Received a call today from a discipleship school who was picking up students from the closure of an evangelistic school in the same city. The evangelistic school had accepted students from two homosexual families. The discipleship school, following ASCI guidelines, had adopted a policy well beforehand to not allow admittance to homosexual families. Naturally the homosexual families made a big deal of the discipleship’s school refusal to accept them. So far Facebook – but the press is probably not far behind.
Well …. it certainly does matter, doesn’t it, if you are an evangelistic or discipleship school … So here’s the question: Fundamentally, are Christian schools best evangelistically, or best at discipleship? I have a missions degree from Fuller. What we heard over and over again: The best evangelistic strategy under heaven is to plant new churches.
With all the research we’ve done, I could make a pretty convincing case that the best discipleship strategy under heaven is to start new Christian schools (or at least grow them.) From a satisfaction point of view, discipleship schools tend to do better, largely because parents are “on the same page.” Whether a discipleship school or an evangelistic school, the families that stay year-to-year tend to be the church-going families. (Not the buddhists or adherents to other non-Christian religions, or the “nones”) We can transform student lives more profoundly if we are starting with a family from a sincerely Christian home.
Why do homeschoolers homeschool? The number #1 reason is they think they can “do Christian” better than you can. Not money. Academics is #2. When it comes to evangelistic schools, they are often right.
My advice to the discipleshp school is that the sanctity of marriage is just one of many values a discipleship school embraces: The sanctity of life, the sanctity of God’s holy word, the need to instill strong Christian principles in students, Christian character, etc. With a discipleship school, it is easier to make the case for what you embrace. It’s not what you are against, it’s what you are for. That makes life easier when the press shows up.
A final thought – I have dealt with an awful lot of schools that say they are evangelistic, but in reality about 85%+ of all parents are regular church goers. It would not be that difficult for them to convert to 100% church-goers, grandfathering in the 15% – many of whom won’t be staying anyway.
In light of the inevitable polarization coming with Obergefell v Hodges, maybe it is time to look into that. Rest assured that homeschoolers in your area will be paying attention.
(c) 2015 Dan Krause GraceWorks Ministries All Rights Reserved