Sunday, April 17, 2011

Looking at the Truth of Some Perceptions of Christian Education

Looking at the Truth of Some Perceptions of Christian Education

Many people are acquainted with someone who has at one time been enrolled in one of our area’s private Christian schools. Some people may have questions about this form of education. Some have perceptions about it that may not be accurate. Let’s look at some of these ideas.

Perception 1: Christian schools are just glorified Bible schools.

The Truth: Although Bible is taught, the purpose of Christian education is to approach all subjects with a biblical world view. Math is a reflection of God’s order. Science is the study of almighty God’s complex creation. History is a record of man’s actions and God’s interventions in the world. Literature is the written expression of the deep truths of the universe written on our hearts. Grammar and writing prepare young people for the challenges of influencing others.

Perception 2: If I send my child to a Christian school, he will lose out on good academics.

The truth: Although a private enterprise may not have all the latest extras of current education (no government funding is provided), a good Christian school should provide a solid education in all the basics and be staffed with faculty who are properly educated and know their subjects. Since all schools are not created equal, a parent should investigate before deciding to enroll a child.

Perception 3: Christian schools want to attract only people who believe the same way.

The truth: Most schools welcome people of any creed who are willing to abide by the policies and understand that the children will be taught a biblical world view. I have taught students from a dozen different denominations, as well as several from non-Christian religions.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that God puts certain students in my classes for a given school year. My responsibility is to teach them careful academics, model God’s love and fill their minds and hearts with God’s truths for daily living. Teachers are not responsible for convincing them to live according to a particular creed; God must work in their hearts.

Perception 4: Christian education is too expensive.

The truth: Well, that depends. Some schools are pricey; some are more affordable. Some schools offer little for their cost; some are a great value for the dollar. Some parents can easily write the check; others sacrifice greatly to put their children in Christian school. Some say they can’t afford it but have plenty of money for expensive playthings and vacations. Some truly can’t afford it but depend on God to provide the funds.

Unfortunately, the modern idol of materialism has convinced many people that they cannot afford this “product” for their children. A family friend who put five children through Christian school has often said that the checks he wrote each year were “the best investment [he] ever made.”

A Christian school is not a panacea for the ills of society, nor is it a reform school. It does not take the place of good parenting, and the students enrolled — as well as the teachers — are not perfect. Solid Christian schools exist for the purpose of partnering with parents to train young people both academically and spiritually, and to draw those children to God. Look carefully and choose wisely.


Barbara H. said...

Amen. Every school will have its flaws just as every church, home, and individual does as well, but I am so glad for the people from school and church who have come alongside my sons and had godly influences on him.

Ann said...

Thank you, Barbara. I agree.