I was so encouraged and challenged when I read this post on the Gospel Coalition blog from Brian Croft, entitled, “Is Your Child a Christian?”
I highly recommend reading the entire post. In summary Pastor Croft states,”Admitting the obvious—that we are not God and cannot see the heart—I maintain certain evidence can help us discern the legitimacy of a child or teenager’s profession of faith” and he offers the following five evidences for consideration:
1. Growing affection and need for Jesus and the gospel.
2. Heightened understanding of the truths of Scripture.
3. Increased kindness and selflessness toward siblings.
4. Greater awareness of and distaste for sin.
5. Noticeable desire to obey parents.
What might this tell us about how to support Christian schools in the developing world as they faithfully encourage and instruct children as they grow in faith?
Let me offer two ideas on this application to Edify’s mission to expand and improve Christ-centered education in the developing world:
- Schools should see their mission to faithfully carry-out Gospel ministry as a support and extension of what happens in the home. This can be challenging in the schools that Edify serves because many students are coming from broken homes. Nevertheless, a Christ-centered school can see parents as key contributors of the school culture that is being built and by inviting them in, help promote reconciliation and redemption in the home that comes from following Christ.
- Schools should see their community as a vibrant example of Christ-centered fellowship where students can demonstrate the evidences of their faith. To be specific, teachers and school leaders can be on the look out for opportunities for each to student to express themselves on the five points listed above. I like #3 and #5 in particular in the context of school. Are students encouraged to demonstrate selflessness and kindness toward their classmates? Are teachers seeing an earnest desire from students to obey teachers? Are teachers demonstrating character traits that engender students’ respect and willing obedience?
At Edify, we see these goals as a great Gospel partnership with a whole set of humility-inducing implications! Thanks to Pastor Croft for offering some tangible ideas to consider.