In today's world, there are many books and articles in the marketplace that provide information on how we should raise our children. I know as a parent we are all looking for wisdom and methods by which to accomplish this difficult task. However, I am convinced that even with all the resources that are available the Bible still remains the greatest roadmap for bringing our children up.
At Metrolina, we have curriculum that we use as a guide in every subject area to achieve the academic goals we have set for our students. In the same way, the Bible is God's curriculum for us to use in developing an intentional plan for our children.
For instance, God not only gave us Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins but He also gave us the Jesus as the greatest example of how to raise our children. Looking at how Jesus was raised gives us a curriculum for how we can raise our kids. The Bible gives us the model for how Jesus was brought up in Luke 2:52. The Bible tells us there that "Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, favor with man, and favor with God."
These four standards by which Jesus grew up make great pillars of truth by which to raise our children. My wife and I have used these four pillars for our own children we have raised them. Indeed, I want my children to have God's wisdom, a well balanced stature, favor with man, and most importantly favor with God. In next week's email, I will provide you with some examples of what these four pillars look like from a practical standpoint.
On another note, our annual gift giving campaign, the Cornerstone Kick off, has begun this week and will run through October 19th. Would you join me during this campaign and ask God to move on the hearts of His people to meet all of these needs? Please remember that no gift is too small.
The Cornerstone Fund will help us achieve so many of our program priorities here at MCA. One such focus is to enhance technology on our campus. We updated our labs this past summer and we are busy this fall equipping our classrooms with "Elmo" systems which include video projection and document cameras. Yet still, we are pushing to further enhance technology on our campus through the expansion of Wi-Fi and other media enhancements such as smart boards in strategic classroom locations.
The Cornerstone Fund will also provide many other academic resources needed on our campus, transportation needs, facility improvements, and additional funds needed to continue work on our outdoor athletic facility. Our softball field is almost complete and we will break ground on the baseball field in the next few weeks. However, we still are praying and asking God for facility needs in tennis, wrestling, and athletic storage.
Finally, I want to invite you to join me if you can next Tuesday, October 2nd, at 8:30 a.m. in the Sossamon Chapel for coffee and at that time I will update you on many of our plans for the coming years at Metrolina.
What a great week it has been here at Metrolina! God has blessed us with an outpouring of His Spirit on our campus as only He can during our Upper School Spiritual Emphasis Week. I give the Lord praise for leading 21 of our precious students to saving faith during our service on Thursday! I also loved the fact that God chose to save 21 students on the 20th day of school in our 20th year as a school. The week was also filled with so many students making decisions to follow the Lord more closely in their every day walk.
The greatest perk of my role here at Metrolina is to see God change lives and witness students falling in love with Jesus. I want to shout the truth of III John 4 that "there is no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."I have been blessed to witness first hand this week our children walking in truth. For example, I was so excited to see so many in our 11th grade gathered around the flagpole this morning before school praying and crying out to God. The best part of this is that it was all student led and orchestrated!
We not only had a great time yesterday celebrating all that God had accomplished spiritually this week, but we also celebrated our 20th day of school in our 20th year with students getting a glimpse of our school's history and some great cupcakes for all provided by our parent hospitality team at lunch.
Finally, I want to mention a worthy cause to you that involves tonight's home football game. Our Varsity Girls Tennis team is sponsoring a canned food drive to benefit the Dickerson community in Monroe where we play our home tennis matches. Our girls tennis team wants to be a blessing to those in need in this community so they are asking that you bring a canned or non-perishable food item to the football game tonight to help meet the needs of this community. They will also be accepting donations to purchase food at tonight's game. They will hand delivering all the food to the community next Wednesday.
I am so proud of our girls tennis team for how well they play and represent our school in tennis matches but I am even more proud of who they are in Christ and their passion to make a difference in the lives of other people who are less fortunate. Would you join me tonight in bringing some canned goods tonight to help our girls show the love of Jesus to this community?
God is up to something on our campus in these first few weeks of school. I have sensed His presence in chapel so powerfully, in the hallways, and all around the campus. More importantly, we have seen 12 precious students receive Christ since school began.
I have been blessed over the years here to see great growth in our academic programs, great national test scores, and senior classes each year not only being recruited by the best colleges but also receiving an unbelievable amount of scholarship money each year. However, I will tell you though that nothing compares to seeing God change the lives of our students and seeing our students fall in love with Him.
I was asked not too long ago what I wanted for our students at Metrolina to look like spiritually when they leave our school. I want the same for our students at Metrolina that I have prayed and tried to teach my own children. First, I want them to own their faith. That is, to have a deep and personal relationship with Jesus that is truly theirs. Second, I pray that our kids will possess the characteristics of the following verses:
- Jeremiah 12:5 - That they will be deep spiritually or as this verse says they will be able to run with horses.
- II Corinthians 10:5 - That they will be thinkers and" take every thought captive."
- Hebrews 5:14 - That they will be decision makers with a strong Biblical worldview.
- Philippians 2:2-11 - That they will have an attitude which reflects the mind of Christ.
- Psalm 78- That they will have an eternal perspective and pass their faith on one day to their children.
- Matthew 28: 19-20 - That will grow up to be "Great Commission Christians."
Would you join me in praying for these same things for our students here at Metrolina this school year? I hope that you find these verses to be a blessing to you as they have been to me as I am raising my kids.
Finally, Upper School Spiritual Emphasis Week is next week and we are privileged to have Pastor Shawn McBride back with us next Monday through Thursday. He will also be preaching here Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 at our modern worship service the Lift that meets in the new gym if you would like to come and get a sneak preview of what our students will be hearing this week. Also, next Wednesday night all MCA families are invited to come and hear Shawn preach and be a part of a night chapel experience at 6:30 p.m. in our sanctuary. We are combining efforts that night with FBCIT for a night of praise and hearing God's Word. In addition, musical artists Shane and Shane will lead worship.
Please be praying for God to move mightily during Spiritual Emphasis Week!
One of the greatest challenges that anyone faces in this lifetime is that of being a parent. I am convinced that we must intentionally plan for the spiritual development of our children. Josh McDowell, the author and apologetics expert, gave great insight to this when he declared: "While we need to be concerned with what our kids are tempted to do, we need to be more concerned with what our kids are led to believe."
As I have raised my girls, God has shown my wife and me over and over just how important it is to establish God's Word as the basis for truth in their lives. The importance of establishing truth and freedom from captivity cannot be overstated in our quest to raise Godly kids.
Colossians 2:8 tells us to "Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of this world, and not based on Christ." We have burglar alarms for our houses and cars but we also need to place a great emphasis on protecting our children from philosophies that may steal their belief system.
As a parent, it is easy for me to get consumed with how my kids are behaving or just their actions and not spend enough time on their belief system which shapes their values. This verse reminds me to continually invest God's truth into my kids' lives and as I do I will see their actions be more in line with what we are aiming for.
On another note, I am so excited to see the MCA community coming together to support our school. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of volunteer applicants and the interest shown in our parents' prayer ministry. I cannot begin to say thank you to all of our families for how you love, support, and pray for us. You are a blessing!
Finally, I ask that you begin to pray for our Upper School Spiritual Emphasis Week which begins Monday, September 17th. Speaker and evangelist Shawn McBride will be with us that week through Thursday. I also want to invite you to a combined event for FBCIT and MCA on Wednesday, September 19th at 6:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. That night Christian artists Shane and Shane will be in concert and Shawn McBride will be speaking. I hope to see you there!