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Is Christian Education a Waste of Time?

As a student, did you ever feel that school was a waste of time?

Perhaps, like me, you sat through freshman and sophomore “core” courses at your university wishing you could skip past them to begin studying the courses related to your major field of study. I wanted to bypass the required diversity class and dive into my teaching methods classes and study classroom management and learning theory. I thirsted to learn what I wanted to know.

Maybe after graduating and starting work in your field of study, you discovered that your college education had not fully prepared you for your job. That was my experience as a first-year teacher. It took three years of teaching before I began to feel like I had a grasp of my subject matter and how to be a teacher. If it were not for the gracious investment of my fellow teachers and the patience of the school administration, I would have floundered and perhaps quit after a year or two. I was so hungry to learn how to survive and later thrive as a teacher.

When we are hungry and thirsty, when what is being taught is something we need, we learn best.

Jesus always knew what His student’s true need was even when the student didn’t realize it. Jesus addressed each need with truth. Sometimes the truth was hard to swallow and His student was angry or dismayed. Sometimes the truth was something the student tasted but didn’t understand at the time. Sometimes the truth was living water and the bread of life that quenched the thirst and sate the hunger of the student’s needy soul. Over and over again, Jesus pointed to Himself as the source of everything we need in life as human beings.

The beauty of Christian Education is that what we teach and what we learn meets our deep spiritual needs. Click To Tweet

The beauty of Christian Education is that what we teach and what we learn meets our deep spiritual needs.  I don’t recall ever hearing a student ask, “When am I ever going to need to know that God loves me?” or “When am I ever going to have to use grace or mercy or forgiveness in my life?”  The eternal truths of God’s word are essential to the real life tests we face in everyday living, and the honest student recognizes his or her need to know both the written and living Word of God.

In my Essentials of Teaching class I tell students, “If you are a Christian teacher, no matter what subject you teach, you should be teaching beyond what is in your textbooks. Explicitly or implicitly, you need to teach your students Christian character, values, attitudes, and worldview, because these will impact their lives from now until the day they die. They may never conjugate another verb, shoot another layup, or solve for x, but they will need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to live a truly successful life.”

Christian education is education for life.

Dan Dunbar

Dan Dunbar

Dan Dunbar is a Christian academic leader and school head. He holds a principal certification from ACSI as well as TEFL certification. He earned his first Bachelor's degree in Education from North Adams State College (now known as Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts). His second degree was from Stevens School of the Bible, where he majored in Christian Leadership. Read more from Dan at What Was I Thinking
Dan Dunbar

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