Here at the start of the 2013-14 academic year, Dr. Larry Stephenson reminds us why we do what we do.
As we begin another academic year, I simply want to take a moment to remind myself (and all of you) why, specifically, we do what we do – the goal of all our labors. The demands of any given day… the many decisions which must be made, the conversations which must be had, the crisis which must be managed… threaten to obscure our vision. Amid the pressing demands of the day, we sometimes forget the mandate that all of us, as administrators, have been given.
God has called us to the task of educational leadership – specifically to future generations. The leadership we must provide is not understood by the world, but has been modeled for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As we faithfully respond to this call to imitate Christ, we must begin with a biblical premise in the education of all the students God has entrusted to our care. Scripture clearly and repeatedly indicates that children are to have a Christian education. As parents seek to provide this, they entrust their children to our institutions where Christian principles, God’s Word, and excellent academics work together in obedience to this command.
Martin Luther once conveyed, “I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt… I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.”
With this in mind, we must begin with a purposed mission to provide an excellent education founded upon a biblical worldview. To effectually attain this ideal, we must:
• Graduate young men and women, who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; to reason persuasively and articulate precisely; to be capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God.
• Desire our students to recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical, and to be unswayed towards evil by the former.
• Aim to find our students well prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it.
Desire our students be socially graceful and spiritually gracious; equipped with and understanding the tools of learning; desiring to grow in understanding, yet fully realizing the limitations and foolishness of the wisdom of this world.
• Desire our students have a heart for the lost and the courage to seek to dissuade those who are stumbling towards destruction; that they distinguish real religion from religion in form only; that they possess the former, knowing and loving the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Desire our students to possess all of the above with humility and gratitude to God.
Excerpt from “The Administrator’s Handbook for Christian Schools” – Chapter 1
This is our goal. This is our aim. This is why we rise from the bed each day and diligently labor in the halls where God has placed us. The task the Lord has called us to is a noble, important one. Let us pray that He gives us the wisdom, courage, and strength to go about our duties in a way that honors Him and brings glory to His great name.