The Crisis of Biblical Literacy and Fluency One of the challenges facing the Christian church is a decline in Biblical literacy and fluency. Christians are not reading and understanding the Bible. Some scholars and pastors state it is a crisis. We all, the church, the school, and parents, have a role to play in building Biblical literacy and fluency. Celina Durgin in an article called, “Are You Bible-Literate? How about Bible-Fluent?” defines these two terms this way. Bible literacy is a thorough familiarity with the key narratives, people, order of events, and basic, clear themes throughout the whole Bible—yes, even the minor prophets. Bible Fluency is the (habituated) ability to faithfully extend biblical principles from their original contexts into our modern context in a potentially infinite number of ways. Being Bible-fluent means that you can confidently identify and apply what the biblical authors say or would say about an important issue without proof-texting, overlooking the text’s basic literary elements, or otherwise misinterpreting the pertinent passages. It also requires reading Scripture as literature, which is necessary for being shaped by its teaching so that you can faithfully apply it. Biblical literacy and fluency are important to us because it is the foundation for faithful living. We know this is important to you because you have told us that the main reason for sending your children to a Christian school is for faith formation. We are here to help in building Biblical [...]
Why do parents choose Christian schools? This is an important question to answer. You know that putting your children in a Christian school is a significant investment. What is that return on investment (ROI)? This is a common business question because it is relatively easy to answer since your measure your ROI in dollars and percentages, which are concrete, easy-to-understand data. How do we measure the ROI of Christian schools? The Barna Group published a research paper (https://www.barna.com/research/parents-look-christian-schools/) in 2017 that examined the educational goals of parents with children enrolled in an Association of Christian Schools International school. The top 5 educational goals of these parents were: 1. Strong principles and values (align with the principles and values taught at home). 2. Love for God and people. 3. Wisdom (ability to apply knowledge). 4. Faithfulness and obedience to God. 5. Leadership skills and abilities. Further down the list are goals related to financial success, increased opportunities in life, and increased social status or mobility. Parents enrolling their children in a Christian school are expecting the Christian school to shape and mold the faith and the character of their children. So how do you measure your ROI in Christian education? You can ask if the school is intentional about shaping the character of your children. In Community Christian School’s case, are we fulfilling our mission and vision? Mission: To equip our students so that they are firmly rooted in the Christian [...]
“From him (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows, and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16 This week we are once again filled with joy that we could start in-person learning after a brief time spent online. The headline in the above picture captures why we are joyful. Learning in community is the best way to learn. One of the values of Community Christian School is that we live in a community of belonging. A community of belonging recognizes that each member is an image-bearer of God. This gives us infinite worth. The Bible also teaches that each image-bearer is uniquely gifted. We were not created to be alone, but we were created to live in community. We are to use our gifts to serve for the benefit or common good of the whole community and beyond. Learning together means I share my gifts and I receive the gifts of others. This giving and receiving makes the whole body stronger. The interactions and conversations that are taking place in the picture above are an example of students working together, sharing, and receiving. They are taking an active role in each others’ education and growth.
Who is My Neighbour? Further explore and implement mission or community initiatives that assist students to strengthen their faith and servant work including community service projects, senior homes, inter- school sports events and other potential outreach opportunities. ‘Showcase our Children’ - explore and advertise at least one new significant and well-advertised initiative or event each year to profile the school – community work, assistance at area churches, etc. Above are two goals from our current strategic plan. They are very similar to two goals found on our former plan as well. To meet these goals, we started to work with the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence several years ago. It started with an opportunity to rake leaves for some area seniors. It was the beginning of a relationship. Below, you can read some feedback that we received from the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence about the Christmas cards that our students created and that were distributed through the Centre to local seniors. "I am a new Resident, a Newbie, at Conestoga Crest here in Drayton." "This Christmas time I received a wonderful parcel from the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence in Drayton." "Included in my parcel was a Greeting Card from The Community Christian School, handmade and signed by Edison! What a fantastic piece of art, young Edison, inspired I’m certain, by all your classmates. I remember from my childhood, “This Little Light o' mine, I'm gonna let It Shine!” Well, Edison, [...]
Every two weeks as part of our staff meetings, we spend time in devotions. Devotion time is structured around reading and discussing a book together. We try to find books that combine Christianity and education. It allows us to have professional conversations on Christian teaching. This year, we are reading David I. Smith book called, “On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom.” The author challenges us to remember all aspects of teaching and the classroom when we consider what is Christian education. For many, Christian education means either the content that is taught or the acts of piety, such as prayer or Bible readings, that are done or a combination of these two things. In our reading this week, David Smith reminds us that “Teaching is not just made up of talking, but of gesture, volume, tone of voice, eye contact, position, posture, lighting, seating layouts, proximity between people, images, symbols, pace, rhythm, silence, sequence, and so on.” If we are to engage in Christian teaching, a teacher must consider how all of these things shape learning. Are there structures or practices in place that hinder or hurt the message of Christ and faith? For example, what would a Bible lesson filled with Christian content, but delivered in monotone mean? The teacher’s lack of enthusiasm would be the real lesson that is taught, which is Bible is boring. Can a Christian teacher rely heavily upon sarcasm? If Sabbath [...]
VISION Our vision is for your child to: • Live Biblically. • Comprehend God-given identity and worth. • Develop Christian character. • Experience grace. • Build communities of belonging. • Transform lives through service, leadership, and innovation. • Radiate enthusiasm for life and learning. • Grow in knowledge and skills. • Create beautiful, excellent work. Language is important. In the picture, you see some Grade 1/2 students working on their candy stories. As they work through the process, they take on various roles from authors to publishers. The use of these terms is intentional. It connects learning to real life tasks. Each role is a profession and as students take on one of the roles, they begin to learn the skills and knowledge of that profession. This is also done to promote beautiful, excellent work. The authors also did a book tour. Several have come to my office to read their book to me. This is done to celebrate their work.