By Ron Gordon, Renewanation COO
“Every civil government is based upon some religion or philosophy of life. Education in a nation will propagate the religion of that nation. In America, the foundational religion was Christianity. And it was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and public schools for centuries. Our liberty, growth, and prosperity was the result of a biblical philosophy of life. Our continued freedom and success is dependent on our educating the youth of America in the principles of Christianity.” –Noah Webster
Why start a Christian school? Because we have no other option. The necessity for solid Christian schools has never been greater than in today’s culture. With increasing threats of political and social indoctrination, as seen through the installation of Common Core and the recent federal transgender policies, a heightened sense of urgency is stimulating the formation of new Christian schools. Renewanation is witnessing a revived enthusiasm and appeal on behalf of pastors and parents to commit to weekday biblical worldview education because it provides much-needed solutions.
We must begin with one child, one family, one church, and one community at a time to stem the tide of secular humanism that is flooding through our nation. We want to be part of the movement for intentional change. We take seriously the admonition of the Lord in His Word to teach His commands to our children while we talk, sit, walk, and lie down (Deut. 6:5–9).
Tammy Lamy, a passionate parent from Louisiana, who attended public school and taught in public schools for seventeen years, had finally had enough. Meeting with her pastor, John Raymond, she discovered they shared a similar passion.
Mrs. Lamy writes, “Over the years, I had watched the public school system get farther and farther from God and get worse in every way. With the implementation of Common Core and the continuous moral degradation of our society and school system, I knew I could no longer be part of it. I knew public school was not an option for my four-year-old twins. They have to be taught a biblical worldview and not only by my husband and I, and at church on Sundays, but every single day and in everything. They need to learn He is relevant in every aspect of their life. God rebirthed in me a fifteen-year-old vision of an academically strong, biblical worldview Christian school. Shortly thereafter, God reconnected me with Pastor John who shared this same vision. Our deepest desire is to grow Christian leaders who know what they believe and why. Lakeside Christian Academy is committed to preparing our students to be able to defend their faith to anyone in any situation, without sacrificing an excellent education.”
Pastor John Raymond continues, “A generation of Americans have grown up with the public school system teaching them there is no God, and they are not born with a divine purpose. Evolution has convinced tens of millions of children that they are nothing more than time plus slime. This has created an identity crisis of epidemic proportions resulting in severe anger issues and a drastic increase in suicide rates among students and young adults, as well as moral confusion in every area of life. God, prayer, and the Bible have been mocked and rejected, and Christian students have been humiliated and scorned in public schools. Now, sexually confused boys are allowed to use the girls’ restrooms. The ripple effect of this reprobate condition will soon become tragically worse. It is beyond the point of no return.
The public school system is no longer a viable option for Bible-believing Christians at any age. We are commanded to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. We cannot pretend that it is possible to allow the minds of our children to be steeped like a tea bag for forty hours a week in the twisted and immoral values of the world and expect 40 minutes of Sunday School to reverse the damage. Lakeside Christian Academy is fully committed to providing a protective learning environment that teaches a distinctively biblical worldview while maintaining standards of academic excellence. No responsibility should be taken more seriously than to ensure the preparation of the next generation of Christian leaders.”
Paige Dopson, a passionate Christian in rural West Virginia, shares a similar message. Paige came to the same realization after many years of hosting Christian youth camps and retreats.
Mrs. Dopson writes, “For over 20 years, we have conducted church youth groups, camping ministry, VBS, Sunday Schools, and afterschool programs to develop personal relationships with youth. After pouring in the love of Christ, His word, and His way, as well as our love, time, and talents, we too often see good kids walk away from the Lord. I am heartbroken that our church kids are not able to make a committed decision for Jesus Christ. Immersed in their secular anti-Christian environments, these children have not gained the ability to clearly defend their faith and fall away. We have failed them.”
These comments are representative of our daily conversations with Christians ready to engage in full-time biblical worldview education. However, launching such an effort is not one to take lightly. Renewanation has partnered with pastors and parents like those at Lakeside Christian Academy and Cranesville Christian Academy over the past year to support and coach them on their journey.
While every startup school has unique situations to be addressed, there are several critical items that anyone interested in starting a Christian school should keep in mind. A Christian school is most certainly a ministry; however, sound business principles must also be practiced to ensure the ministry can be sustained. Common elements such as vision and leadership, marketing, resources, and facilities are all key ingredients in developing a solid launch plan. Without solid planning and preparation, a new school startup will find it difficult for parents to entrust the future of their children to their Christian school.
First and foremost, Christian schools must be born from God’s calling to evangelize and disciple the next generation. Founders of successful Christian schools launch from a heart aligned with God’s direction in Deuteronomy 6 to diligently teach our children His ways. Proverbs 16:2-3 then gives us confidence that our “motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Jesus Christ alone must be the foundation of the school from which all other activities are built upon.
We must never lose sight of this overall purpose, and it should be clearly stated in our vision and mission statements. There are too many Christian schools today that are Christian by name only. Their focus has shifted to superior academics, a stellar fine arts program, or a celebrated sports program. While these aims are certainly appropriate targets, they are secondary to our intent of securing a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of students.
Often, the founder of a Christian school may not possess the leadership qualities necessary for it to thrive. The best intentions, the best strategies, and the best processes are rendered ineffective without strong leadership. A solid leader must be identified that shares the passion for biblical worldview education. Effective leaders will have a track record of proven results. They will be known for a high level of integrity as prescribed in 1 Timothy 3. They will have an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and take courageous, yet calculated risks. They will possess the ability to collaborate effectively and communicate clearly and confidently.
While our focus on leadership certainly pertains to the Headmaster or Chief School Officer role, the leadership of a Christian school extends to the school’s board of directors and the host pastor, when applicable, as well. This collective leadership team needs to be unified in their vision, mission, and philosophy and characterized by a diverse set of skills and backgrounds. To develop a sustainable growth path for the Christian school, the leadership team will need to have a blend of strengths including education, business management, marketing, community connection, and strategic thinking. The critical nature of the leadership element cannot be overstated. John Maxwell puts it this way: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
If you are interested in Renewanation supporting your new Christian school startup, please contact us today at 1-855-TO-RENEW or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volume 8 Issue 2 - The Renewanation Review