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April 11, 2016

Comments

My wife and I started our kids in homeschool. The goal was to actually educate them. But education is not philosophically or theologically neutral and we recognized the infusion of political secularism in public schools.

Now, we didn't abandon public schools. Let me explain:

One benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility of schedule and location. So we introduced our kids to mission work as we became involved with it. We didn't bring them along to sit on the sidelines, but they had real roles to play in the fulfillment of the mission. And so, we didn't shelter them, but exposed them carefully to the world so that they could see how we appropriate the world's systems of thought through a Christian lens and respond in a Christlike manner to them.

The past several years the kids have been in private schools, primarily because my wife has taken on a full-time leadership position in our local Child Evangelism Fellowship. The primary ministry of the local chapter has been Good News Clubs which partner churches with local elementary schools to run clubs that teach the Bible to kids after school. So our kids have also been involved with that for which they have received training. They are each at least able to explain the Gospel to children. The oldest ones are trained in various Bible teaching and counseling, and our oldest is able to teach new adult volunteers. My oldest two by themselves can manage as many as a hundred kids, teach them any of a number of Bible lessons, teach them songs to go along with them, tell them a mission story that matches it thematically, present the entire Gospel starting with the Bible passage they taught them, and counsel them to confirm new faith as they come to Christ. In fact, our oldest son led our youngest to Christ during a club.

In this way we have followed this pattern of instruction with the goal to be "salt and light" that has a tangible application into the onset of their full adulthood. It's one thing to say in general that they will be salt and light; It's another to plug them into a real ministry where they can put it into practice.

I write all this not to brag on my kids, but to encourage Christian parents that it is possible to raise kids with this kind of focus. And not only is it possible, but it is probable as long as you set reasonable goals for doing so and follow through, bathing everything in prayer and being willing to sacrifice some measure of convenience and comfort for it, and model everything for them as you bring them along with you.

Your "raging river" analogy is a good one. But you're ignoring the fact that public schools are always a raging river and your kid is never an olympic swimmer.

Be "salt and light" in your own life but don't try to force such a responsibility on your child.

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