Recommitting to a Christian Philosophy and Community, Part 1

The idea of mission is deeply rooted in Christian thinking and the Latin theological concept of mission dei, the mission of God. The Christian school community, centered on the person of Jesus Christ, has historically been on mission to extend and build the kingdom through its ministry to children. In obedience to Psalm 78:4-7, God’s  people are to “tell the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done…that the generation to come might know…that they should put their confidence in God” (NASB).

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The apostle Paul expressed his mission when he wrote, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). This mission is the mission of Christian schooling, and it is to this purpose that Christian educators are called.

Of Dead Ends and U-Turns

In their recently released book U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, George Barna and David Barton combine years of research and study to “examine the moral and spiritual underpinnings that made the United States great, explain the causes of decline over the past forty years, and offer a detailed road map for the future.”

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As an educator, several things have caught my attention during my initial reading of the book.  Consider the following:


Day by day we are seeing an ever-increasing use of technology.  The growth in the past few years has been exponential and, not surprisingly, educators have come to an almost Messianic view of iPads and other devices.

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Of course, while seasoned teachers are sifting through the packaging looking for the instruction manual, fourth graders are playing Temple Run II with the ease of duckling on his first swim.  They finger-swipe the front door of the house and stand perplexed that it failed to open (that truly happened).  So, since technology is so powerful and kids so love it, will devices revolutionize education?

Kids Have Been Big Losers!

Dr. Schultz has been involved in education for over 40 years. He recently completed 9 years of service as an associate pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and Headmaster of Sherwood Christian Academy. Prior to coming to Sherwood in 2005, he served as a public school chemistry teacher, a Christian school science teacher, high school principal and superintendent. He also served as the Southeast Director for the Association of Christian Schools International and as director of Christian school resources at LifeWay Christian Resources. He is the author of the booklet A Parent’s Greatest Joy and the book Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations. He is married with three children and 6 grandchildren. His children attended biblically-based schools from Kindergarten 4 years old through college. His grandchildren are also being educated through biblically-based programs.

I entered school in the 50s.  Since that time, a lot of changes have taken place in education and these changes have made a significant difference in the lives of children.

© 2008 Nonnerboy. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#41).

© 2008 Nonnerboy. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#42).

Several years ago, I came across a short description of some losses kids had experienced since the 1950s.  Having lived through theses decades, I knew these losses were a reality and included this list in my book Kingdom Education.  Consider the following:

Jet Lag: Good for Students

Dr. Phil Johnson is the founder and president of Global Next Research Group and Leadership Institute. Phil is a former educator, administrator and developer of educational programs, but he currently uses his expertise to speak to audiences and train leaders throughout the US, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Through the research arm of his organization, Phil has met with leaders, influencers and journalists in places such as Moscow, Israel, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan. His extensive travel, research, writing and first-person interviews across the world bring a unique perspective to his work in developing a new generation of leaders.

As a Christian, Phil’s most important desire is to bring hope to the world and to reflect God’s character to those he serves.

Ok, that title isn’t really true. Not even a little bit.  Actually, jet lag is not good for anyone – it can disrupt sleep cycles, make you cranky and cause memory loss.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Johnson's Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Johnson’s Facebook page.

I know a little something about jet lag because I run an organization that chases stories around the world, trains many hundreds of leadership students from at least four continents, and I have sampled more pillows than any normal person should. Over a period of 12 busy weeks this past season, I found myself in 14 different countries. So jet lag, for better or for worse, has become my partner!

5 Keys to Effective Staff Development

If we fail to plan, the ole’ sayin’ goes, we are planning to fail.  That may not be a polished way of saying it, but it is an undeniable truth.  Planning does not insure success, but failing to plan makes failure a near certainty.

This photo (click photo for link), “Traditional Professional Development” is copyright (c) 2012 Jen Hegna and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (

© 2012 Jen Hegna.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#13).

So, you thought that February was for lovers, focused on Valentines’ Day.  That’s fine, but February should also be for planners.  Administrators find that planning is a continuous activity.  So let’s think about one aspect of planning that should be on your radar right now.

How to Hire a Humanist

One of the most important duties of the school leader is to serve as the “gate keeper” of the school family.  Admission decisions must be in keeping with the school’s mission.  But the keeping of the gate does not apply only to student admission; the school leader must also hire well.

This photo (click photo for link), “Now Hiring” is copyright (c) 2012 Nathan Stephens and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (

© 2012 Nathan Stephens.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#9).

My friend, Scott Barron, says that strong school heads–hire well, fire well, and raise funds.  Although a simplistic approach, the fact is that effective school leaders must hire well.  Hiring well can prove to be a challenging task.  Is the teacher qualified?