I have been sharing a fresh mission statement that God laid on my heart several weeks ago. This mission statement provides Kingdom Education Ministries with a focus for what God wants to accomplish through KEM in the future. The focus of KEM is to:
RESTORE individuals, EMPOWER the home, ENGAGE the church and TRANSFORM the school through Kingdom Education
This week I want to explain what KEM will strive to accomplish with Christian schools. First, it is important to understand that when I use the term education, I am not equating it with schooling. Education is a multi-faceted process that primarily takes place in three institutions, the home, church and school. This process is future-focused as it strives to prepare children and youth for life and eternity.
In today’s culture, the school plays a significant role in the educational process. Young people will spend more than 14,000 hours in school during their K-12 years. This greatly exceeds the number of hours that they will spend at church during these same years. Therefore, there needs to be an intentional, ongoing effort to make sure the schools our children and youth attend are grounded in kingdom education.
What are some of the specific things that KEM wants to do in its effort to TRANSFORM schools? When one thinks about the word TRANSFORM, a familiar verse in Scripture comes to mind.
And be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
In the original language, the term TRANSFORM means to “change from one condition to a new form.” In this verse, it speaks to the need to TRANSFORM one’s mind, the way one thinks. This is the burden that God has laid on my heart concerning Christian schools. It is my desire to see a change in how Christian educators think about education.
However, the effort can’t be to change their thinking about education in a lot of different ways. It must be aimed at “rethinking” education from a biblical perspective. This is why KEM’s focus is on TRANSFORMING schools through kingdom education.Why did Paul urge Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds? It was to prove what God’s will was for their lives. I believe this must be the motivation KEM has in its effort to TRANSFORM schools. The primary goal is to see schools develop a strong, biblical philosophy of education that determines all that takes place at a school. It is my desire to equip the next generation of Christian teachers to be able to answer the question, why schooling?, biblically. I want to see Christian schools know and fulfill God’s will for their existence.
It has been exciting to see how many Christian school leaders and teachers have embraced the phrase kingdom education since the release of my book in 1998. I often read about a school stating that it is a kingdom education school. Individuals identify themselves as proponents and leaders of kingdom education. My fear has always been that kingdom education would merely become a buzz word with little thought to its true meaning. When someone states a commitment to kingdom education, then others will define the phrase for themselves by what they see the individual or the school, making such a claim, is and does.
True kingdom education is not so much about methodology as it is about a specific philosophy. The foundation of my book is based on the biblical principles that I have found in Scripture that tell Christians why God wants them to educate their children and youth biblically.
If anyone or any school claims to believe in and support kingdom education, that person or school must live out the biblical principles from which the phrase gets its meaning. Otherwise they are just stating platitudes with no real substance.
KEM’s efforts to TRANSFORM schools is to guide school leaders to change from merely using the term, kingdom education, to embodying the 14 biblical principles in their schools’ DNA. As we fleshed out this fresh mission, we explained that we strive to TRANSFORM Christian schools by challenging educators to know, understand and embrace kingdom education (14 biblical principles).
It is KEM’s conviction that when this happens, along with RESTORING individuals, EMPOWERING the home, and ENGAGING the church, we will see future generations equipped to create a kingdom culture that views life through the lens of Scripture and, thus, bring glory to God. I will soon be sharing an exciting event that we are planning where we will launch this effort to rethink education from a biblical perspective.