Christian Education: God's Calling for My Life

Christian education is more than just education.

Martin Luther once stated, "I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth." The men and women of yesteryear displayed this passion when they first lit the flame of vision for Conservative Anabaptist schools. These heroes of Christian education understood the value of educating our children and youth in the ways of God.

Over the years, this flame of vision has burned strong. Many lives have been changed and been impacted for the Kingdom of God. Yet, today this flame of vision is starting to flicker, to wane and to die. But the death sentence has not been given! As long as there is still a flame of vision, no matter how small it is, there is still hope! Praise God that there are still men and women today who are willing to take up the challenge of fanning the flames of vision for Christian education!

Why should we be thankful for our conservative Anabaptist schools? Why should we have vision and passion for the future of our schools? The public school system, in many cases, offers an excellent program. Why not save ourselves from the stress and pressure of trying to “reinvent the wheel”? These are questions that many conservative Anabaptists wrestle with. I in no way want to minimize the struggle that people face in making choices for their children, but I am going to share, at least in part, some of the reasons why I feel that God has called me to the powerful work of teaching in our Christian schools.  

Almost everybody has heard the expression, “The Christian school is the arm of the church.” I somewhat disagree. I believe it would be more accurate to say, “The Christian school is a portion of the heart of the church.”

The Christian school is helping to produce the church’s future leaders and missionaries. With an opportunity so influential, why would we hand our young children over to the world’s system of teaching and influences? We have a powerful opportunity! It is a shame not to use it to its full God-given potential!

This brings me to a theory that I will call the Christian Education Greenhouse Theory.  Some people would argue that it is healthy to have our children placed in the world’s educational system in order to prepare them for the real, sin-filled world.

Although this argument may hold some value, I see many flaws in this thinking. We do not even put young tomato plants in the “real world”! Instead we give a young plant time in a protective greenhouse in order to protect it from the dangers of the outside world. The goal is in no way to keep these plants in this protective covering all their lives, but we place them there to give them a healthy and strong foundation to grow in.

We should care for the children of our churches in the same way. Our Christian schools serve as greenhouses—safe places for children to grow emotionally, physically and most of all, spiritually, before they go out to face the real world on their own.

It is important to notice that the structure of this educational greenhouse should not be one that totally blocks out the outside world. Absolutely not! That would defeat the purpose of what I and many other Christian School teachers are trying to do. I believe the outside world is  should come into our classrooms, but through the filter and guidance of Christian teachers with a solid Biblical worldview. 

Although I am grateful for the opportunity to help direct these young lives towards a stronger and greater relationship with God, it would be dishonest to say that this is the only reason that I love to teach. There is something else inside me that also finds fulfilment and joy in the act of teaching and being involved in the lives of children. It is hard to describe the feeling of being part of changing a child’s life, experiencing the reverent respect that a young child gives towards his teacher, or the simple joy of imparting knowledge into the lives of children. This nearly indescribable feeling has become my passion and joy over the past number of years since I began my career as a teacher and it gives me confidence that this is a career that I want to continue to pursue and grow in.

Looking back over my years of teaching, I am very grateful for how God has worked in my life. When I first began teaching, I did not have a deep passion or vision for Christian education or education in general. I marvel at how God has taken my life and slowly watered the seed of vision in my heart. He has continued to water and nurture that seed until this day. My desire is to allow God to continue to grow this vision in me so that I can be a positive influence on those around me.

My vision is not something that I am expected to or should even try to carry by myself. I am grateful for the many parents, teachers, school administrators and many other unnamed people who daily carry the torch of passion for our Christian schools. I also hold up the Christian home as an extremely powerful and necessary tool in ministering to our children.  God has called me to team with these people and serve His Kingdom through the avenue of the Christian school—and to this calling I must be true.

--Myron Brubacher, 2016 TAP graduate