We’ve been involved for several years as we have been a host facility for many Classical Conversation events, and two of our families are Classical Conversation families, one of whom is my daughter’s. Johnna has been in Classical Conversations for four years, and has truly shined as she enjoys the classical Christian education the community affords. What is different now, is that I have been asked to direct one of the programs, Challenge B, for eighth-grade aged students. I’ve said “Yes,” and this month I start tutoring students in Latin, Logic, Algebra, Literature, Debate and Science.
Why, oh why would I do this on top of everything else that we are doing? I have to confess that part of it is personal. Having come into ministry from teaching and administering in a Lutheran Elementary School, the joy of my ministry then was working with kids. As their principal and teacher, I was able to help these kids not only learn, but to grow spiritually in an environment that did not leave God out of the education box. We were free to talk about God, and especially Jesus, with the students there, and just as I came to faith through my daughter’s witness at that school, I’m sure many others have too, as their kids shared their newfound faith with parents and friends.
For the last twenty years, I haven’t had much ministry to children other than ours. We haven’t done VBS, or other outreaches geared toward children, as many churches do, because we open ourselves up to the charge of “stealing children’s souls” by the Jewish community, a charge that anti-missionaries have leveled at the Church when they “target” their children. I’ve missed working with kids. But, more than that, Classical Conversations gives me an opportunity to not only work with kids, but to develop them into future active missionaries. Classical Conversations believes that the “purpose of education is to know God and to make Him known.” Every subject is taught in the context of God’s gifts to us. To quote the catalog, “In every subject, God has hidden His truth and beauty. It is our pleasure as students and teachers to discover Him as we learn. Our studies should also prepare us to reason clearly, speak eloquently, calculate accurately, and write persuasively so that we have the ability to make God known to others.” What a joy to be a part of this community that is intentional about learning how to witness to others, and then doing it! In a world where Christians are so often thought of as ignorant and backward, these classically-trained young people are going to turn the world right-side up, and I am excited about being a part of that. Pray for me, I’ve gotten so old!