Kingdom Education Philosophy
Trinity Christian School views its role in the context of its relationship with the home and church, and this role can be characterized using biblical principles. These principles have been described as the principles of Kingdom Education. Kingdom Education is defined as:
The life-long, Bible-based, Christ-centered process of leading a child into a new identity with Christ, developing him/her according to his/her specific abilities given to him/her by Christ, so that a child would be empowered to live a life characterized by love, trust and obedience to Christ.
The ultimate goal of Kingdom education is to develop a mature disciple of Jesus Christ whose life glorifies God.
The education of children and youth is the primary responsibility of parents.Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Psalm 78:1-7 ; 127:3; Proverbs 22:6; Malachi 2:13-16; Ephesians 6:4
- Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord. - Psalm 127:3
- And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. - Deuteronomy 6:7-9
- We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come to the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children. - Psalm 78:4-5
- Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
The above passages make it clear that parents are responsible to God for the education or training of their children. Another way of interpreting Psalm 127:3 is children are God’s homework assignments to parents. Even if parents delegate some areas of their child’s education to others, they are still answerable to God for what and how their children are taught.
Malachi 2 makes it clear that God desires parents to develop godly offspring. This is a very awesome task and it takes maximum effort on the part of parents to accomplish. Our society is becoming more and more secular each day. One result of living in a secular society is the belief that the education of young people is a shared responsibility. Parents do have certain responsibilities but so do the local, state, and federal governments. In fact, at each level of government, various branches are constantly trying to assume more and more of this responsibility.
Christian parents must make sure that they are assuming total responsibility for the education of their children. To achieve this goal, parents must constantly ask themselves certain questions.
The education of children and youth is a 24- hours a day, 7- days – a week process that continues from birth till maturity.Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19; Proverbs 2:6
- And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. - Deuteronomy 6:7
- And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. - Deuteronomy 11:19
- Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6
A high percentage of Christian parents have heard and, even, memorized Proverbs 22:6. We want to claim this as a promise that will assure us that our children will eventually walk with the Lord if we give them some training from a biblical perspective in early life. However, most of us fail to comprehend how intense this training needs to be. The concept communicated by the phrase "train up a child" is that this is a continual process that starts at birth. "When he is old" tells us that this process does not end until the individual reaches maturity
God gives us instruction as to the intensity that this process must have in Deuteronomy 6 when He states that parents must teach their children "diligently". It is to be a highly concentrated effort.
This effort must be consistent and takes place,
The education of children and youth must have as its primary goals the salvation of and discipleship of the next generation. Psalm 78:6-7; Matthew 28:19-20
- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" - Matthew 28:19-20
- That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. - Psalm 78:6-7
Philip May in his book "Which Way to Educate" compares today’s educator to the field general who has become so involved in the details and strategies of the immediate battle that he has lost sight of the overall strategy of the war or has actually forgotten why it is being fought. Christian parents must never forget that the only goal with true meaning for why we educate our children is for them to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
If our children become national merit scholars and do not know Christ, what have we achieved of lasting value? Christ told His disciples that He wanted them to make disciples and this happened when a person received a new identity in Christ and was empowered into a lifelong relationship with Christ characterized by love, trust and obedience.
As we assume our responsibilities to diligently teach our children God’s ways and we do this all day long, we must always strive to see them follow Christ in all they do. In fact, we can know that we have been successful in this task when we see our children and our grandchildren teach their children to know God and keep His commandments.
The education of children and youth must be based on God’s word as absolute truth. Matthew 24:35; Psalm 119
- Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. - Matthew 24:35
- Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. - Psalm 119:89
- The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever. - Isaiah 40:8
Man is constantly searching for the truth. Life has no meaning apart from truth. When Pilate was trying to make sense out of the dilemma he was facing concerning Jesus, he asked Jesus, "What is truth?" We are living in a society that declares truth is determined only by experience. It has been redefined as anything that is "legally accurate." God’s word is eternal and, therefore, is man‘s only source of truth. This means that everything that man studies must be scrutinized through the lens of scripture. This is the only way we can find true knowledge that will lead us to wisdom.
