How can we advance the mission of ECS in our 21st century context?
Last week a team of teachers and leaders had the opportunity to attend the Global Christian School Leadership Summit in Orlando, FL, sponsored by several Christian school associations. It was a rich time of fellowship and growth for our team and many others from all over the world. ECS takes seriously the professional growth of our faculty and staff, and one of the ways we use Annual Fund giving is to invest in the teachers who teach your children.
A question that I ponder is - How can we advance the mission of ECS in our 21st century context? Last week, I was able to hear Dr. David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group, speak on the research-based book he co-authored with Gabe Lyons titled, Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You're Irrelevant and Extreme. The book explores politics, sexuality, race, gender, and religious freedom. Dr. Kinnaman is a supporter of Christian schooling because "Christian schools create the counter-cultural narrative that is needed in our culture."
One of my many takeaways from Dr. Kinnaman's keynote is being able to engage our culture by asking the questions to help demonstrate good faith with conviction, compassion, and creativity. Here are some guiding questions and pithy responses to consider:
• What is wrong? Stop and confront.
• What is confused? Clarify and compel.
• What is right? Celebrate and cultivate.
• What is mission? Create and catalyze.
One of the most important things to my heart is preparing a generation for a lifetime. It is a new culture that needs a new mindset on that culture without losing biblical conviction. Honestly, there are times I have been embarrassed at the way Christians engage culture. We must check our hearts and posture as we seek to be thinking Christianly about the way we engage. Part of the process is asking the right questions that help us frame a gospel-saturated response. As Dr. Kinnaman states, "Good faith Christians are a counterculture for the common good."
Kinnaman, David, and Gabe Lyons. 2016. Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You're Irrelevant and Extreme. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.