One of the privileges of being a part of a Christian school is the weekly opportunity to participate in a chapel service. The ECA handbook tells us who chapel is for: “Chapel is…for the spiritual benefit of students, faculty, staff and administration,” and what chapel is for: “Chapel is a time to focus on God’s holiness and to worship God with all reverence and honor.” Let’s take a moment to unpack those statements.
First, Chapel is for everyone involved with ECA. That means parents, volunteers, visitors, students who are shadowing, and others who are just interested, are welcome to attend. One of the joys of chapel is that it allows the entire student body to gather together. Beyond the occasional pep assembly, rarely is there an opportunity for all of grades 7-12, along with their teachers and administrators, to gather as one body to worship the Lord.
Second, Chapel is centered on a theme which is “Find Us Faithful.” Our theme verse is “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (I Corinthians 4:1-2). Each chapel speaker builds on this theme, allowing all in attendance to be encouraged and exhorted together as they are challenged from a variety of speakers and a variety of passages that all deal with the same theme. God gave us 66 books in the Old and New Testaments for a reason, and already we have heard timely messages that have spurred us on as a school to pursue faithfulness in complete dependence upon the grace of our Lord and the working of the Holy Spirit.
Third, Chapel reminds us that ultimately what we attempt to do as a school is fixed on the God who has saved us. When we sing God’s praises and hear from God’s Word, the Gospel is put forth front and center. Those who are believers in Christ get to be reminded of who God is and how He, by his mercy, has sent His Only Begotten Son to purchase our salvation through the shed blood of Jesus (see Rev 5:9-10). For those in attendance who have yet to place their trust in Christ, they too get to hear the message that salvation is found in no other name (see Acts 4:12)! And for all of us, we get to be reminded that we are not the center of our universe, God is. School can get extremely busy and having a weekly chapel can force us to take the emphasis off of ourselves, even if for a few minutes, and to put the spotlight where it rightly belongs, on the God who saves us through Jesus.
Finally, Chapel serves as a springboard for discussions in the classroom. An emphasis of Classical Education is to hear less from the teachers and more from the students. Many of our Chapel messages speak to the heart of issues that students and faculty/staff are confronted with on a daily basis. With the main thoughts of the speaker still fresh on their minds, students are able to carry on profitable dialogues in areas of agreement but even in disagreement. Scripture tells us that “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17), and having weekly Chapels has allowed much sharpening to take place.
We are praying to see our school grow in our intentional relationships with each other and with Christ, with the end goal of hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). Chapels are a means that God can and does use to help us honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We hope you will take the opportunity to worship with us. But if you are not able, please pray that Chapel would be a time where God is worshiped and the Gospel goes forth. That is why we have chapel at ECA.