When God‘s Word is removed from any facet of education, that education becomes mere human indoctrination. It will always evolve into empty philosophies that spoil and deceive because it will follow after the traditions of man and the rudiments of the world rather than after Christ. Whatever we teach children and youth must be based on the absolute truth found in God‘s Word.
The education of children and youth must hold Christ as preeminent in all of life. Colossians 2:3,6-10
- In (Jesus) whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. - Colossians 2:3
- As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. - Colossians 2:6-10
Because of the sacrifice on the cross Christ made on behalf of all men and in humble obedience to His Father, His name has been exalted above all other names. In fact, the Bible states that Jesus not only created everything but everything was created for Him.
Christ is to be preeminent in everything - period. Even the education of our children and youth must be centered on Christ. By doing this, it will lead us to the goal of seeing our children living in a personal intimate love relationship with Jesus. Christ must be at the center or heart of all we teach our children.
In the 1600’s, John Milton wrote, "The end of all learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents, by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him."
The education of children and youth must not hinder the spiritual and moral development of the next generation.Matthew 18:6; 19:13-14; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17
- But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believes in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. - Matthew 18:6
- Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 19:13-14
- And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer little children, to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. - Mark 10:13-16
- And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them; but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. - Luke 18:15-17
Sometimes we think of offending children only in means of physical abuse. We forget that anything that hinders their moral and spiritual development is the epitome of child abuse.
The education of children and youth, if and when delegated to others by parents, must be done by teachers chosen with utmost care to ensure that they follow these principles. Exodus 18:21; 1 Samuel 1:27-28; 3:1-10
- Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. - Exodus 18:21
- For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. - I Samuel 1:27-28
- And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; And are the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here I am. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou callest me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the LORD came, and stood, and called as to other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. - I Samuel 3:1-10
The task of raising children is awesome. It is becoming increasingly more demanding with each passing day. Every parent will in some way delegate some of the responsibility to others to properly educate his/her children. This happens when we take them to church, allow them to go on the Internet, or send them to school.
When Moses was trying to educate the children of Israel to know and follow God, Jethro told him he better delegate some of the tasks to others if he was going to survive. However, Jethro warned Moses to be extremely careful in the character of the person to whom he would delegate any portion of this responsibility. In essence, each person had to "fear God, love the truth, and hate covetousness."
The education of children and youth results in the formation of a belief system or worldview that will be patterned after the belief systems or worldview of the person’s teachers. Luke 6:40
- The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. - Luke 6:40
- Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. - Philippians 4:9
Everyone who teaches others influences them in three ways. They influence them by their content, what they say; by their communication, how they say it; and by their conduct how they live. No one can teach out of a philosophical vacuum. Their beliefs and values will come out and these will help shape the beliefs and values of those whom they teach.
George Barna claims that only 7-8% of today’s Christians have a biblical understanding of life. Following this principle would cause us to conclude that today’s Christians have been educated by a majority of people (influences) who did not possess a God-centered worldview.
The education of children and youth must lead to true wisdom by connecting all knowledge to a biblical worldview frame of reference. Prov. 4:5,7; Prov. 9:10: Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:20: Col. 2:3
- Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not ... Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Prov. 4:5,7KJV)
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Prov. 9:10 KJV)
- The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. (Ps. 19:1)
- For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:20)
- In whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3, KJV)
God created the entire universe - including every fact found in every subject one studies. Scripture makes it clear that God reveals His very character and nature to us through our understanding of His created world. The education that we provide our children must not merely give our children knowledge but must lead to true wisdom and understanding by causing children to see the God-intended meaning found in everything they learn.
If any part of our children's education is presented as if it is spiritually neutral, it results in causing our children to think that God is irrelevant to some aspects of life. This will lead to them dividing their lives into two compartments - the secular and the sacred.
