In the previous issues of Embrace the Difference we have addressed how Westminster utilizes a developmental approach to physical and academic pursuits. Students grow and change over time in their physical capabilities, cognitive abilities, and even in their spiritual understanding. At Westminster we are intentionally developing students over time in their understanding and processing of spiritual thought and application.
We consider it a priority to expose all students to the Truth of the Gospel.
Preschool students learn Bible verses, songs, and just how much Jesus loves them. They learn obedience to parents, teachers, and to God. We try to hide the Word in their hearts from the beginning. We see the fruit of this investment over and over in the classroom, in chapel, in the office, at recess and more.
As students age, we can see these truths begin to emerge in the literature they read and the history they study. The Gospel begins to be interwoven into all subject areas in a manner that elementary students can understand. Bible class also begins to be more in-depth. At the elementary level, students begin to have opportunities for service through mission teams or other organizations so their faith can be put into practice.
As students enter the teen years and middle school, Bible class becomes even richer than before, and students begin to ask good questions about their faith. This season can sometimes cause parents concern, but I see this age level as a time to solidify their faith.
We all have natural questions as we mature. These questions are opportunities to firm up students' understanding of the Scripture. Where did life come from? Why does evil exist? Why do people get sick? The examples and conversations from literature, history and science become opportunities for discussion and understanding.
Finally, at the high school level, students learn about various other worldviews and world religions and how to have an answer for them (apologetics). Tough, real-life truths are discussed and even tougher questions are answered at this stage. Students work to more completely understand, embrace, and articulate their faith as they prepare to leave Westminster and enter a world that is often hostile to the Gospel.
As our own children age, we can sometimes get nervous as they test boundaries, ask questions, gain exposure to challenging ideas and so on. However, we can move forward with confidence. We know the Scriptures provide answers to life's greatest questions. Allow me to encourage you to embrace these questions and challenges and to work with Westminster and your local church to provide answers. God has them. Do not ignore a tough question that is raised by your child. After all, they WILL find an answer. If parents, and teachers ignore these challenges OTHERS will step up to the plate and provide answers that are bad ideas wrapped in a pretty package.
Let's work together to guide students along a path that will encourage them to embrace a Biblical faith and worldview as their own, to articulate it, to have Biblical answers to tough questions, and to be prepared to influence culture for Christ. Lives of Significance start at the earliest stages in your home and are forged through a challenging journey through years of prayer, study, habit, and commitment. Commit it to prayer, look for opportunities, stay in church regularly, help your kids with faithful habits of Bible reading / prayer, and faithfully partner with us toward a common goal.