Worth the Cost!

Last week we celebrated national Lutheran Schools Week.  All over the country (in fact there are Lutheran Schools all over the world) Lutheran Schools had special events and did fun things like sports day, school spirit day, and the so on.

But what makes Lutheran Schools so special?  Why are they worth the cost to a congregation?  Why not just assimilate our kids into the other schools?

Here are just some of the reasons that Lutheran Schools are worth the cost.
  • The most important job that parents have is raising their children in the Christian faith. 
Obviously parents can raise their children as Christians without a Lutheran School, but the reality is that it is harder without the help that you can receive at a Lutheran School.  Instead of a curriculum that is entirely secular, your child gets to see all things through the lens of Christ.  Rather than children being left to pray on their own, they learn to pray with their teachers and other children.

Parenting is hard, believe me I know.  Lutheran Schools are there to help make it a little easier for the most important aspect of parenting.
  • Jesus told us to make disciples by baptism and teaching.
 Disciples aren't born, they're reborn in baptism and then instructed in the things of God.  Lutheran Schools allow children to be built up as disciples of Jesus every day.
  • Jesus didn't send this disciples into the world until after He had trained them.
Children aren't ready to be full time missionaries.  They are heavily influenced by peer pressure, insecure, and are much like the potters clay that has yet to be shaped.  The idea of children being missionaries in school is nice, but unrealistic at the younger ages especially.  The disciples needed training before Jesus sent them out into the world as missionaries, so do our children.
  •  God's Word is foundational, not supplementary.
Americans, especially Americans, tend to view God and Christianity as a part of their life.  They have the work box, the family box, the hobbies box, and the Christianity box.  Many people view church and God's Word as kind of a nice addition to their lives, when in reality it should be the foundation upon which you build.
  • I get to spend so much more time with the kids, in the hallways, in chapel, and in confirmation class.
 How did you view your pastor when you were growing up?  Did you really know him?  Did you really get to spend time with him? 

One of the pleasures of Lutheran Schools is that I get to know each and every one of the students and we are able to build a relationship of trust and love because of that time spent together.  In confirmation class, we have more time so we can goof around a bit, dig deep into God's Word, and build on what was learned in a day to day way, which is far easier than remembering from week to week.

Perhaps the most important relationship, other than parents and family, that your child has in shaping his or her understanding of God is the pastor.  Lutheran Schools give me the chance to show God's love and grace to children in a consistent way. 
  • There are members of St. Paul's who are in their mid to late 90's who still have Luther's Small Catechism memorized because they learned it by heart at St. Paul's Lutheran School.
 No, I'm not exaggerating. They may know it better in German than in English, but they know it because they learned it by heart when they were in school.  This has shaped them and aided them throughout their lives, helped them identify false teachings and giving them comfort in difficult times. Lutheran Schools allow for the most important things to get the highest priority.   The things they learn as children will be the things that they carry with them throughout their lives.
  • Children learn Christian music.
"He who sings prays twice" said Martin Luther (at least according to traditon).  In Lutheran Schools children learn the basics of music, but more importantly they learn that it is one of the ways we have to honor God.  Children learn the hymns of the faith and in chapel get to sing praises to God.  My own children are often humming and singing wonderful words that glorify God because they have been learning them at school.
  • Each week children get a chapel service.
This is a bigger deal than you might think.  In chapel, young children learn how to participate, older children help younger children participate, and everyone gets more time in God's Word.  Children learn to sing hymns of praise to God, confess sin, confess the faith, hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Chapel is a continuation of the discipleship that Jesus commanded.

This is far from a complete list, but gives a flavor of why Lutheran Schools are so important and more than worth the cost.

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