The education of children and youth must have a view of the future that includes the eternal perspective. Colossians 3:1-2; Matthew 6:19-20; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Acts 20:24; Hebrews 11:13; Colossians 3:23-24
- If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. 3:1-2, KJV)
- And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as tho the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24, KJV)
- Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:19-21, KJV)
- These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Heb. 11:13. KJV)
- For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6-8, KJV)
- But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24, KJV)
God places a two-fold calling on every child’s life. The first and most important call on a child’s life is an eternal call. It is God’s desire that each child come to know Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. The second call is a temporal call. This involves God’s call for a person to live a life of service to Christ while here on earth.
The education of children and youth must not only prepare them for a life of service here but also to stand before God for eternity. This eternal perspective must be part of the entire educational process. It is very natural to focus only on this temporal life when it comes to education. But if this is the only focus of education, then individual success will be measured in temporal, financial achievement. Financial success is the dominant goal of secular education today.
Ask yourself these questions:
10.1. Why do I want my child to have a good education?
10.2. How does my life reflect an eternal perspective as I live it before my children?
10.3. How is the eternal perspective seen in the teaching of my children that takes place in my home, the church, and the school?
10.4. Do I want my children to get a good job and have a comfortable lifestyle more than I want God to use them in any way He sees fit?
The education of children and youth must have as its primary focus the increase in the knowledge of God. John 17:3; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:9,10
- And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3 KJV)
- For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20 KJV)
- For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Col.1: 9,10 KJV)
The desire to learn, to gain a deeper understanding about the world around us, and to explore unknown frontiers stems from an inherent longing within us to know our creator. All of creation speaks of His goodness and His creativity.
As a result, it is vital for educators to explicitly recognize and emphasize the linkage between intellectual curiosity and spiritual growth. We do not live in a spiritual vacuum, and there is no such thing as a divide between the secular and the sacred. All learning is learning about our God and His amazing ability to create order in the physical world. In addition, our ability to recognize and appreciate the beauty in nature and the arts links us to the deeper spiritual reality behind creation.
Ask yourself these questions.
11.1. What about education am I emphasizing to my children?
11.2. What is the real purpose of education?
11.3. How am I modeling a life dedicated to learning about my creator?
11.4. How am I training my child to recognize that there is no place for strictly secular activity? All we are, and all we have, is in service to Him.
The education of children and youth results in performing work in performing work in fulfillment of God’s will for their lives. Genesis 1:26; Matthew 6:10; Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 22:6
- And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:26 KJV)
- Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10 KJV)
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov.3:5-6 KJV)
- Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6 NKJ)
Because the primary focus of education is an increase in the knowledge of God, the fruit of education is a desire to fulfill His commandments and view one’s life and calling within the context of His eternal kingdom. All of life, and especially one’s vocation, is a platform for displaying and extending the gospel message to all.
Part of a Kingdom perspective is the recognition that there is no divide between the secular and the sacred. All of life (church, family, school, work, etc.) is surrendered to His purposes. The dedicated life of a teacher, or a banker, is every bit as important to the Kingdom as the life of a Pastor.
Ask yourself these questions.
The education of children and youth must be characterized by the pursuit of biblical excellence based on godly character resulting incompetent performance for God’s glory. 2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Timothy 6;11; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23
- Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. (2 Cor. 8:7 KJV)
- For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12 KJV)
- But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1Tim. 6:11 KJV)
- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Eccl.9:10 KJV)
- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. (Col 3:23)
The standard of excellence for a Christian lies within the example of Christ – not within the ability to outperform or appear better than any other agent of creation (especially our so-called competitors). Competitive endeavors (whether in sports, academics, or the arts) are powerful tools for discipleship. However, a primary emphasis within those arenas must be that students primarily perform for an “audience of one.”
Learning to measure one’s performance relative to God’s calling and expectation frees one from the bondage of comparison and allows one to avoid overconfidence. So much of society is centered on the notion of competition and comparison (especially true since the advent of social media), and the impacts of this fact are starting to be evident in the psychological health of our children. The Kingdom perspective emphasizes the power of grace to cover inadequacies and sin while also reminding us of the holiness of our creator.
Ask yourself these questions.
 These thirteen principles of Kingdom Education are taken directly from the book “Kingdom Education” by Glen Schultz (LifeWay Press, 12th printing, 2013)