Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”—Matthew 10:29-31
One of the first thing that the Saxon immigrants did when they settled in Perry County (Missouri) was to build a school to educate their children. While much has changed since that first Lutheran school, the need for children to be instructed in God’s Word and world has not changed. However, we live in a different era where the challenges facing the operation of Lutheran schools are great. Here are just a few examples:
- Recruitment and retention of qualified, Lutheran teachers
- Recruitment and retention of students
- Recruitment of qualified board members
- Curriculum development
- Deferred maintenance
- Utilization of technology
- Parental support
- Congregational support
These are just a few of the issues that school administrators and leaders are dealing with on a daily basis. While there are many challenges, the singular reason that we operate Lutheran schools is so that every student who walks through the door will learn who Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. A Christian education is not permission for a mediocre education. Our schools are striving for excellence in all aspects of their work. The support that is provided to our schools through National Lutheran School Accreditation, the Indiana District- LCMS and The Lutheran Schools Partnership is to help our schools continue to provide an education that is both faithful to our Lutheran teaching, but also excellent in preparing young people for the future.
Some may wonder if Lutheran schools are worth it. Lutheran schools can provide an education that public schools and mere private schools cannot. We are able to help every student to understand who they are as a child created in God’s image, one for whom Christ Jesus died, and what it means that the Holy Spirit calls us by name in baptism. Our Lutheran schools integrate the Christian faith into all subjects and the Gospel affects all of our relationships and discipline alike. While the financial pressures are real, we strive to practice good stewardship in light of the eternal mission of helping our students to know Jesus and that by believing in Him they may have everlasting life. Are Lutheran schools worth it? Each and every child was worth so much to God that He sent His only Son to die for them. The mission of our Lutherans schools is vital. My hope and prayer is that we will support our Lutheran schools as they begin a new school year and continue that work of making disciples for life and for eternity.
Prayer - Almighty God, our heavenly Father, since You have bid that all those who are baptized be taught all that you have commanded, bless our Lutheran schools in the task of making disciples for life. As our Lutheran schools begin new academic years, enlighten those who teach and those who learn by Your Holy Spirit at work through the divine Word. May our Lutheran schools have faithful administrators, teacher and staff members as they work together for the common goal of helping children grow in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
(edited and shared with permission from Rev Dr Lee Hagan, Missouri District- LCMS President)