When you think of Christian education, what do you think about it?
Do you think about general education that puts an emphasis on Christian values and morals? Perhaps you think about the moral decay of our society and want to protect your child or children from the world for as long as possible. Maybe some point to smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction as their reasoning. Even more so, in light of an increasing number of bullying and suicides that affect our youth and children today, many are looking for safe havens and school environments that are not only physically safe, but also emotionally and spiritually safe as well.
So I’ll ask again? Why Christian education?
For me, I think that all of these have equivocal importance when looking for the proper educational fit for a particular student. It’s not a secret that the main point of school is to teach and learn. Is education important? You bet! What we try to do while educating our students is not to just give them the best education that we possibly can, but we are also trying to produce young men and woman who will be productive members of society.
More specifically to Great Commission Schools, we are trying to reach the heart and teach the mind so that we can equip, train, and lead students to serve God and others. Are we perfect? Absolutely not! Our students are still subjected to what other children and teens are influenced by in public education. Our teachers are still people who have their strengths and weaknesses in their profession, but they believe in the importance of Christian education (because let’s be honest; they are not in it for the money or the health benefits).
Ethics and morality are on shifting sand and the truth of God’s Word is either being suppressed, omitted, or perverted by the ways of the world which makes it more evident that Christian education is becoming increasingly important in light of what’s going on in the world. While public education does so many things right and resources are more readily available, it also does things equally as wrong (mainly due to lawmakers and other hands that control school funding). As a previous public school employee, and someone who believed that Christ put me in public education as it is a large mission field, the longer I stay in Christian education, the more I see the need for it.
I’m reminded of a portion in scripture where we are introduced to Jesus as a newborn child birthed into this world. Then, as suddenly as he came, we don’t see or hear from Jesus again until He is a pre-teen sitting in the temple courts. Luke 2 gives us an account of Jesus sticking around in Jerusalem after the Festival of the Passover and His parents found Him three days later “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:46) Even Jesus knew the importance of being in the presence of teachers and learning as much as He could.
Not all change is bad, but then again, not all change is good either. During the time of the scriptures, as soon as a child was able to speak, they were taught and expected to memorize Bible verses (even though at that time the Bible as we know it was non-existent and were more of an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation. However, all education was connected to the local synagogue, children first started reading with the book of Leviticus, they were required to learn from the Torah and the Prophets, and at the age of 12, it was the responsibility of the child to study on his own and the responsibility of the parents to teach their child a trade.
My how we’ve strayed from the original intentions of education and how desperately we need to reintroduce some of those traditional values! Don’t get me wrong, education needs to adapt with the changing times and all the technological advances, but at what cost? At what sacrifice? Something is always going to be sacrificed when change occurs.
With all that being said though, I go back to my original question: Why Christian education? Regardless of your initial response, may I encourage you to think about this? Jesus.
Jesus is the reason for Christian education. Jesus has the answer to any question we have. Our children, our youth, and our college students need to participate in Christian community in order to know Jesus. Even when we have students come through our doors that don’t necessarily believe in Christ or are seeking the Truth, our educational institution now becomes a mission field. Yes, we are teaching students the necessary content to become educated members of society, but we also are teaching our students to know and walk in relationship with Jesus.
We need Christian education to help restore and be a blessing to those around us. People are spiritually decaying at a rapid rate and Jesus is the answer to everything our culture lacks or destroys. Christian education is to be a light in this dark and dying world. As we walk with Jesus, He teaches and informs us and as we are learning, we are being formed to be more like Him. As we become more like Him, it becomes easier to serve God and others and ultimately point them to the Truth that will stand for the ages.
Why Christian education?