It is the end of another school year here in the United States. At this time of year, the majority of students will be required to take a final exam in each subject that they have studied throughout the year. It is often a time of stress for both student and teacher alike. How students score on their final assessments will determine what grade and/or courses they will be able to take in the future.
Final exams are not limited to students who are still in school. As adults, we all face similar things in our work. I can remember how I received an annual performance review for different positions that I have held over the years. These performance reviews determined whether or not I would remain in my current position and/or my compensation for the future.
There is a verse that has weighed heavily on my heart for a couple of decades related to the concept of taking a final exam or undergoing an annual performance review. Paul provides his readers with some amazing insight into his motivation in ministry when he wrote the following to the Colossian Christians.
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:28 (NKJV)
Paul’s preaching and teaching had one goal in place. Everything he did was aimed at seeing every person he influenced becoming more mature in Jesus Christ. In fact, this must be the goal for every Christian in his/her work here on earth. This is what parenting is all about. It is what teaching and preaching should target at all times. It is what every business leader should strive to do. This is what continually motivates me as I serve the Lord through the work of Kingdom Education Ministries. Every thing a Christian does should be done in such a way that it will cause others to become more mature in Christ.
Let me apply this principle to those who are involved in Christian school education. The following diagram illustrates the biblical structure for the various staff responsibilities in a school.
This diagram illustrates the servant leadership that is required of all those involved in the operation of a Christian school. However, it also shows how Colossians 1:28 applies to various people in the school. All of the board and staff members have some influence on the students’ spiritual maturity. However, the school board and administration do not directly influence the spiritual formation of the students.
The school board is directly responsible for the spiritual development of the head of school. The head of school is responsible for the spiritual development of the administrative team. In turn, the administrative team members are directly responsible for the spiritual growth of the faculty. Finally, the faculty are directly involved in the spiritual maturity of the students. With this in mind, here are the final exam questions for the people serving in each of the these areas of a Christian school.
- Board members: How has the head of school matured in Christ this past year under your leadership?
- Head of school: How have the members of the administrative team matured in Christ this past year under your leadership?
- Administrative team members: How has each faculty member matured in Christ this past year under your leadership?
- Faculty members: How have the students in your class or on your team matured in Christ this past year because they were under your teaching and leading?
Similar questions can be asked of parents and church leaders.
- Parents: How have your children become more mature in Christ because of your teaching, admonishing and warning at home?
- Church leaders: How have the staff members of the church matured in Christ who have been under your leadership this year?
- Church leaders and teachers: How have your members shown spiritual growth due to your influence on their lives this past year?
I believe the most important evaluation and assessment that needs to take place in homes, churches and schools is not of the children and youth. The most important evaluation that must be made is how have we, parents, church leaders and teachers, done in helping those we teach and lead be more mature in Christ. If you had to present your children or students to the Lord right now, what grade would God give you in preparing them to stand before Him?