Did you know that students in grades K-12 spend, on average, 1080 hours per year within a school setting? In a child’s most impressionable years, that number of hours represents an enormous amount of foundation laying; of worldview shaping. Parents have the God-given responsibility to train up their children, but as an extension of that authority, schools exist to support parents in the training process. When a child is old, he will not generally depart from that early foundation, be it oriented toward God, or away from Him. So, children rely on their authorities, primarily parents and teachers, to teach them about what is right, true, and real. The task of educating the next generation in the ways of God, therefore, remains paramount in an increasingly hostile world.
While some would suggest that education today is values neutral, we know that someone’s values are being taught to our children every day. Education is not merely information in nature, but transformational, in that it shapes the minds and hearts of children and how they view themselves and the world around them. In other words, the teaching process is a discipleship process, and the destinies of young people are always at stake. Is it any wonder that there is a consistent attack on the Judeo-Christian values taught to children in order to cut off future generations from the things of God?
Imagine what would happen if we could capture the hearts of young people for Christ now. The Church’s tasks of discipleship must be as focused upon children as it is adults. We must move beyond Sunday school to Monday through Friday schooling, as well.
Knowing how seriously Jesus treated children, we must quicken our efforts to raise the next generation of spiritual champions.
**Bob Sladek is head of school at Mariner’s Christian School in Costa Mesa, California. He has served as pastor to children, youth, and young adults in order to impact the next generation.
Reflection Points – Biblical Truths
1. What do you think about the statement: “Education is not merely information in nature, but transformational, in that it shapes the minds and hearts of children and how they view themselves and the world around them”?
2. How involved are you in what your child is being taught? How can you more consistently engage with what your child is learning?
3. How can you partner with each teacher to maximize the impact/values of what your child is learning in their classroom?
4. Spend some time praying for your child and their teachers.