Greater Impact: Why consider Christian Ed for your student?
Why choose a Christian high school over a public option? Here are 3 reasons to consider on your high school hunt.
BY Dan Gehrke
Christian Education is valuable beyond small class sizes, opportunities for involvement, and personal relationships with teachers and coaches.
The goal of many - if not all - Christian schools is to prepare students to continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus far beyond high school and be well equipped to explain and defend their faith. The importance of this faith preparation is valuable far beyond academic preparation for college and careers.
The following article is not a moral mandate for Christians to get their kids in Christian schools or escape from public schools. Instead, our hope is for all Christian families to be clear about what each educational choice brings to the table. Consider these 3 points:1) It is a misconception that public or other non-Christian schools provide a neutral worldview environment.
It is natural in some ways for people to view public schools as neutral educational environments as it relates to worldview. It’s natural to be trusting that public schools are neutral places where a student’s Christian worldview and beliefs will be honored and respected. Yet, it’s obvious to most that being a government entity in today’s world means an avoidance of anything “Christian.”
As Christians, this should come as no surprise. Either Jesus walked out of that tomb on Easter Sunday morning or He didn’t - no middle ground really exists. The messages from any worldview that does not acknowledge Jesus as a risen Savior run the risk of being in conflict with Biblical teachings.
Some messages that come from the secular worldview are obvious - such as humans evolved from monkeys - while others are more subtle - such as truth can be found within oneself.
Anti-Christian worldview messages, even the subtle ones, are powerful influences on kids. These environments may be working against what’s being taught at church and at home.
For Christian parents that choose a public or non-Christian education - know that the environment is not neutral. Be prepared to spend the time, effort, and prayer each day undoing the secular worldview teachings your students have been exposed to.
2) Non-Christian schools can create Christians who compartmentalize their faith.
For the Christian family that works diligently to teach their kids to recognize the non-Christian worldview presented in school and measure it against Scripture, another more consistent danger may be present. That danger is that over the long term, kids are encouraged to separate their faith from a major portion of their life.
Consider how different the missions of “believe what you want but keep it to yourself” and “training up spiritual champions to influence the world for Jesus” are. The goal of most, if not all, Christian schools is to encourage students in their faith, encourage their growth, and prepare students to be lifelong Christians. (Note: this does not imply a disregard for excellent academics.)
Faith is not something to be kept hidden only to come out at home or at church. Christian schools walk alongside families toward a common goal of preparing students to have a faith that endures and grows over their lifetime.
3) Most students need to learn how to be salt and light.
Probably the most used objection to Christian education that we hear from Christian parents is that they are sending their kids into non-Christian schools to be “Salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) or to be a witness to non-Christians. When faced with this line of reasoning, we often acknowledge the need (mission work is certainly valued!) but simply ask: Are they ready?
While the spiritual maturity of some adolescents can be real and powerful, parents should honestly assess the readiness of their children to be missionaries. Is it their passion? Do they know how to talk to non-Christians about Jesus? Do they want to?
We find that high school students, even the ones who have been in Christian schools their whole life, often will wrestle with the big questions of life while in high school: Who am I? What is my purpose? Was Jesus who He claimed to be? Is Christianity rational? Does it hold up? Is Jesus the only way to heaven? We want them to wrestle with those questions in an environment that supports them and trains them up in the midst of their search.
Exploring the Value of Christian Ed
Often times, Christian schools are able to provide smaller class sizes, a family atmosphere, a chance to get involved, and academic opportunities not available in public schools. Most importantly though, is the ability to speak biblical truth and God’s grace on a daily basis.
Training students up to be lights to the world, being aware that public schools can’t be a neutral ground, and helping students understand faith should pour into all aspects of their life is vital to the upbringing of all young Christians.
See how LuHi specifically encourages spiritual growth by scheduling a tour, observing chapel or classes, or setting up a shadow day for your student.
Download and read the full ebook "The Case for Christian Ed" that expands on each of these points and goes deeper into the topic of why a Christian education is valuable.
Greater Impact: Building Lifelong Faith at LuHi
Building lifelong faith at the high school level can make a difference in a student's post-high school life. Read about different ways we encourage growth.
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Teacher talent matters at the high school level. When searching for a high school, look for teachers who care about students and can nurture their growth.