The Horizontal Impact of a Christian Education
Last week I shared about the importance of the partnership between home, church and Christian school in discipling the young men and women. The goal of this discipleship process is twofold. The first and most obvious advantage is that our students would enjoy in increasing measure the personal benefits of a growing relationship with God now and into eternity. This can be seen as the vertical impact between individuals and the Lord. But there is another important purpose accomplished when young people grow spiritually--a positive horizontal impact upon the world around them. Allow me today to quickly address some of the ways we hope to see TCA students have a positive horizontal impact in our world.
In Genesis 1:28, God gave mankind the mandate to “subdue” the earth and to “have dominion” over it. His expectation was (and is) that we not just seek ways to use natural resources, but that our intellect, curiosity, and creativity would be directed toward filling the world with culture and civilization, discovering new and better ways to maximize the usefulness of creation while continually pressing it toward God’s ideal.
We love seeing our students pursue studies in science, medicine, law, engineering, and technology, but our hopes for them are higher than worldly definitions of success defined in terms of good jobs and comfortable lives. Our hope is that they will regard themselves as stewards of a divinely given trust, and that they will work toward a world that reflects God’s intended ideals as much as is possible this side of heaven. While some Christ followers may skeptically steer clear of fields such as politics and environmentalism, we believe that there is much value here when properly directed, and we rejoice when we see our students learn in all grades of the importance of being good stewards of the world around us!
Another end we hope to see in our students is that they will use all they’ve been given to bless other people. From the Old Testament laws regarding gleaning to the New Testament church sharing of all things, Scripture is full of instructions to care for others. If we acknowledge that all we have is a gift from the Lord, we can understand His expectation that we will use all we have to bless others. This “all we have” goes far beyond money to include our possessions, skills, social standing, friendships, personalities, interests, time, prayers, and anything else we might call “ours.”
A great example is God’s gift of manna to His people in the desert. This miracle food appeared each morning, and people simply went out to gather it up. Naturally, some were better gatherers and could physically collect more than others, but God’s desire was for everyone’s needs to be met (interestingly, anything hoarded spoiled and become useless). In 2 Corinthians, Paul compared money to manna, teaching that it’s as much a gift of God as manna was to the Israelites. Today some of us may be better “gatherers” for various reasons, but our possessions are still gift to be shared. This is a value we seek to instill in our students.
In his work Generous Justice, pastor Tim Keller writes that "God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to ‘do justice’” (Micah 6:8). When we are concerned about widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor, we reflect the heart of God and His deep concern for the vulnerable all around us. In this way, individual Christ-followers, their families, our churches, and our Christian schools, can reveal God's glory and character to a world. Space simply does not allow the dozens and dozens ways our students and staff serve the needs of others through the ministry of Trinity Christian Academy.
As always, thank you for your partnership in the God-sized task of preparing a generation of young men and women who will use the skills they’re learning every day in our school and in your home and church out into the world. We are engaged in so much more than just doing school! May our students continue to bless and be blessed!
PS...While we work hard to keep our tuition rates significantly below those of similar independent (not church supported) Christian schools, many families who desire a Christian education for their children simply cannot afford the kind of gospel-centered training that our children are blessed with. Perhaps God has allowed you to be an effective “gatherer,” and you could bless another family out of your excess. Please visit http://www.tcaeagles.org/giving/ for information regarding how you could help support the ministry of Trinity Christian Academy.