At ECA, we desire to be a welcoming place! But it is becoming increasingly challenging to find like-minded Christian families to partner with our school: In a denigrating world, more families are becoming curious about the Christian moral high road, which seems like a naturally better way to educate and raise their children. In their search, these families may become curious about our school, but they may still lack knowledge about our deep-seated beliefs. Our challenge is to partner with families who possess faith, even as little as a mustard seed, with the hope of cultivation of a faith that is mature and firmly seated in the merits of Christ and not in man. Families, including their students, who possess such faith are fundamental in producing students who “pursue their purpose in Christ,” and these are the families we seek to integrate into our school culture.
While there are differing levels of Christian maturity within our own ECA culture, not one of us will reach perfection as long as we live on this earth, though as Christians, found to be “in Christ,” we are declared to be righteous based upon what He has done for us. That being the case, we are all challenged to live a peaceful life with friends, neighbors, and indeed classmates who are also still prone to sin. How, then, can we be expected to be welcoming to others when their perspective on sin might differ from our own? Let me offer some ideas:
Be Open to New Relationships
Do not hinder the children from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14
We are to foster these relationships and do what we can encourage each other in relationship to the Savior! While our natural tendency is to converse with those whom we know, let us challenge each other to look for opportunities to talk with and befriend others in this way!
Be Cautious With Whom and How You Spend Your Time
Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ I Corinthians 5:13
Just because your children become acquainted with others at school doesn’t mean they share exactly the same perspectives relative to spiritual matters. Parents are encouraged to get acquainted with each other on a deeper level early in these friendships. Many lasting relationships begin this way at ECA!
Be Genuine in your Communication with Others
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. Matthew 18:15
Heart-felt, open communications with your friends can be very helpful, especially in an impasse. Be prepared for the challenges we all face in a tight-knit culture. We have had families leave our school over trite matters which in hind-sight would have been better to address kindly and lovingly, rather than leaving to try to find another culture!
Stimulate One Another to Love and Good Deeds
…let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another. . . Hebrews 10:24-25
Please join me in praying that the Lord would draw like-minded students and families to join us in this ministry. May He be glorified in what is being done here at ECA – especially in welcoming relationships!
ECA student recruitment is going very well, but please pray as we seek to add to our number!
Dr. Jim Johnson, ECA Superintendent