Often when we think of a student’s formation, Lord willing into the likeness of Jesus Christ, Christian schooling takes its place as one aspect of a “paideia” in which we seek to “nurture nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominate culture around us.” Walter Brueggemann
On Wednesday I was blessed to meet with local Christian school principals and discuss aspects of our schools which shape the loves of our students. In talking about these things, we saw that we are changed at a conscious and an unconscious level by the influence of our environments which would suggest that the quoted words above of Walter Brueggemann don’t go far enough. There are conscious and unconscious elements to who a child becomes and what drives them to do what they do, emanating out of who they are and what they love. This is true for all of us. After watching a video clip of James K.A. Smith, this principal’s group reflected on the different formative liturgies in our schools, both good and bad. I challenge you to watch Jamie Smith’s presentation and consider the other formative liturgies your children are molded by every day.
My hope is that comparatively speaking parents are more concerned with the formative liturgies shaping their children’s hearts and minds than their church or school. That the church is more concerned for the Christ-like formation of children than the school, but that the school does its best by God’s grace to support these two God ordained structures that are powerful and effective in fostering generational faithfulness to God. I pray for FCS and you ought to pray for FCS but in a real sense we are only as strong as our weakest strand. So please pray for the families and pray for the church. God works most powerfully through what He establishes. Strong families and strong churches will foster strong schools.