Spiritual Preparation of the Christian Student

June 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

In a nutshell, a sound Christian school will prepare their students with a good foundation of biblical truth so they will be “good and faithful servants” of Jesus according to the individual plan God has for the individual student.  To look more deeply at what is in that nutshell, lets spend some time looking at HOW a sound Christian school will prepare their students to live a life of discernment with wisdom, according to God’s will or purpose, utilizing the gifts God gives them, being obedient and honoring to Him, able to defend their faith, and be able to explain and spread the Gospel, prepared for any spiritual battle, while serving Him in their career with the character of Jesus:

  • Living a life of discernment.  Proverbs chapters 1 through 4 are mostly about discernment and how to have it.  Solomon (one of the wisest people ever to live – his wisdom was given to him by God) spent a lot of effort in his writings about discernment, how to attain it, and that it has to be learned.  He says it comes from knowledge (biblical knowledge for biblical discernment), understanding, and the proper application of that knowledge, which is called wisdom, to make correct discerning decisions.
  • With wisdom.  As mentioned above, wisdom comes from knowledge, they are two different things.  Proverbs tells us in numerous passages (mainly chapters 1 through 4) to get knowledge AND to get wisdom, in fact Proverbs 4:7 says it is the principle thing, therefore we are commanded to get it. We have to physically make an effort to grasp it, and it takes work to keep it. It takes practice, and the renewing of our mind daily with His word.  Yes, Solomon says it comes from God’s Word, and the knowledge of God and knowing God.  Knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and discernment are all tied to Gods Word.  So the preparation of our kids for life, and a sound Christian school MUST include Gods Word as the basis and foundation for knowledge, understanding, wisdom, discernment. Even in academic subjects.
  • According to God’s will or purpose.  1 Corinthians 7:17 says, “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them” (NIV)  I am convinced that God has a plan and a purpose for every true believer. His purpose in situations that may come up throughout our day, and His purpose in our career or vocation.  Serving God and having a ministry is not restricted to being a pastor or missionary, but includes every place He places us.  That may include serving God as a missionary, but it also includes every other viable vocation such as a welder, truck driver, secretary, farmer, teacher, or homemaker.  Christian schools are to train their kids to serve God, and to work as if working for God as their boss, in everything they do, and that includes their career or vocation. (Ephesians 6:5-9 is one of several passages on this)
  • Utilizing the “spiritual gift(s)” His word says true Christians have been given. Teach that this is a biblical truth (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-7), and it is for the edification of other Christians.  If we don’t use the abilities God gave us to help the body of believers, we are depriving that body of believers of something special that God has for them.  Teach that God intends us to be of use to him: We are to obey that calling and to use what He has invested in us.
  • Being obedient.  Jesus said that if you love Him, you will keep His commands.
  • Learning about God and growing in Him. Colossians 1:9-12 is a brief sequence of progression of the growing Christian: We are to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” We are then to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
  • Honoring to Him.  If you are a Christian, you have God’s “trademark” on you.  You are His.  He owns you.  Your life should be an example of what a true Christian is.  Teach that.  More on how kids honor Him is to follow.
  • Defenders of the faith.   A defender of the faith will be able to respond to the issues in our world that can be construed as attacks on Christianity.  These attacks occur while in the world or outside the church, as well as inside the church.  Yes, I said inside the church, because I think satan is at work in our churches as much, or more, than he is working outside of it.  Prepare students to confidently defend their beliefs. The key word there is “confidently”, and kids that are confident in their beliefs have come to that confidence through careful teaching in a way that is understandable, possibly leading kids to arrive at the decision you have led them to (because most people’s solid beliefs are those they have discovered themselves). Confidence also comes from practice, and many Christian schools have debate teams, evangelization field trips, situation responses, apologetics class, etc. to give their kids practice defending their faith.  More on this later.
  • Spreading the Gospel.  Similar to being a defender of the faith above, but on more of an offensive platform rather than defensive.  Evangelize, witness, explain the Good News, these are terms of the same thing – to spread the Gospel.  Every Christian should have a ready answer to the hope they have (1 Peter 3:15, 2 Corinthians 3:12), and be able to explain how to be saved. After all, that was Jesus’ last request before He went up to Heaven (see Mark 16:15).
  • Prepared for the spiritual battles that will come.  Ephesians 6 from verse 10 on tells us how to prepare for the spiritual battles.  One of the main points to understand, and to explain to students is that we are all born with a sin nature.  We all have a tendency to no do what God wants. Also, I believe we all have a weakness in a certain area in our life, and the enemy (satan) knows that weakness and will exploit it.  He will use that weakness to break us down, cause us to stumble, or use us to cause others to stumble.  When we are aware of these things, we are able to better recognize the battles that ensue there, and to have a chance, with God’s help to overcome them. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • Choosing a career to serve God.  As mentioned earlier, some people think that you can only serve God as a Pastor or Missionary, and that is just not so.  God intends us to serve Him in all areas of life, and in whatever vocation He leads us to. Weather that actually is a pastor, or a welder, an architect, teacher, factory worker, nurse, or in front of a conveyor belt, or in front of a sink and washing machine, we are to do everything for the glory of the Lord.  We are to serve Him in whatever job He has placed us.  We are to be salt of the earth, (salt has no value if not mixed with something else), or light of the world (light is not light if it is not in amongst some darkness) as a method of reaching the lost and of bringing glory to God.  Christians are to work in their career as if working for the Lord, and let others see the Lord in us.
  • The character of Jesus with strength and confidence.  All true Christians are to make every effort to be more and more like Jesus. To grow spiritually, and to bear fruit for Jesus.  In Philippians 3, even Paul said he was still growing and learning, and when he wrote that, he had been a Christian serving God almost daily for over 30 years!

Question: To what extent does your Christian school or home school prepare students spiritually?

 

Copyright 2012  Kevin Brownlee

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