The Renewanation Review Volume 6, Issue 2 - Page 36

By Jeff Keaton Renewanation Founder & CEO Characteristics of a Vibrant Christian School   As I have met with Christian school school can do that a non-Christian school Vibrant leaders and board members around the can never do: give their students a thorChristian Schools: country, I have found many of them to oughly biblical worldview education. Our Know why be unclear as to the exact reasons for government schools cannot give a child a their school’s existence. When asked, biblical worldview because it is illegal. they exist they give answers like:   A vibrant Christian school’s primary A. “Our school exists because our teachers mission is to teach children to see God’s are more loving and caring than non-Chrishand at work in every sphere of study. This tian school teachers.” I quickly dispel this notion does not in any way mean that Christian schools because we all know many Christian teachers who work in are glorified Sunday schools. Test scores show that Christian non-Christian schools. Even many non-Christian teachers schools are doing an exceptional job preparing students care deeply about their students. academically. More importantly, they are educating B. “Our class sizes are smaller.” I tell them that this is not students with the absolute truth of God and His Word as exclusive to Christian schools. the foundation. C. “We don’t have all the bad kids.” I quickly ask them if they   When Christian schools fail to understand have ever been to a Christian school. their primary mission, they begin to die. D. “We deserve to exist because we have been here a long People will not invest the energy and time.” Non-sense! resources necessary to keep a Christian   After hearing these and many other answers, I try to help school open unless there is a vital reason them understand that there is only one thing a Christian to do so. Part One in a Series T HROUGHOUT MY LIFETIME, I’ve had the privilege of being around and benefiting from many Christian schools. As a child going into the third grade, I attended my first Christian school in New Albany, Indiana. My father started Clearfork Christian Academy as a response to his conviction that his nine children should receive a Christian worldview education. I am deeply grateful for my father’s insight at a time when very few children were receiving weekday Christian education. I went on to attend several other Christian schools as my dad moved from one ministry assignment to another. In 2002, I was privileged to lead the charge to start Parkway Christian Academy in Roanoke, Virginia. Watching PCA grow to nearly 400 students in seven years was both exhilarating and exhausting as we tried to meet the ever increasing demands of a growing student body. In 2007, God gave me the vision of Renewanation. Over the last few years, I have become much better acquainted with the Christian school movement in the United States. I have met with numbers of 36 school boards and administrative teams and have spoken to many groups of parent ̸+