Church is Not Enough

Christian schools have been a part of North America since the early 1600s, basically as soon as Europeans immigrated to the continent.  For over 300 years it was assumed that schools were rooted in the Christian faith.  But things changed dramatically in the 20th-century as secular dogma began to infiltrate school curriculums.  After World War II, as public schools became more secular (prayer and Bibles were removed, for example), Christian schools grew at an exponential rate.  Many recognized the growing need for privately or church-sponsored schools to fill a gap in the spiritual and moral development of students. 

The influence of a school and its teachers cannot be overestimated.  Simply do the math.  Take a student who spends a couple hours per week involved in the church and it’s activities.  At 52 weeks per year over 13 years (Kindergarten-12th grade) that equals 1,352 hours.  But students spend 15,000 hours in school during those same years.  Even students who attend church on a regular basis will spend over 10 times more hours in school than church!  Who has more impact on that kid’s life?  Their youth pastor or their teachers?  And think about how difficult it is for parents of kids who sit in classrooms that teach: there is no God, the Bible is a fairy tale, their lives are no more valuable than a whale or a spotted owl, and they should start having sex whenever it feels right.  Parents and the church have to undo this secular indoctrination over and over again.

There are tangible results to this reality that have been validated in the “Cardus Education Survey,” which is the largest study ever done in this subject area.  According to the summary results, 50% of high school graduates who attend church regularly, but are enrolled in public school, will keep their faith.  While on the other hand, 92.5% of high school graduates who attend church regularly, but are enrolled in a Protestant Christian school from Kindergarten through 12th grade, keep their faith.  Wow!

The president of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Brian Simmons, discusses the invaluable importance of Christian Schools in his book, Worth It: The 15,000-Hour Decision.  He highlights three institutions given to us by which to disciple and to educate students: the family, the church, and the school.  If one pictures each as a leg in a three-legged stool, then if one is missing the result is a wobbly chair.  Or, a wobbly Christian teenager.

I hope pastors take this to heart.  If a pastor has the ability to start a Christian school, then one should prayerfully consider it.  If a pastor already has a school, then prayerfully consider how to expand it.  The most effective way to disciple students completely is for parents, the church AND school to all be working together to produce the next generation of Christian leaders who will impact the world.  Christian parents and leaders alike must learn history and understand that we are raising children in a secular environment that is hostile to their faith in a way that America did not experience prior to the 20th century.

Church is not enough.  In order for our kids to be developed into all that God created them to be: families must be strong, churches must be strong, AND Christian schools must be strong.  I encourage parents to bring their kids to church on Sundays, teach them right from wrong at home, and enroll them in a Christian school.  This gives them the best chance to raise successful and God-fearing children.  I believe there is a bright future ahead for Christian schools and let’s hope that more and more students will receive the opportunity to be part of it.

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  • By Youtube Summertime Sadness on September 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

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