“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” Psalm 78:7-8
I have been asked over the years what I believe has been the secret to Metrolina’s growth. Without hesitation, I have always believed that God has blessed our school because we have sought to lead our students into a dynamic, growing relationship with the Lord that will guide their paths the rest of their lives. We work hard to deliver a high-quality education and we are committed to improving our programs continually. However, we will never lose sight of doing all we can to lead students into a relationship with God. It is the heart of who we are as a school.
I want to share with you in this blog the focus of our plans for continued spiritual development here at MCA. We are primarily focused on three areas for the immediate future. Those areas are as follows:
Spiritual Growth: We are committed to not only leading our students into a personal relationship with Jesus but also helping them to grow in their walk with the Lord. To accomplish this, we will continue to strengthen our chapel programs by bringing in the best speakers we can find. We will also continue to pray over the development of future chapels and work to create a climate in chapel that fosters spiritual development. We will also continue to strengthen our Bible courses as well as the development of discipleship group opportunities. Finally, we will continue to strengthen our emphasis on missions in an effort to enable our students to grow through serving others.
Apologetics/Worldview Training: The second part of our focus will continue to be in the area of apologetics and worldview training. Not only do we desire to lead our students into a relationship with Jesus and help them grow; we also desire to equip them with a solid Biblical Worldview that they are prepared to defend. We will do this by continuing to grow our annual worldview conferences and continuing to provide additional worldview and apologetics training in the classroom. Our goal is to make Metrolina one of the top training grounds for apologetics and worldview in Christian Education.
Leadership Training: We are committed to providing programs that will help develop great spiritual leaders for the 21st century. We will do this by continuing to expand our involvement with Student Leadership University. SLU is a program that will give our students a twenty-year head start in leadership development. In addition, we will provide continued growth of leadership development classes, chapels, and other special training events here on campus.
Our heart is truly as the verse above says to enable this “generation to set its hope anew on God”. We do want our students to know Him, obey Him, and make a difference for the cause of Christ in the years to come.
“Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.” Proverbs 24:27
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our planning efforts for school year 2017-2018 as part of the “My Hope for MCA” series I started last week in the blog. In this series, I want to look at some of our academic and extracurricular planning for next school year. I have listed below some of the areas of our focus:
We are completing a new three-year technology plan for our school that will focus on classroom technology upgrades, an additional college credit technology course, planning for new blended courses, and the expansion of Moodle in the high school. In regards to hardware needs, we will be increasing our iPad Labs for Lower School and we have a new technology lab for middle and high school students in our new Visual Arts & Technology Building.
We will be developing and opening a new Stem Lab in the fall of 2017 that will highlight opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. These opportunities will impact all areas of the Academy.
We will continue to augment our efforts with teaching our new Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
- Course Additions
We will be adding new concurrent college credit courses to the high school. Students will be able to earn as much as 24 college credit hours as a senior at Metrolina. We will also continue to expand our Spanish program in Lower School. We will integrate STEM opportunities into our curriculum in the K-8. We will be finalizing all new electives and publishing them after spring break.
We will grow our Fine Arts opportunities with the development of our new building.
- Academic Services Program
We will be expanding our Academic Services Program to include a formalized tutoring program, a new Behavioral Interventionist, a new Specialized Services Program, expansion of the Explore Program, and enhancements to current programs.
We will continue to implement Naviance as a family connection tool to enhance college planning and scholarship opportunities for our students. We have also added a Middle School Guidance Counselor that will focus on the academic tracking and success of students as well as help with transitions into middle school.
We will fully implement our Marching Band Program.
We will be pursuing the development of a new track and field facility.
We will increase coaching training and certifications.
- We will add a new bus to our transportation fleet.
These are just a few of the plans we are working on for 2017-2018 as part of the series “My Hope for MCA”. Next week, we will provide even updates for our program in the areas of spiritual development and student leadership training.
We are committed to doing all we can to advance our program so that we may impact more students with the life changing message of Jesus Christ.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” –Proverbs 13:12
When I began my time at Metrolina over 19 years ago, I had many dreams of where I wanted our school to go and things I desired us to accomplish. I wanted to take the opportunity this week to share with you three things that our school is committed to for the future. These are not only our objectives but also our hope for MCA. They are as follows:
- To continually pursue the spiritual growth and development of our students, families, and staff through all programs, curriculum, chapels, and special seminars.
- To remain anchored to the truth of God’s Word no matter the direction of culture.
- To continually improve our academic program through the addition of academic offerings and programs.
- To continually improve student performance through curriculum development, instructional methodologies, and technological advancement.
- To continually develop and expand our Academic Services Program in order to meet the needs of all students in our community.
- To hire the best teachers and staff to compliment the cause of Christian education here at MCA.
