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Mon. Jun. 24, 2013 14:47 Age: 4 yrs

Category: Pastor's Q&A
By: Paul Carter

Pastor Blast: Education Options


Over the last several years I have often been asked my views on the education of children. The Bible does not mandate any particular approach. There is no verse in the Bible that says: “Thou shalt send thy kids to Christian School”, nor is there a verse stating: “Those who love the lost must send their kids to public school.” Deciding on an educational approach for your family is a very important and very personal decision.  There is no “one size fits all” approach. As many of you will know, our family has taken advantage of a variety of options over the years. We have had our kids in the Christian School (which we enjoyed a great deal), the public school (which had its advantages as well) and this coming year we are trying our hand at home schooling for our two middle children. As a parent I see the advantages associated with each option and encourage you to think through what works for your situation and for the needs of your particular child.

Towards that end I was pleased to discover a blog series that was recently published on The Gospel Coalition website. They asked three parents to summarize the rationale behind their educational choices for their children. The first blog linked below advocates for Christian School, the second for home schooling and the third for public school. I encourage you to read all three. As a pastor I would further encourage you to not absolutize whatever decision you make. I have been distressed in the past to be accused of “not supporting the home team” because I did not mandate a particular option from the pulpit. Let me be very clear: there is no home team on this issue. Allow me dispel a few popular myths that tend to circulate at pew level about children’s education:

1. Parents who love their children send them to Christian School regardless of the cost.

That is simply not true. Christian School is not the only loving option and finances are a real and legitimate reason to look carefully at other opportunities. If the cost of private school means you can’t tithe or save or avoid debt (all of which the Bible says you should do) then it is probably not God’s will for your family at this time.

2. Parents who love their children home school them regardless of whether they have the particular skill set required.

Again – NOT TRUE.  There are lots of good reasons for not home schooling that have nothing to do with whether you love your children and it is a verifiable fact that not every parent has the skill set to home school their children. This option is simply not suited for all situations.

3. Parents who love the lost send their children to the public school.

It is absolutely not true that parents have to choose between loving the lost and loving their kids. Children are not evangelistic hand grenades that we toss into the dark corners of fallen culture. Parents who home school or utilize private school options can and must still have an evangelistic strategy in the place that they live. Coaching soccer, volunteering at the hospital or joining a curling club are just a few of the hundreds of ways that parents can seek the lost regardless of how they educate their children.

Lets agree that parents need to be supported and encouraged in making this decision and lets avoid assuming that what works for us will work for every other family in the church. Lets agree that whatever choice your family makes, moms and dads will still be the most important factor, humanly speaking, in the spiritual life and development of your child. Those things being agreed, I pray the resources listed below will be helpful to your family as you process this most important of decisions.

thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/06/20/perspectives-on-our-childrens-education-a-private-enterprise/

thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/06/21/perspectives-on-our-childrens-education-homeward-bound/

thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/06/19/perspectives-on-our-childrens-education-going-public/

Blessings,

Paul Carter


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