My wife teaches kindergarten in our school. It is always fun when one of her students encounters her outside of the classroom. We were visiting a church when Sue was spotted by a group of her students. Some ran up to her for a hug while others held a parent’s hand and excitedly pointed. The pastor, watching their reaction and the reaction of his own children, looked at Sue and laughingly said, “It looks like we have a rock star visiting us today!”
I think the reaction of a child exemplifies what this partnership of the home, the church, and the school is supposed to look like. The parents have the responsibility of showing the child what it means to live as God intended. Within a community of families, the school opens the doors of creation to reveal God and help shape the child’s response to living in the real world, the world where God is in control. In both the home and the school, the child’s learning is centered on using what they know to respond to God.
The church represents a different paradigm where the parents, child, teachers, physicians, babysitters, members of our extended family, and other people important in the lives of a child all meet to receive God together. The relationship with the church presents a sacramental experience that completes the partnership of the home and the school in the eyes of a child. Christian schools that diminish the role of the church to increase enrollment leave their students with two thirds of a picture of a child’s community. Without the church involved in education, I worry that the child perceives God as a distant creator and religion as limited to policing morality.
As much as a child is excited to see their teacher at church, I think the same can be said when a child sees their pastor at school. I invite you to be a part of our recess, open a class with devotions, be a part of chapel, or help out in a classroom. Some of our pastors have had opportunity to coach a team. Others have helped to substitute in a class or have shared expertise by being a guest speaker. If you are interested, please connect with me at school via email or call our main office at 206-364-7777. I look forward to hearing from you and celebrating the partnership of the church, the home, and the school in lives of our children.