Node-Christian-Education1-large1Education: there are so many forms of it today–public, home school, Christian, private, adult, special, informal, primary, secondary, higher learning, and the list goes on. With so many choices, how do you know the best option for yourself, your children, and your family? I am not one that thinks there is a one-size-fits-all mold for education. However, I do believe as a follower of Jesus Christ, that any education we undergo ourselves or in which we place our children should be Christian. I am not arguing that every set of believing parents must put their children in a Christian school or they are sinning. No! What I want to continue sharing today in a series of posts concerning Christian education. This series is not about why you should send your children to a Christian school. Far from it! Instead I hope to help you frame your thinking about what “Christian education” really is and is not. Last week we discussed the role of the teacher in Christian education. This week,  I want to discuss the role of the student in Christian education.

Christian Education and the Student

Though the Christian educator must model and mentor, they cannot take full responsibility for the process of maturing a believer; some responsibility must rest on the learner. The ultimate truth that must be understood about students of Christian education is that they are image bearers of God (Gen. 1:26-27).[1] This understanding will make a significant difference in the student and also in the student/teacher interaction. The idea that the student is an image bearer of God should increase the teachers’ awareness with regard to how they interact with the student. With this in mind, the Christian education student must bear the responsibility and be seen both as a learner and as a future leader.

The student is a learner of who God is, how they are to respond to God, and how they can become more like God. This learning should take place in all realms of life as the student interacts with different teachers and influences because God uses multiple forms of education to impact people (Gen. 6-8, 37-50 Ex. 3; Deut. 6:4-9; the disciples, etc).[2]  The student must be one who, as 2 Timothy 2:15 states, “presents themselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth”. The Christian education student is also a future leader since the goal of Christian education implies that as students mature, they will become teachers as well. Ultimately, the student should be growing in their knowledge, love, and service of the Lord.

Student should one day be teaching other generations and those who come behind them (Eph. 4:13-14)[3]. Part of this process includes the students recognizing their gifts and beginning to utilize and develop those gifts (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, 1 Pet. 4).[4] The student must learn to serve God by serving others through the use of their God-given gifts and abilities. They should desire to be like their Savior who, as Matthew 20:28 declares, “Came not to be served but to serve”[5]. Students must be seeking ways to utilize, grow in, and mature in the gifts and abilities they have been given. They should look for these opportunities in varying settings including youth group, school, community, home, and extra-curricular programs. Students must seize the opportunity to fulfill their responsibility to grow and pursue Christ likeness.

Christian education flows in every way out of God’s Word as mature believers model and mentor younger believers to spiritual maturity. Understanding what the role of the student is in Christian education is vital to having an education that is truly Christian. In case you missed part 1 of the series: Christian Education: Definition and Goals, or part 2: Christian Education: the Teacher, check them out here. Stop by next week where the topic will be Christian Education: the Content.

[1] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 1

[2] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003)

[3] Ibid., 978

[4] Ibid., 978, 948, 959, 1016

[5] Ibid., 825