Your new neighbour moved in last week. Yesterday you had a ‘welcome chat’ over the fence; seems like a reasonable sort of family, not Christian but well-meaning all the same. The kids seemed polite, and the mum was really interested in the local scene; shops, parks, schools… You re-run a section of the conversation in your mind…
What school do your children go to? Oh, the John Calvin Christian College? Never heard of them before. So why do the go there? What’s about the school that you chose them? Good school is it? Caring and everybody knows each other? Wow! Good discipline too? And high standards… sounds like a good place for my kids.
Were you able at that point to give a good explanation of why you really send your children to the College? Were you prepared to give an account? Could you, in all honesty and with conviction explain the reason for the school’s existence and why that is so important to you?
We celebrate 60 years of FRSA this year. It is a year of rejoicing for the gift of the school. That rejoicing however, should not leave us and should not be something that we do on an anniversary year. It must be ongoing, and daily. It is something that needs to be impressed on our children and children’s children.
This is particularly true as we combat the second and third generation syndrome. You see this in the business world. The first generation works hard, makes many sacrifices to start a business of sorts. The next generation continues to work, but doesn’t need to put in the same effort. The third generation receives the product of all the work, without any real personal sacrifice… and often loses the vision and understanding of the previous generations.
The school is not a business. The school has far deeper and meaningful purpose for the generations. And yes, Peter is not specifically speaking about the school when he encourages us to always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us. Nevertheless, the application is relevant!
With Christian greetings,
M Plug, Principal