Ready or not, it’s that time again. August means the start of another school year is right around the corner. This time of year always raises questions in the hearts and minds of many; including, how should I educate my child? Unfortunately, there is not a blanket answer to this question.
School Choice Is a Personal Matter
God doesn’t give children to 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 great sacrifice on the part of the parents because tuition isn’t cheap. Parents willingly make those sacrifices because they believe they are worth it.
About fifteen of our families have formed a homeschool group which consists of families that belong to Fellowship Baptist Church. This group consists of some who homeschool because of a conviction to do so, and some who do so because they cannot afford to enroll their kids in a Christian school. These are some of our best families who have their children very involved in other ministries of our church.
Fellowship Baptist Church has many children who attend public schools. For some, it is a choice that is made because they do not think they can afford 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. As a matter of fact, there would never be a need for parents to even discuss options that are chosen by other families. To do so is very obviously judging outside of one’s area and is wrong.
School Choice Is a Pastoral Matter
Different pastors choose different educational ministries for their churches. I know of some churches that assist the families of their church with homeschooling. The pastor may form a group for the church’s homeschool families, that functions as a ministry of the church. Some churches avoid any educational ministries altogether, and many churches have chosen to establish a Christian school.
I remember the day when God very specifically spoke to my heart about the founding of Fellowship Baptist Academy. I knew at that moment, if I failed to do so, I would be disobedient to the leading of the Spirit of God. Every pastor should be in tune with the Holy Spirit, 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 lead a pastor to start a Christian school, he is a fool to do so. If the Lord prompts the pastor to organize and assist the homeschool families in his church, then that is exactly what he should do. The leadership of God is the key to this, and all other choices in the life of the man of God. We should remember that just because God leads His man in a specific direction, does not mean that man is necessarily against the other options.
School 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 and fit every child and every family into a particular mold is unfair and unwise.
For too long, some proponents of one educational choice have condemned all others. Our homeschool children need the prayers of families that have chosen the Christian school as their option. Christian school parents should pray earnestly for children who are homeschooled and those who attend public schools. If I am certain that I have obeyed The Lord, why would I not give others the right to obey Him as well, without my criticism?
The onslaught of Satan’s attacks upon our children is obvious. There are no perfect Christian schools, there are some public schools that are worse than others, and there are some families who do not do a very good job homeschooling their children.
Each of us should prayerfully seek the Lord’s mind as to how we should educate our children, and then we should pray earnestly that God would use that tool in their lives. Every family has the right to choose without feeling pressured by others who have already made their choice. For all of our children, I pray it will be a productive year.