What is Christian Education?
At every enrolment interview with prospective parents to LCS, this question sits at the heart of our conversation. Today I’d like to put it out there again, knowing that there may be people surfing the web for a school for their children. But it's also a good reminder to our current parents, students and teachers as to why we have a school like LCS here in our city. I’ve taken the liberty to use some of the comments below from the Christian Education National website.
Many people have heard of Christian schools but what does it mean to have Christian education and a Christian school? Is the education any different?
Whether it’s learning how to run a 400m race, learning how to spell “rendezvous”, or learning to factorise a polynomial, all knowing has its ultimate meaning and purpose when framed by God’s big picture story anchored in Jesus.
All forms of education will have a particular perspective on life. It may not always be obvious or overtly stated, but it will shape how things are understood and spoken about, how things are done, and what is chosen to be taught. This might be in the form of assumptions about the nature and origins of the world, or it might be evident through suggestions about the purpose of life and indeed what it means to be fulfilled as a human. No form of education is neutral, as it will always be providing a particular lens through which the student sees the world and their place in it.
A different perspective
Christian education invites young people to see and understand the world through the perspective of God’s truth. The Bible becomes the lens in which students view what they are learning. The lens focusses their thinking on ultimate truth–a biblical vision for life where the world is created and sustained by God; where God has acted in history to deal with the distortions of creation caused by human rebellion; and where history is advancing towards a new creation in which all things are reconciled to God through Jesus who is not only the climax of the biblical story but is also the focal point of the lens.
A way of living
However, Christian education is not just about a Christian way of understanding. It is also about a Christian way of living. When Jesus said “Follow me”, he was expecting people to dedicate their whole lives to serving God. Christian education informs, invites, and inspires young people to live this way. The Christian school offering Christian education seeks to teach this way of life every day through all that is done and taught. It does this in a setting of a unified community of love and learning between parents, children, and teachers.
Partnership with parents
Parents have the ultimate responsibility to educate their children towards a biblical way of knowing and a Christian way of living. The Christian school community is a partnership with parents and the school sharing in this vision.
Here's a delightful story that I think encapsulates the real reason we are here.
THE ART COLLECTOR
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they travelled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection.
Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.
As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed, the young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic.
Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed, old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hands. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you." As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father's, love of fine art. "I am an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this."
As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail.
Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars worth of art. His task completed, the old man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.
During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.
As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation, that with the collector's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the day he had received the greatest gift.
The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would hope to claim, "I have the greatest collection."
The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent.
"Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed, and no one spoke. From the back of the room came a voice, "Who cares about that painting?
It's just a picture of his son." "Let's forget about it and move on to the good stuff," more voices echoed in agreement.
"No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?" Finally, a neighbor of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it."
"I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice, gone." The gavel fell.
Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on the real treasures!"
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over.
Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean, it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son. What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars worth of art here! I demand that you explain what is going on!"
The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son... gets it all."
I’m not sure that this is a true story because I don’t know its source. But the message this story conveys comes from a source that I fully trust, God’s own Word. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Some news regarding our Head of Middle School
After three years of faithful service at Launceston Christian School, our Head of Middle School, Mr Richard Sansom, will be leaving at the end of this year. The decision to return to the NSW has been made for family reasons and Richard has been appointed the inaugural Head of Middle School at Pacific Valley Christian School at Maclean, on the northern New South Wales coast, from 2020.
It is always with mixed emotions that we process the hard to hear news of someone we love and respect leaving and yet we all need to hold on, with loose fingers, to the things that God gifts us with. Richard certainly has been a gift from God to our community over these past three years.
In his time at LCS, Richard has worked tirelessly to build a culture that reflects a dynamic learning community that honours God through the vision of LCS. Richard has been an invaluable member of the LCS Leadership Team and has brought new insights and clarity to the decision making, planning and operational processes of the school. Our loss of Richard to Pacific Valley will be a great gain to that school community.
I’m sure you will join me in wishing God’s richest of blessings on Richard & Kim and Abel, Olive & Daisy as they make preparations for this move. While there will be transitioning plans for both LCS and PVCS and for Richard and the family, we know Richard will finish as strongly as he started. The reality of change requires us to make plans for the future and as such, there will be an advertisement in Saturday’s Examiner and the usual online recruiting sites of CEN, CSA, Teachers.on.net and the LCS website. Please be prayerful as we embark on the journey to find the person of God’s choosing to replace Richard and those for the other positions that will be required at LCS due to maternity leave and growth.
Babies are coming!
Praise the Lord for the wonderful news of four of our young female staff who have announced to the world that they are having a baby. Lianne (Year 5) & Rowan Dykman, Ally (Year 5) & Tommy Macqueen, Taryn (Secondary Music & Humanities) & Tim Brown and Ruth (Year 7 Core replacement for Bonnie Armstrong on Long Service Leave) and Michael Laws are all expecting to be first time parents early in the new year. Each of these first time mums are doing well.
We pray for their continued health and strength and especially that their little children will grow and develop according to God’s perfect plan for them. The miracle of conception to birth is a stunning example of God’s creative genius and we continue to pray for God’s blessing on these families.