Foundations for the New School Year
1. Foundations: God’s Word
At the beginning of the school year, it is our great privilege and joy to review what our true foundation of education is. As we review that one foundation, we can anticipate the excitement of evaluating schedule, methods, materials, environment and attitudes with a focus on that foundation.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverb 1:7)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
“See that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
From these and many other verses, we are instructed to examine every activity and all teaching from the view of surrender. We will be reminded to encourage each of our children to discover the association of sports to the truth of our foundational belief. And, not only sports but studies, arguments, diet, rest, recreation and worship.
How? How will we do that???
We will grow in knowing God as we follow and obey His guidance. Growing by loving to be in His Word more. Growing by choosing close friends wisely. Growing by gathering with like believers regularly.
2. Foundations: Evidence for Truth Is the Bible true? While believing in God, His Word and His love will require faith, we do also want to expose our students to evidence that is available. We want to encourage them to be vocal about their doubts but willing to hear evidence.
There are many resources available, but if you have none consider:
-How Do We Know the Bible is True? by Ken Ham and others
Knowing the nature we all have, I prefer reviewing this topic in short sessions often. We tend to believe it until we ignore it!!!
For example, during any Bible class, pause and ask, “Where did that idea come from?” And “What evidence do we have to believe that?”
During any academic or athletic activity pause to consider how God’s Word rings true.
3. Foundations: Creation
Does Creation affect everything I teach?
Imagine trying to understand any experiment in science, whether chemistry, physics or other, without a firm understanding of where elements started.
In my opinion, a mistake we often make is to assume that a student raised in a Christian environment will know and understand the value of Creation. But this is not true. When faced with confusing arguments based on a lie, the lie can begin to appear as truth.
Science is not the only Creation-dependent study. It really can become fun to look at anything – football, dinner, argument – and learn where we are Creation-dependent.
Master Books offers great resources to help you keep focused on the value of understanding Creation in every activity for every age.
A resource that I still use (lest I wander) is Creation: Facts of Life by Gary Parker.
4. Foundations: Hope
Our very philosophy of life, our every conversation, our method of teaching and discipline are all dependent on what we believe about the nature of man and whether man has any hope.
So, are we all sinners, and how does that affect our teaching?
Mistakes we often make:
“He didn’t mean to be so rough or _______.”
“I’ve tried everything and nothing works.”
Yes, he did mean to act selfishly or display arrogance or claim superiority over you. And no, you haven’t tried everything, because we are NEVER without hope.
We must recognize that as Christians, a foundational belief is that our very nature at birth is putrid selfishness, arrogance and self-righteousness. BUT GOD in His abundant love provided for us to use our will to receive His forgiveness and His Spirit’s power to be rescued from ourselves.
We teach every day with the realization and application of that hope. We are offering child training in leadership based on this very foundation. Let us know if you want to join in this study.
5. Foundations: Worship
What is the place of worship in our school?
How incredibly good God is to permit us the privilege of worship. He knew our need and He provided for that need in Himself.
Here’s what we want to avoid – fabricating an artificial forced activity in any school situation.
Worship – always a joy, always a delight, always in awe, always in surrender.
Ironically, I can only guard myself in this regard. So, whatever I offer my student will simply be an overflow of the child’s observation of my own worship. The child can’t see my heart, but he can hear my praise; he can see my joy, he can see my contentment.
Notice this help from the biography of Jeremiah Burroughs: “Before we aim at worship, we must prepare our hearts and minds to prize the splendor of the God to whom we seek to offer worship.”
Worship, then, will be easy if I am growing in the knowledge of God’s splendor.
Worship will also be evident always, whether the study is mathematics, or the activity is golf.
“In all my ways I will acknowledge Him.” (Proverbs 3:6)