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Treasure in the Field

Christian Education: the Treasure in the Field - Long Time Christian School Teacher Matt Maki comments:

Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold…For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.  Behold I have told you in advance.       Matthew 24:12, 24, 25

Jesus’ warning, as apropos today as it was then, portrays a sequence of events not only pertaining to Christian belief at the time at the end, it also highlights the continuing threat to faith in every generation.  Thus, Jesus’ question, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find the faith on earth?” ( Luke 18b) is not rhetorical, it contrasts two paths and two very different outcomes.

You may be familiar with the statistics from the American Research Group (Survey: Churches Losing Youths Long Before College  (Article) "http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-churches-losing-youths-long-before-college-39433/
     According to ARG's survey, 95 percent of 20- to 29-year-old evangelicals attended church
     regularly during their elementary and middle school years. Only 55 percent went to church  
    during high school. And by college, only 11 percent were still attending church.  

     The research group found that nearly 40 percent of the surveyed twentysomethings first had
    doubts about the Bible in middle school. Another 43.7 percent said they first doubted that all
    of the accounts and stories in the Bible are true during their high school years. Only around
    10 percent said they first became doubtful about the Bible accounts during college.
   
    In an even more alarming finding, attending Sunday school proved to be of no help in
    strengthening a young person's faith. In fact, the survey revealed that Sunday school is
    actually more likely to be detrimental to the spiritual and moral health of children.

This analysis is not advocating the elimination of Sunday school! Rather, it is pointing out that by traditional definition, children in Sunday school learn Bible stories while in day school they are taught education facts.  Another way of looking at this is in terms of time and emphasis.  Even if a child attended Sunday school every Sunday for a year that adds up to only 52 hours.  However, the same student in a day school attends classes roughly 35 hours a week for 36 weeks, or 1260 hours in one year.  Grades, college, and career are thought to hinge more on graded day school achievement than in Sunday school participation.  Ought not a day school priority begin with God, promote understanding of the world in light of His providence, and honor Him through moral and ethical training to make choices that reflect God’s character?

Definitions to words such as “education” and “learning” are embedded in forming assumptions about methods, achievement, and outcomes.  This will frame the philosophy, or worldview, your children will embrace as definitive, if not decisive.  Critical questions are, which worldview are children learning, where did they get it, and will that worldview prepare them to serve God and fulfill Christ’s calling to serve as His ambassadors?  Is their day school dedicated to that end?

I am convinced God is sovereign and that He works providentially in all events.  His will ultimately will prevail and He has He has ordained means to that end.  Christian education is the treasure in the field, and the field is the world.
 
Matt Maki graduated in 1974 from the University of Colorado with a degree in Geography, and in 1980 from Washington Baptist Teachers College with a degree in Social Studies.  He has over 60 combined graduate hours in Christian school administration, military operations, international studies, and theology. Matt became a Christian in 1973, at which point God cancelled his ardent evolution-based humanism and replaced it with the conviction of His sovereign, redemptive providence.  In 1979 Matt ended an active army career specifically to teach in Christian schools, an intentional ministry with extensive daily opportunities to integrate scriptural principles in practical studies in the critical idea arena of education and everyday life.