- To continually strengthen and improve all extracurricular programs.
- Enhancement of Our School Community
- To continually train, equip, and provide opportunities for our students to become servant leaders in our community.
- To continually plan programs and develop methodologies that are designed to provide parents with additional spiritual tools for raising their families.
- To continually communicate a consistent core philosophy of Christian education throughout our constituency and community.
- To continue to build new facilities and enhance older facilities to better serve our constituency.
We will provide more details about each objective in my next few blogs. As we have developed these, God has also reminded me through time with Him to not get ahead of Him in our planning. Our desire is to not let our dreams overshadow Him and what He wants to accomplish in this school.
I heard a Pastor say once that we should “Never let the somewhere be greater than the Someone.” That idea is truly the heartbeat of our school. All those dreams and visions we have had over the years for our school’s growth will never be greater than Jesus and His will for our school.
Our school tagline is “That the generation to come might know Him.” There is no greater dream for our school than glorifying God and leading students into a dynamic, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our hope for MCA is that the dreams fulfilled here will be God’s plans for us and that the school will be used by God as a “tree of life” to all we serve. God has been so good to us in bringing us so far from where we were those many years ago. He has proved Himself to be so faithful.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30
We heard during the political season promises from many politicians about bringing greatness back to our country. Additionally, we live in a society that seems fixated at times on individuals becoming great or famous. It could be very easy for us as Christians to fall into the trap of the world’s thinking of what greatness looks like.
God never intended for our lives to be focused on making ourselves great or famous. As Christians, we are called instead in Luke 9:23 to “deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily, and follow Him.” The idea that life is not all about us runs so counter to what culture is pushing us towards.
I believe that one of the greatest problems facing Christianity today is far too often Christians have lived and looked so much like the world that there is no distinctiveness about our lives. In other words, we have chosen to look more like the world than Jesus.
I contend that when we live the way Jesus prescribed and die to ourselves then we have a story to tell that is so appealing to others around us. How do we live this way? I really believe that it begins by following the truth of John 3:30 above.
I sought many years ago as I began my time in ministry that I might become a better speaker and Christian leader. I read books, attended seminars, and talked with many great Christian leaders in an effort to find the answer. One day as I began my quiet time with God I read John 3:30 again. However, this time the truth of that verse pierced my heart. I knew at that moment that becoming better at all these things was the wrong approach. I realized that my focus had to change. If I wanted to see God accomplish great things in my life, I must begin to make life totally about serving and glorifying Him.
I pray that we would all begin to pray and seek God for a lifestyle that elevates God as the center of our lives and minimizes us. We should begin to desire to live in such a way that makes God famous. If we want to live in a great manner, “He must become greater and we must become less.”
“In any case, we should live to whatever truth we have attained. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” Philippians 3:16-18
I think we all at times have looked for models to pattern our lives after. I was fortunate to grow up in a home where my dad was someone who I could pattern my life after spiritually. He was a man who loved God, loved God’s Word, and loved me.
One of my biggest fears about being a parent was that I could be the type of role model that my children could pattern their lives after. My heart’s desire has long been that my children would see Jesus in me. I sought God for a long time for answers on how to live up to this desire. God has given me Philippians 3:16-20 as my answer for doing this.
In this passage, Paul made an incredible statement above when he asked those around him to “pattern their lives after his and follow those who follow our example.” I do not believe that Paul had an attitude of arrogance in believing that he had arrived spiritually. I know that because in Philippians 3:12 he declares “that I have not arrived.”
So, how does he make that kind of statement? I believe it comes not from confidence in himself but confidence in what God had done in his life. Paul had once been an enemy of the cross as he describes in verse 18. What did Paul mean by the statement “an enemy of the cross”?
Verse 19 of Philippians 3 gives us that answer when it says: “They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.” Paul knew that he had been rescued from a life that was headed in the wrong direction and only focused on the things of this world.
Instead, Paul had experienced the truth of verse 20 in this chapter and had committed his life to the truth of this verse. Verse 20 declares: “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.” Everything about Paul’s focus and direction for living had changed.
He was no longer focused on the things of this world but instead he operated his lifestyle from the vantage point of a citizen of Heaven. Paul’s quest now was to live for Jesus and to do so in such a way that God would be glorified. Paul had seen the difference in his own life that Jesus makes. From the confidence he now had in Christ, he could tell others to follow or pattern their lives after what God had done in his life.
Paul had decided to live up to the standards required of a citizen of Heaven. I knew that for me to give my kids a pattern that they could follow I would have to allow God to change my vantage point. I would need to focus on growing my relationship with Christ and allowing Him to give me the mindset of a citizen of Heaven. I learned that I must be living in such a way as to bring honor and glory to God in all I do.
I pray that we all would seek to live up to what God has called us to!