to be different. It is not designed to be what the public schools have, plus chapel and some bible classes. Author and educator George Knight stated, “They [students] are also individuals whose greatest need is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The redemptive, restorative, and reconciling goal of Christian education provides a focus for the evaluation of all other aspects of Christian education, including the role of the teacher, curricular emphases, proper instructional methodologies, and the reason for establishing Christian alternatives to public education.” This is the priority that we need to have in Christian education. It needs to be designed, in all aspects, to give students an understanding of who Jesus Christ is. From the administration who should lead like Jesus, to the teachers who should model Christ in their teaching, to the curriculum that is taught from a Christian perspective, in all subjects. Christ needs to be the center in all that is done. If a Christian school does not do this and only focuses upon academics for the purpose of gaining higher knowledge, they are wrong. If their only purpose is to get students to the college or university level, they need to stop labeling themselves “Christian”. Simply put, Christian education needs to be an education in Christianity.
Jesus Christ should not just “fit in” to what we do. We shouldn’t make room for Jesus. He needs to be everywhere and everything to a campus that labels itself Christian. As an administrator at a small Christian school, I find my philosophy shifting to this purpose. I desire my school to reflect Jesus Christ in all it does. I desire that when the students graduate from our school, they are empowered to face the challenges that the world will throw at them. That they are equipped for every good work that Christ calls them to in life. That no matter where they go, or what they do, Jesus Christ and His Word will saturate all they come in contact with. I’m about to be extremely honest, and you may even question why I’m in education in making the following statement, but this is what I believe…I don’t even care if our students go to college. I want them living for the Lord! So, what if they don’t go to college? Are they doomed for life? Are they destined to live a life in squalor? Not if their committed to Christ! What if God calls a student to the mission field right after high school? Should they deny that calling because society says they need to have a Bachelors or Masters degree? Higher academics is not the answer. Jesus Christ IS, period.
This is my challenge to all Christian schools. Audit your school and everything about it. Does it have Jesus Christ at its core? Are you only focused on academics and getting your students to the next level of their academic career? Are you a public school with chapel? If you answered yes to any of these questions, stop what you’re doing and shift your philosophy back to where it needs to be right now! The longer you wait, the more students will pass through your school and say they attended a “private” school. I’m sure you would want them to say, without hesitation, “I attended a Christian school”…and mean it.
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
~ 2 Timothy 3:14-17