I understand there are differences that occur in various Christian schools. Doctrinal issues in light of the whole counsel of God are not what I am talking about because those should be non-negotiable and are at the core to the foundation and statement of faith of the school (both have been discussed in previous posts). I am talking about lesser differences, but not peripheral differences such as class electives offered, or sports offered.
In comparing Christian schools for our own child to attend, my Wife and I learned some differences in the four schools we considered. (Schools that did not hold the same core biblical doctrinal beliefs as us were not part of the list.) What remained as differences in the schools we looked at were what I would call “traits”. Most of these traits came from their founding members, some followed church denomination traits, some were inherent from the staff. Many of those were overlooked by us, but we ultimately based our school choice on biblical foundation and truth.
We asked ourselves “how did the school handle the Bible?” “How serious are they about the Bible?” “How do they incorporate biblical truth into the classroom, school assemblies, school policies, and even discipline?” “Do they simply focus on teaching a subject, or is biblical training important too, and how do they do that?” “Will this school train the heart of our child in addition to teaching our child’s mind?” “Do they require each staff member to be a Christian?” “What are the testimony’s of some of the staff and school officials?” Asking these questions revealed quite a bit about the schools we compared. I would suggest if you are a Christian school staff member or in leadership at the school, you ask these questions about your school also. Look at yourself from the perspective of a godly parent.
One other thought needing consideration is the will of Jesus Christ. Not only is His Word paramount to Christian Schooling, but so is obeying Him and His word. Couple with that the wishes of Jesus for us, and you have a well rounded picture of what a Christian school should be. Just prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, he prayed for us. His prayer is found in John 17, and I am referring to verses 20-26:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
In addition to realizing His love for us, you will also notice in His prayer one of His main concerns and requests to the Father, is that we believers be unified. He wants us to be united in the common belief of the truth in the Word of God. Paul mentions this unity in Philippians 2:2 where he tells the people in Philippi, and to us, to “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” That “one mind” he is referring to is answered in verse 5, where he says it is the mind of Christ that he wants in us.
Unity among Christian schools and among the staff at any particular Christian school must be unified around Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Can your Christian school be defined as unified according to Jesus, and Paul? Later in Philippians 2, in verses 14 and 15, Paul still had unity on his mind when he tells us to be “…blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,…” Unity is a quality of a Christian school so that outsiders cannot point an accusing, blaming, and harmful finger of accusations of sin or wrongdoing that would damage the school or the cause for Jesus Christ. Unity as described above will enable us to be obedient to Paul’s requirement for Christian schools to be lights in the world.
And as parents, you want your children to be “lights in the world”, and their schooling should prepare them for that.