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?