At What Price? Measuring the Worth of a Christian Education
In August this year, a kindergarten teacher at a California public school led an in-class discussion on transgenderism that included a “gender reveal” for a little boy who was transitioning to a girl. Despite the fact that parents were upset, school leaders informed them that they were not allowed to opt-out and that the state did not require them to notify parents in advance.
In September of this year, a second grade teacher at Mansfield Christian led one of her new students to Christ. The young child was overheard talking with another new student and said, “I go to church, but no one ever told me how to get Jesus into my life, so I talked with Mrs. Hughes and I did it! It was kinda’ cool!” These parents were delighted for their child and very grateful for the personal impact of Christian education on their family. For them, Christian education has proven priceless.
How can we measure the worth of such experiences? MCS operates under the conviction that the education of children must be done by teachers whose primary goals are the salvation and discipleship of the next generation. Working together with parents, the teacher’s single-minded focus is training their children to become mature followers of Christ.
In every area, students observe their teachers closely and they begin to see the world from the teacher’s perspective. Jesus made this very clear in Luke 6:40: “The disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is trained will be like his teacher.” With this in mind, consider what one of our sixth-grade students said at the school banquet in October:
“No matter how much we are told what is in the Bible, it is still a personal decision to make our faith our own. The teachers here care about us on a personal basis, and want to help us have a great relationship with God. No matter what class we are in, or what material we are talking about, if we have a prayer request or question about our faith, the teachers take the time to answer our questions and pray for us personally. We as students aren’t just sent here for education, we are also here for the spectacular relationships our teachers and peers provide.”
This young student, at the tender age of 12, is already grasping both our vision and our values, that is, what must change and what must never change. No greater challenge confronts us than to navigate the tension between remaining true to the Eternal, while being relevant in this age. We must provide innovative and timely approaches to learning that meet both student needs and parents expectations. With the same vigor however, we must not shy away from our mission and make it very clear who we are, what we believe, and why we believe it. We absolutely must not drift from our mission because young people desperately need us to be true to who we are – and always have been.
We measure the worth of Christian education one life at a time, and each life is a priceless creation of God Himself. This is an excellent time of year to thank our teachers, staff, and administrators for their commitment to training and mentoring our children.
Dr. Cy Smith
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