What is this all about anyway; this place called Mount Paran Christian School? Does it truly matter? In a local community in which PK3-12 educational options abound – many of which are Christian schools – why is it important that we even exist? Or is it? Why is it important that we seek to be better than good at this business of Christian education? Or is it? If we can get our heads and hands around that question, we will have spent our day well.
Watching for Detours
Have you ever wondered if we have lost our way or taken a detour on our path somewhere down the road?
- Is it possible to become too enamored by the school’s curb appeal – our facilities – that we have begun to define ourselves by bricks and mortar? Have we ever caught ourselves talking first about how we look rather than who we are and, more importantly, Whose we are?
- Is it possible that a single program – whether academic, athletic, or arts – has defined our personal raison d’etre for us or our children?
- Is it possible that we have become so proud of being the largest private school in Cobb County with more than 1100 students that we have begun to take the credit for that growth and failed to recognize that it is more a clear case of God taking our plantings and waterings and producing growth as He wills?
- Is it possible that we have found ourselves in a Christian school, whether staff or parent, without truly asking the question, “Why are we here?”
There are right, but not always easy, answers to these questions without succumbing to proverbial religious clichés. Even I have sometimes struggled with this seemingly simple question for seventeen years. Simply put: What makes our school a Christian school?
What matters most?
Nothing matters more than a commitment to the integrity of Scripture. This is not a principle that applies only to chapels and Bible classes; everything done in a Christian school must be measured in the light of God’s Word. In a school that is covenantal but not denominational, I have long subscribed to the admonition of German Lutheran theologian, Rupert Meldenius, who stated, “In essentials unity; in nonessentials liberty; in all things charity.” Mount Paran Christian School steadfastly teaches the essentials of faith while leaving various ecclesiastical doctrines and practices to the church and the family. The last part of this admonition is also paramount. In a post-Christian and growingly dysfunctional world, true disciples of Christ are taught that speaking the truth in love is our most effective defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the foundational core of a Christian school.
Mount Paran Christian School recognizes that a building cannot be Christian, neither can a textbook or any other inanimate object. The most important ingredients of a healthy Christian school environment are the people who are called to this place and who love God first and then love the children He has allowed them to serve. Our MPCS team is called to breathe life into an otherwise lifeless curriculum and do it with excellence and joy while understanding that servant-leadership starts with them. We not only have an opportunity but an obligation to inculcate truth in all aspects of life – curricular, co-curricular, behavior, and lifestyle.
Starting with Commitment
As evidence of this commitment by our entire MPCS community, all staff members, regardless of their position, sign a Statement of Faith, which outlines the essentials of faith, but they also sign a Statement of Life and Conduct, which describes the life expectations of a believer in this faith-focused community. The MPCS Statement of Faith and the Statement of Life and Conduct are provided here. I encourage you to read them. They will say better than I can in this limited forum what matters in the congregation of Christian scholars.
There are two cornerstones on which lie the foundations of a Christian school: A Christ-honoring mission and academic excellence. As in Colossians 3:23-24, mediocrity is not a biblical concept. In accepting roles in a Christian community, we commit ourselves to do whatever we do with excellence as unto the Lord.
The dialogue on what makes a Christian school will continue. I simply cracked open the door.
Is a Christian environment right for your child's education? Please click here to learn more about what MPCS can offer your family.