Sunday, October 23, 2011

Philosophy of Christian Education

Education is good and important, but education is not the answer for spiritual transformation in students. Thus, Christian education is more than just knowledge. I would go further to say that Christian education is more than just a moral setting. Many parents place their students in a Christian school because it is considered a safe environment physically, spiritually, and mentally. In response, Christian educators are often caught up in the moralities and knowledge desired by Christian families. What we miss is the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit both in the transformation of lives and the growth of wisdom in our children. The Holy Spirit is above education. Knowledge is commendable, but it will not breed spirituality.

We cannot be the Holy Spirit, but we can be instruments of Him.

As a Christian educator, my goals include the following for my students:

1. The fear of the Lord (This is the beginning of wisdom)
2. To know God (not just know ABOUT Him)
3. Receive and communicate the Gospel effectively
4. To display the existence of God
5. Use knowledge and education as a way to worship and honor God

1. The fear of the Lord - I want my students to understand that God is the omnipotent Creator of the universe. He is to be revered and respected. We are the creation, not the creator. When we understand that---whether children or adults---we view the cosmos in a different way.

2. To know God - I want my students to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We can know what God has done, but to call Him Lord and Savior, and to commune with Jesus---oh, what transforming power that will have.

3. Receive and communicate the Gospel effectively - Within a Christian school setting, we have the open opportunity to clearly explain the Gospel to students, as well as demonstrate its power. The Gospel is not just for the "unsaved." The Gospel should be the foundation for each educator and each student. Live the Gospel and share the Gospel.

4. To display the existence of God - Our purpose as believers is to bring honor and glory to God. Knowledge and order are a reflection of the Almighty.

5. Use knowledge and education as a way to worship and honor God - I do not want my students to earn a grade. I want my students to grow and learn. I am constantly reminding them that school is about the process, not the product. This carries over into spiritual lives. We are not trying to make cookie cutter Christians who look good on a shelf. I want my students to go through processes of failure and success that build them into better students. As students learn the processes of learning, we share and learn from our struggles and mistakes. When students are successful, they give honor to God. I tell them their final product is a gift to God. A gift that is only possible because first God led them through the process. Thus, God gets the honor and glory in their successful work, and in turn, they lay it before the Savior as thanks. What a way to worship our Savior---through education.

If I want to be successful, I too have to know my life is a process not a product. Christian education is not about morality, but it is about spiritual growth. I will fail and struggle, but I will give the honor to God for what comes to me in my classroom and in my life. I must daily rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to give me strength and wisdom as I am His instrument.


Hector said...

sounds good, but how about if you decide to teach them also not to steal, not to manipulate (not to lie), not to harass (bullying), not to kill, not to be gross.
If people love other people as they love themself, maybe we wouldn't need police.

Sizzledowski said...


All of those moral issues are resolved when we see God for who He is. If we merely teach a student to follow rules, there is no heart change. However, if we teach children who God is and allow the Holy Spirit to work within them, the students will worship and obedience will be a natural response.

Hector said...

True. I like your point of view.
If you have a catholic student in your classroom, could there be issues cause catholics and christians have a few differences? Have you had catholic students in your classroom?
I'm just curious...

Sizzledowski said...

I have had Catholic students. Since we are "Christian," the parents understand there will be a few differences in the teaching. That is on the parents to decide, but we do not discuss it in the classroom.

We do, however, agree on most core issues such as Jesus Christ being the Son of God and the Savior of the world---the foundation of Christianity.

The differences come in with praying to saints and the specific sacraments. Again, I am at liberty to disagree with them in the classroom, but we don't have discussions about it---Also, I teach 4th grade. If I taught an older grade, it might be acceptable to have discussions/debates about the differences.