Well, ready or not, it’s time again. August means that the start of another school year is right around the corner. Here at Treasure Valley Baptist School, opening day is set for August 31. Final preparations are in full swing as young people prepare to return to classrooms throughout our community.
I believe our church is a typical one. The children of Treasure Valley Baptist attend many different types of schools. Many of our children attend Treasure Valley Baptist School, a Christian school operated as a ministry of our church. Many families at our church have chosen to homeschool their children. Some young people who attend our church are enrolled in various Christian Schools. Some of the children who attend our church attend public schools throughout our city and the surrounding area. This time of year always raises questions in the hearts and minds of many, including which option is the right one? Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all answer to this question.
EDUCATION CHOICE IS A PERSONAL MATTER
God doesn’t give children to a government or a church, He gives children to their parents. He also holds parents accountable for choices made involving their children, including how they educate them. In our church, many parents choose to utilize the services of our church-operated Christian School. This requires a great sacrifice on the part of the parents because of the tuition and other expenses, including transportation.
Many of our families are part of our church homeschool support group which consists of families that belong to Treasure Valley Baptist Church. These parents homeschool because of a conviction to do so. This schooling option requires a great sacrifice of time and effort, as well as finances.
Treasure Valley Baptist has many children who attend public schools. For some, it is a choice because circumstances don’t allow an alternative. For others, they choose the public school because they believe it is the best option for their children.
It is important that we understand that school choice is a personal matter between parents and their Lord. If a parent believes the Christian school is the best option for his child, he should respect the choices that are made by other parents. There would be no need for parents who homeschool to criticize or question other parents who choose the Christian school or the public school for their children, or vice versa. To do so is to wrongly judge outside of one’s area of jurisdiction.
EDUCATION CHOICE IS A PASTORAL MATTER
Different pastors choose various educational ministries for the families of their church. Treasure Valley Baptist Church assists the families of our church with homeschooling through our energetic homeschool support group. Since my wife and I successfully homeschooled our own grown children, we stay actively involved in the group along with Dave and Jennifer Bollinger as leaders. The Bollingers have been a tremendous help to us in this endeavor.
Many churches avoid any educational ministries altogether, and some even encourage their children to attend public schools, to be salt and light in those institutions. Many churches have chosen to establish a Christian school for the families in their ministry, much the same way Treasure Valley Baptist Church did in 2007, under the capable leadership of Asst. Pastor Ruben Garcia. Our school now continues to thrive under Principal Brian Johnson.
I remember the day when God very specifically spoke to my heart about the founding of Treasure Valley Baptist School. I knew at that moment, if I failed to do so, I would be disobedient to the leadership of the Spirit of God. Every pastor should be in tune with the Spirit of God, and every church member should trust the leadership of their pastor when it comes to what their church does in regards to education. If God doesn’t prompt a pastor to start a Christian school, he is a fool to do so. If the Lord leads the pastor to organize and assist the homeschool families in his church, then that is exactly what he should do. Because God leads His man in a specific direction, does not mean that that man is against other options. As parents, if you would like to discuss and pray about your choices, please feel free to call the church office and make an appointment. Come in and talk and let me be a help to you and your family. I am always honored to be a part of this discussion with parents.
EDUCATION CHOICE IS A PRAYERFUL MATTER
Not only should pastors and parents pray about school choice, we should all pray for our children, regardless of where they go to school. There are no perfect places or situations. What works for some, doesn’t work for others. To try to fit every child and every family into a particular mold is unfair and unwise.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” II Corinthians 10:12
For too long, some proponents of one educational choice have condemned all others. Christian school parents should pray earnestly for children who are homeschooled and those who attend public schools. Our homeschool families need to pray for families that have chosen the Christian or public schools as their option. If I am certain that I have obeyed the Lord, why would I not give others the right to obey Him as well, along with my earnest prayers for their success?
The onslaught of Satan’s attacks upon our children is obvious. There are no perfect schools. There are some public schools that are worse than others and there are some families who would not do a very good job homeschooling their children. There are Christian schools that are less than distinctly Christian. Thankfully, there are young people whose lives testify that the parents’ choice for their education worked for them, whether they were educated at home, at a Christian school or in a public school. Each of us should prayerfully seek the Lord’s mind as to how we should educate our children. We should then pray earnestly that God would use that tool in their lives. For all of our children, I pray this will be a blessed and productive year.
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD
in ceasing to pray for you:” I Samuel 12:23a