Being a parent seems at times to be an impossible job. The concept of being a Kingdom parent that we have talked about in recent weeks changes the dynamic of this seemingly impossible task. Kingdom parenting not only involves us abiding by God's principles for parenting found in His Word but also accessing His power as we raise our children.
I am convinced that all of my failures in being a parent are directly related to when I tried to do it by myself as opposed to the victories that I saw when I relied on His truth and His power in directing my children.
There are many studies and research out today that indicate that we as parents are still the primary influence in our child's life. These studies show that the values and beliefs of our children will reflect our values and beliefs. In Luke 6:40, Jesus told us that the "the student will become like the teacher."As parents, we are our child's first teacher.
When I ponder that scripture, the Holy Spirit reminds me so powerfully of my responsibility. We need to ask ourselves regularly "What level of spiritual commitment do my children see in me?" The answer to that question can have effects one way or another well into the future of our children and grandchildren.
This passage also makes me so thankful for my parents and the spiritual legacy they instilled in me. I saw firsthand growing up the importance of God's Word in my parent's life. I saw the value they placed on being in a Bible-believing church every Sunday. I saw the priority of a spiritual commitment in their lives and how it has impacted my values and beliefs and that of my children.
My prayer is that we will all be inspired and challenged by the truth of Luke 6:40. In my own life, I greatly desire that my children see my spiritual commitment to Jesus as the ultimate priority of my life so that I might instill in them a true spiritual legacy. In next week's email, I want to give you some Kingdom principles regarding discipline.
Finally, I want to thank all of you for your support in the annual Cornerstone Kick-Off campaign. God has blessed our school tremendously through your generosity.
God has placed on my heart this year as you have seen previously in my weekly emails a desire to share several key Kingdom Parenting principles with our families. As an older parent, God has shown me through His Word and my experiences many things that I hope will be a blessing to you.
One of those nuggets that He has given me involves some of the greatest struggles that we can face as parents. Specifically, this involves how to teach our children to approach us when they disagree. As in all of life's issues, I believe that the Bible provides us with clear principles that can help us in this area. I would like to share with you this morning a model that I unveiled to our teachers before school began that not only can help them in dealing with students but also will help them as parents in this area of conflict or disagreement.
I want to provide you with a Biblical model for teaching our children how to appeal to their parents or teachers when they disagree with us in regards to any issue. The model found in God's Word involves Jesus, the Son of God, in how He approached and appealed to His Father in regards to an issue that troubled Him. The backdrop for this Biblical model is found in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus appealed to His Father about God's plan for Him to suffer and die on our behalf. I want you to see below the process that Jesus used for a Biblical appeal.
Notice where Jesus was.... The setting
He was alone-He made an appointment
A key teaching tool for us here is to instruct our children to always talk to us privately about issues that they may disagree with us about and not just blurt out the problem in front of others.
Notice the tone in His voice- He was respectful and not argumentative
The key here is to teach our children that the best way for us to listen is to approach us respectfully.
Notice His posture/His Body Language
He was humble and respectful
A great teaching tool here is to instruct our children that nonverbal communication can destroy the message that they are trying to communicate.
Notice His presentation, His appeal
Jesus asked if it was possible but He also said I will still obey you no matter your answer when He said "Not my will but yours be done." What a great model for our kids for life to learn that inmaking an appeal to ask but also to say that no matter what you decide I will still obey.
As stated earlier, this is the model I gave for our teachers to begin using in training students how to make appeals with them in areas of disagreement. I pray that this Biblical model may help you as you raise your children.
What a beautiful day that the Lord has given us! I wanted to again this week update you on some of our strategic initiatives at Metrolina that I shared with parents at last week's coffee. To begin with, one of our strategic initiatives is to continue to strengthen communications with our families. In keeping with that, next week we will launch our new website which will be fully linked with ParentsWEb. This new website will provide you with accurate and detailed information that you need on a daily basis.
