Jesus said in Luke 12:48 that "to whom much is given, much is required." This verse comes to mind when thinking about what it means to lead and oversee a school. In truth, the Bible should be applied to all aspects of life--a business, a school, a ministry, a family, and one's personal life. We founded Legacy Academy 15 years ago out of obedience. We believed then (and still now) that the Lord called us to start a private school, centered on faith in Christ. We did it by faith, when nothing in the natural validated our decision. Everything around us said it would never work. God alone made every provision and guided our path. Our school was built through prayer, obedience, and sacrifice. Now that the school has grown, graduated students, and enjoys a new phase, we must continually remember Who brought us here (Deut. 8) and what is continually required of us--and we realize much is required.
This brings the question, "What is our main job in overseeing and leading this school?" The responsibilities are plenty, but really the answer is easy. The chief responsibility is to please God. Our job for Legacy Academy is to ensure God is pleased and honored in all that happens here. If we please God, then the students and families here will reap the benefits. Pleasing God for us means ensuring the culture, the atmosphere, the values, and the standards match the kingdom of God and align with the Word of God.
It isn't our job to be culturally relevant, to coddle students or parents, to compromise the standards, to create a platform for parents to live vicariously through their teenagers, or to give students the great "American high school" experience. On the contrary, it is our job to create a safe environment for our students to receive an excellent education, to teach and celebrate time-tested values, and to create an environment in which they can discover a sincere and authentic relationship with Christ. It's our job to support parents who desire above all else to see their children live a life of genuine faith and obedience to Christ. Our efforts must ensure that Biblical values being taught at home are not being torn down at school.
This means that we teach children to obey their parents in a world that encourages rebellion, to rebuke gossip and clique building in a world that thrives on such, discourage teenagers from entering romantic (boyfriend/girlfriend) relationships because ahead of God's timing these are only distractions that pull them away from God and generally lead to sin, drama, hurt feelings, and regrets. This means we affirm God's deliberate creation of two distinct and wonderful genders, in a world that has lost the understanding of such basic truths.
It means we encourage modesty for our young ladies and chivalry and sacrifice for our young men. This means we go against the grain, counter the culture--a culture that all too often sneaks into our homes and becomes easily accepted little by little without our realization. It slips in through social media, TV, devices, apps, unguarded friendships, and bad influences. Too often, we accept it without realizing how much over time we've drifted from the beauty and safety of God's words and its boundaries. We can't forget that it is the grace of God and the commitment to the beauty of His ways that creates the loving, caring, safe, and enjoyable environment at LA allowing students to thrive and grow.
Leading our school means keeping it on the narrow path (Matthew 7:13). The broad path is easy and popular, but in the end it leads to destruction. Sometimes it means we have to deal with what seems like small things because big consequences can come as a result of not dealing with the small things. (Song of Solomon 2:15). And sometimes small things represent big wrong things. Paul warned the Galatians (Gal. 5:9) that it only takes a little leaven to leaven the entire lump.
We recognize that allowing just a little culture, just a little sin, just a little that is contrary to God's word could ruin everything God's given us. Love, patience, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and grace must live together with a hatred for evil, an intolerance for sin, and a commitment to purity and holiness.
Parents and students agree to honor the school's standards, ways, and culture--following the rules and contributing to a good and clean spiritual atmosphere--not because we are perfect, but because we all recognize God's ways are better than ours and that in this short life we want to please Him and teach our children the value of loving, following, and pleasing God--not simply saying we are Christians with our lips--but sincerely building lives centered around following Christ. The values aren't simply made up by each one prefers or believes--but my the immutable, inerrant, living Word of God. We aim to be joyfully different.
God expects leaders to lead, to serve, and to sacrifice. He expects them to uphold the standards. As leaders if we don't lead, care for, govern, and secure that which God has entrusted us with then we will answer to Him for such neglect. Sometimes the fear of people being upset, the manipulation of the passive aggressive, the threat of unenrolling, potential financial loss, or even the mockery of the world keeps leaders in Christian education from leading accurately. The fear of the Lord must always triumph over all other concerns. If we please Him, then it means the right thing will happen for all concerned.
As school leaders, we are not perfect--but our intent is perfected. We make mistakes and will make more, but in our hearts we desire to please God and to care well for all He's entrusted into our hands. We will serve Him and consequently your children and family with all of our hearts. We will walk forward in confidence, in the fear of the Lord, both by faith and His grace. We will stay the course and we will not relent from our responsibilities because to whom much is given, much is required.