By Pastor Bob Nichols, Calvary Cathedral International
The trend of cutting edge ministries several years ago was to start Christian schools. Many of those same schools are closed today because they became expensive, they didn’t see enough success with the student body or they didn’t bring the church growth that had been anticipated. It did not take long for pastors, church leadership and congregations to realize that Christian education is costly and sometimes very difficult. Our Christian school, just like many other things that God has led me to do in my forty plus years of ministry, isn’t always easy. Having said that, I strongly declare that it is time for the body of Christ to see Christian education with the same mentality that is used when it approaches foreign and home missions or any other major ministry in the church that dare I say doesn’t pay. It would never occur to most churches to shut down their youth program or their foreign or home missions program. Yet in Christian schools where we have the opportunity to disciple, evangelize, mentor and train young people five days a week, seven hours a day per school year and observe and track the product of our labors we have a different standard. Time has proven in our school history that we have a high success rate of students who have graduated and are making a difference for God and in the marketplace. Some of our best teachers in our school and leaders in our church are those who have graduated from our school.
People give to missions without hesitation and rarely have the opportunity to see the fruit of their offerings, and it would never occur to them that those mission projects be profitable or shut down because they don’t see enough results. Yet the Christian school ministry that is in an ongoing fight for the lives our children and generations to come feels compelled to be profitable or be closed. I believe that it is so simple that we might be missing a very important truth – Christian education is a mandate from God. The responsibility for the next generation belongs to us. Profitability is not the mandate. God has called us to be faithful not successful. Our success comes from our obedience to Him.
God called us to start our Christian school 31 years ago, and I believe more strongly today than ever that Christian education is necessary. Since we as Christians believe that God is the center of all things it seems only right to me that we should teach from that perspective. History has proven that a teacher’s philosophy today will become the pupil’s philosophy of the future. Sadly, I see that a Christian worldview is becoming almost extinct. How can this be? It is simple. An education
devoid of God produces a student devoid of a Christian worldview. A Christian home will be hard pressed to overcome the subtle erosion that takes place when students walk the halls of schools that are devoid of God or anti-God.
I am bold enough to say that every church should have a Christian school or supporting a Christian school as though it were any other mission. Every Christian school deserves to be covered by a pastor and congregation with financial and prayer support.
I can speak personally of hardships and decisions that had to be made concerning our Christian school. In March 2000 our church and school were hit by a devastating tornado. In just seconds our buildings were destroyed. I was advised during that time by business people and other ministers that I should take the insurance money, invest in the church and close the school. This advice was given by well meaning people who had our fiscal well being at heart, but I never entertained the idea of not having a Christian school. Calvary Christian Academy is a vital part of Calvary Cathedral International, and I could never go back on what God told me to do in 1979 when we started our school. I declared many times during those days that like Job we would come back stronger than before. Today the church is in a debt free building and our school is in a lovely 74,000 square foot educational complex also debt free. Our nation is in a great crisis. Children are being influenced by Hollywood, music, video games and teachers with a humanistic worldview. It is critical that Christian education not go away. It is necessary for the preservation of our Christian values that we do not give away all that is sacred. We are responsible for the next generation. I urge you to revive your vision and remember why you are in this important ministry.
…Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelation 2:10