Also, we will continue our annual parent survey this coming spring in which we give you the opportunity to provide us feedback on our program. Your feedback and comments in the past have been instrumental in developing our program.
Another area that is part of our strategic plan is that of a continual focused approach and commitment to the professional development of our faculty. It is our desire on an annual basis to improve instructional strategies and methods. As I mentioned last week, part of that focus right now is on technology and training our staff to better integrate technology into the classroom. We are also planning for a one to one implementation of technology in high school very soon.
The other area that I will share with you today from the strategic plan is to give you an update on facility planning and the athletic complex. Our church and school leadership has begun planning and meeting with an architect in regards to developing high school space in the not too distant future. It is our desire to look at building additional space for our high school. Presently, we are continuing in the short run to remodel and create additional rooms for growth as we did on the third floor this past summer.
In regards to the athletic complex, the softball field is complete and will be ready for play in February. We are also praying and planning about space needs for tennis, wrestling, athletic storage and workout space, and seating for all fields at the complex.
As well, we broke ground on the baseball field this week. The development of the baseball field is very expensive and I am asking you to pray and give if you feel led so that we will have the funds necessary to continue work on this field to completion. It is my hope that we will raise the necessary funds during this Cornerstone Kick-off to finish off this portion of the athletic complex.
There are other areas from our strategic plan that I will update you on in the coming weeks. My heart is that you will know that we stand committed as a school to constantly trying to improve everything that we do so that we might honor God in all that we do. In addition, we love your children and we want to be able to provide them with the best program possible.
Finally, the most important happening of the week occurred in Upper School Chapel where ten students accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. To God be the glory for all that He is doing at MCA!
What a privilege it was to get to spend time with many of you this week in our fall coffee. I wanted to take a moment in this week's email to give those of you who could not be here highlights of some of the things that I shared Tuesday.
I shared with the group Tuesday that MCA is currently working off of a 5 year Strategic Plan that addresses 7 objectives for our school. As I did with the group on Tuesday, let me update you on our progress and planning in regards to two areas of our strategic plan. Below are some of the highlights by category.
Spiritual development- One of our main areas of focus in our strategic plan is that of continuing to strengthen our spiritual foundations. Our goals for this year are to continually provide for the spiritual development of our staff as we seek to lead our students. As well, we continue to focus on providing the best chapel experience that we can for our students each week. We also are continuing to grow student leadership in the area of spiritual leadership through chapel, ministry, and mission opportunities.
Educational Program Development- A second priority in our strategic plan is that of continuing annually to improve all of our educational programs. Technology development is at the forefront of our work in this area this school year. We have recently updated our computer labs for both Upper and Lower school. In addition, we are beginning to equip our classes this fall with what is called "Elmo" technology. An "Elmo" consists of a digital projector and document camera that enables the teachers to better integrate various aspects of technology into our curriculum.
We will also be working this coming spring to ensure that all areas of our school will have Wi-Fi capability so that we may begin to introduce select areas for smart boards,I Pad mobile labs, and other tablet opportunities for all of our students including preschool. We have reworked and updated our entire technology curriculum in an effort to meet the ever changing needs of our students in the area of technology.
Another area of educational growth is in the area of adding concurrent enrollment classes for our high school students so that our graduates will have the opportunity to earn as much as 24 hours of college credit while still in high school.
Furthermore, we will in the next few weeks be rolling out to a new Guidance software system for our high school students called Naviance which will enable our students to be better matched to colleges that best fit their gifting and provide them with incredible support in finding college scholarships.
Another area of focus this year will be expanding our Upper School Media Center with new books, resources, databases, and other tools that will facilitate their academic experience. We will also be adding new Fine Art electives next year in the areas of vocal music, dance, and the dramatic arts.
Finally, we are close to beginning work on our baseball field which is our final field at the complex to develop. We continue to plan for other athletic space needs such as tennis and wrestling.
Next week, I will share with you regarding the other objectives in our strategic plan.