Just Don’t Forget Them

By Friday, October 1, 2010 3 0

Google reader recommends a lot of blogs for me, and they naturally have themes consistent with the blogs I already read: youth ministry, photography, or missions, for example. Interestingly, there’s an abundance of female bloggers who are Christian, photographers and chefs, and [proud] homeschoolers.

I know the caveats and I agree: you have to do what’s right for your family. Maybe you live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, maybe your child has special needs, maybe he’s brilliant and public school isn’t challenging enough. Or maybe you’re a missionary whose third culture kid has trouble making friends in a country that only seems half like home in 6-12 month time frames while keeping up good grades and ministry requirements that involve a LOT of traveling. That one makes me think for sure! And, knowing that last one would qualify me to make the choice to homeschool my own [future] kids, I think it also qualifies me to make the following challenge:

Just don’t forget about the public school kids.

This issue is near and dear to my heart because I was a public school kid and I got saved because my Christian friends went to public school and faithfully told me about Jesus at school.

So it’s come to my attention that none of the blogs that come across my reader are by parents who so diligently feed into their kids’ lives and faith that they’re like mini missionaries at school. None of them mention how awesome it is to see their kids recognizing the world for what it is and doing their best to draw their friends to Christ in the midst of it. None of the blogs are about students who are suffering from rejection and even persecution because of a relationship with Jesus Christ that motivates them to share their faith with everyone they meet. None of them talk about the challenge it is to encourage their child to endure (a Biblical concept if I ever heard one!) the tough times for the sake of Gospel.

Apparently it’s more interesting to blog about the self-fulfilling wonder that is keeping Christian kids at home to learn. I know they’re involved in service projects, the local food bank, homeless shelter, missions trips and youth group. I know they do extra-curricular activities and play on sports teams and art classes. And I am glad. I know it works too: one of my own home-schooled high school students brought numerous friends to youth group via tae kwon do, and those [public schooled] kids are now involved in our youth group.

As a youth leadership staff with a tiny youth ministry, we have a policy to “go where the kids are.” If nearly all our kids are going to a friend’s concert on Wednesday night, we don’t have regular youth group, we go to the concert with the kids. We feel we need to meet them where they’re at, because it seems like that’s what Jesus did. We try to go to their school plays, band concerts and sports games.

If all Christians homeschooled their kids, nobody would learn this principle because nobody would be meeting kids where they’re at – public schools.

I don’t want this blog to be a soap box of any kind. I want it to be a place where people are encouraged to love Jesus, live fully and do all things for the sake of the Gospel. If you’re homeschooling or Christian-schooling your kids and you’re offended, I am sorry. I mean no offense and I tried to make that clear by pointing out that I know there are times when it’s appropriate.

But my heart is broken over the lost kids in public schools and the almost distaste Christians have for them. Christian shouldn’t have distaste for anyone.

So, who will go? Who will send their kids out and trust the Lord to provide the protection and guidance they need on the battle field?

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  • There are several reasons I believe that homeschool should be the default and not the exception, as today is the other way around (public school being default and homeschool the exception). Do I believe that every child should be kept completely out of public school? No. But I do believe it takes a very special act of God raising up a very special child to even consider public schooling.

    Children who go to public school are not only found at public school. There are plenty of ways to reach out to them without being in the school system. It’s much easier than you’d think to reach out to people of all ages. School is suppose to be about academics, and most public schools drown out any attempts to share your faith anyway, so there is ALWAYS that.

    Schools are far more corrupt these days than I think that you realize. Between 1st graders being told that homosexuality is “great” and that they should “try it for themselves to see if they like it”, to middle school students being told to taste flavored condoms in class. From elementary schools teaching children how to pray to mecca and have a jihad, to high schools forcing students who don’t agree with homosexuality to go to “diversity counseling” during school hours without parental permission or notification. From teachers sneaking pregnant students across state borders for abortions to students raping students during school. All of this is happening, and a LOT more. It would take an adult with very strong faith to survive in such an atmosphere, let alone most children.

    I don’t think it’s typically right to send out young children to the battlefield. God Himself in the Bible only did it a couple of times, and those children had spent their entire lives until that point getting closer and closer to God (such as Samuel, who wasn’t even put “on the battlefield” until he was 13, but spent his entire life until that point training under priests). If God has decided to blessed a child for the battlefield even more (and earlier) than He did Samuel of all people, then obviously the world is their battlefield, but until that is evident of my children (and I’ll even pray that it is! God raise me up my children to be Samuels! I’ve been praying that of Cayden since before he was born!), I will do the work of a mother raising up her children in the way I believe that the Lord typically wants us to raise up our own children, despite non-Christians and Christians alike trying to make me like a bad person for doing so.

  • I enjoyed reading your viewpoint on this matter and it’s something that I revisit every once in a while. I personally went to a Christian preschool (apparently according to my parents, there aren’t many preschools which that aren’t religiously affliliated where I’m originally from … which wasn’t a bad thing since my family is Christian). But other than that I went to public school. So did my husband for the most part. I think that it gave me valuable insights (like how to deal with a teacher who preached evolution and Big Bang and constantly questioned the miracle of Jesus’ birth). Because of our own experiences, we believe that we will send our kids to public school and pray that they will be strong and good ambassadors.
    But every once in while when other Christians go on about home schooling and/or enrolling into private (Christian) school, it makes me wonder …

    • I should have been more clear about the age thing. Certainly I don’t think preschool is the right time to be sending your kids “to the battle field,” and I like the idea of Christian education for pre- and even kindergarten, depending on your child.

      But I really think that involved parents can help a child of any age deal with some of the secular things you mention. None of the people I know are dealing with what Carly mentions above, so I guess I would have to reconsider once I see that sort of thing in the public schools I’d be using.