I would like to share some thoughts in the next several blog posts under this title: Timeless Truth, Different Delivery. In my work of writing and staff development with schools, it has been my opportunity to encourage Christian schools to be distinctively Christian in order to better meet their missions and to focus on nurturing student faith. I have attempted to bring a common language and specific methods to this dialogue. I believe this is critical work in a time when Christian schools seem in danger of slipping away due to continuing enrollment problems, lack of clarity around philosophy and mission, or just plain lack of resources or will to do pro-active school improvement work. How will our schools improve and be faithful to their missions – their reasons for existence?
What is encouraging is that the kind of skills that our students need are the very skills that I believe can be delivered best in the context of a Christian school. This is true because ultimately all truth is God’s truth and all things cohere in Christ. For example, when Howard Gardner from Harvard identifies the kinds of minds our students need in his book Five Minds For the Future and then is asked what kind of mind is ultimately most important, he identifies the “respectful” and “ethical” mind as most important. Isn’t that exactly the kind of mind we are seeking to develop in Christian schools? And, I would add, we are providing the foundation for this kind of mind – we are teaching kids that God’s Word is the basis of truth for having a “respectful” mind and that an “ethical” mind is not based on whatever you and I agree upon, but on the Ten Commandments given by God and interpreted by Jesus Christ in his summary of the law – to love God and love neighbor.
My point is that what our kids need is a firm understanding of timeless truth – that has not changed. We have made strides in our ability to articulate the what – what truths are most important for our students to grasp in order to help make sense of the world? How we move them to an understanding of that truth is what we need to consider given today’s world and today’s kids. We also know more than we used to about why we need to use different delivery methods. Let’s explore what, how and why further.