Accountability and Authority

Just as a poor history teacher can make a child hate history, Christian school personnel can harden the hearts of their students to God. Christian school authority carries with it many responsibilities beyond the subject matter. We can learn from the responsibilities of parenting.

Christian schools (teachers and administrators) are accountable before God, their students, and their parent bodies. Our secular mindset, trained by the public education system, presumes that schools are merely accountable to provide a “good education.” However, this fails to address what a good education is… and thats where the difficulties begin! From my reading of the bible, Christian school personnel are acting in the place of parents, so they are accountable to do all that good parents would do during the school day. While homeschool families do this seamlessly (even in co-op settings where every child is either their own or a friends), Christian schools tend to institutionalize their roles and separate themselves from their families, children, Church, and many Christian obligations.
Rather than spending time exploring many obligations that lead to accountability before God, let me focus on one: Authority and Christian faith. Authority is a dangerous thing to carry. It “flavors” everything we teach, do, and represent. Though children need parental authority (delegated to the school during the school day),
if that authority is to direct them to God, it must look like God! It must be merciful, understanding, wise, compassionate, creative, forgiving, and individualized.
As fallen people, Christian authorities must also be aware that they are not God. They must account for their failings and misjudgments; they must not presume to have all the answers to all questions, but rather point children to God. Because relationships are at stake, it is better to err on the side of mercy than on the side of judgement. Children, especially, are hurt by a lack of trust.
Parents are representatives of God to their children. The earliest and clearest way they will learn the qualities of God AND grow to love and trust Him is through the way their parents administer their love and authority. Acting in the place of parents, school personnel carry much of this role and are responsible before God to use their authority well. I have both witnessed and heard from others that “religious schools inoculate children against the faith.” This is sad, but if true, it would be better for those schools to not exist. No amount of academic and religious instruction is worth the hardening of a child’s heart against the Lord.
As a new year begins, it would be a good time for Christian school teachers and administrators to reflect on the authority they carry. Are you being the best example of who God is as you can be? We need to daily seek His grace and power to be all He desires!
blog comments powered by Disqus