Last week I presented what I believe to be the real threat to the sustainability of Christian education. Christian school educators must stay true to a biblical philosophy of education in order to experience God’s hand of favor on their efforts. I believe that there are several keys that will determine whether or not Christian schools will continue to thrive in the future. When we talk about the sustainability of Christian schools, we are actually talking about whether or not Christians will see the next generation of young people grow up and impact the culture by thinking and acting from a biblical worldview. There are five keys to this becoming a reality.
Key #1 Christian parents, pastors, church leaders and educators must be willing to address the issue of education biblically.
When this occurs, the real test of faith will be set before them as to whether or not they will obey God’s principles on how He wants them to educate their children. Josh McDowell said it well in his forward to Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations.
The ideal way to help our kids not only to reject the postmodern worldview but also embrace deepened Christian convictions is to align church, home, and school into a unified whole that arms our children with the truth and protects them from distortions.
Key #2 Christian parents, pastors, church leaders and educators must strive to develop a strong biblical worldview in their own lives.
Studies show that today’s Christians may be the most biblically illiterate generation of believers in church history. Other studies indicate that a very small percentage of Christians possess a biblical worldview. Christians must be intentional in developing their own worldviews so that they interpret all of life from a solid biblical perspective.
Key #3 Christians must destroy dualism, the practice of dividing one’s life into the secular and sacred compartments.
Dualism leads to dysfunctional thinking where we try to live our “religious” lives by biblical truth but live our “secular” lives by human reasoning and common sense. This dualistic mindset is what has led the majority of Christians to see academic subjects as merely bodies of neutral facts with no spiritual meaning and, therefore, not seeing the need to give their children a Christian education. It results in their children considering God to be irrelevant to some areas of their lives.
Key #4 Parents, pastors, and educators must know, understand and be committed to a biblical philosophy of education.
As Christians develop a biblical worldview, they will understand and be able to formulate a biblical philosophy of education that will lead them to engage their families in Christian education.
Key #5 All Christians must be equipped to bring God-intended meaning back into the entire educational process.
Romans 1:20, Psalm 19:1-4 and other Scriptures make it clear that all of creation is an expression of who God is. Every subject taught, whether it is at home, church or school, is part of His creation and the study of these subjects is supposed to lead students to a deeper understanding of God’s awesome nature in order to bring Him glory.
Key #5 All Christians must pursue excellence in who they are and what they do.
We serve a God who is excellent (Ps. 8:1) and He expects His children to pursue excellence (Phil. 1). However, the majority of Christians today have adopted a worldly model of excellence. Worldly excellence can be summed up in two words, compare and compete. This type of excellence is horizontal in nature and focuses primarily on performance and achievement. Character is of lesser value and sometimes is not considered important at all to achieving excellence.
On the other hand, biblical excellence begins with a vertical perspective. It stands in stark contrast to how the world defines excellence. Biblical excellence has a different:
- Standard – God
- Model – Jesus Christ
- Goal – Christlikeness
- Focus – Character
- Basis – God’s Word
- Motive – God’s glory
In this model of excellence, performance is an outgrowth of godly character. When parents, church leaders and educators understand and pursue biblical excellence, their educational efforts will be distinctive and stand above all other forms of schooling.
If parents, pastors, church leaders and educators strive to put these keys into practice in their homes, churches, and schools, Christian schooling will not only survive the current and any future challenges or threats but, more importantly, they will also thrive in the midst of them. The result will be that we will witness the raising up of future generations of Christ followers who will turn their worlds upside down for Christ.