by Amanda B. McKelroy | January 13, 2017
WHAT DOES IT TRULY MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN EARLY EDUCATION CENTER?
Rarely does a week go by when I do not meet new people who inevitably ask me what I do for a living. My response is that I work for an Education Center that is a ministry of my church. This is usually met with a raised eyebrow or that “knowing” look that says they think a faith-based education center is a joke. I don’t find it insulting. These looks come with the territory. Our society barely views the early childhood education industry as a professional industry, much less do they have a high expectation of church groups who run education facilities doing so with professionalism and high standards. Overall, this perception is sad, but from personal experience (not with my own center) I unfortunately admit that it was probably earned. So when people meet me and give me one of those “looks” I always appreciate when the opportunity follows to adjust their misguided perception to that of the truth.
Our Mission is Unique
A Christian Early Education Center is unique because our mission is unlike any other you can find. Our mission at Greater Waco Early Education Center is to make a lasting difference in the lives of our students and their families by building a foundation of excellence for the future through biblical principles, excellent education, Bible-based curriculum, and a distinctly Christian atmosphere.
Our Beliefs are Rooted in Scripture
Making a lasting difference in the lives of students and their families is not easy. Not by a long shot. But it’s what we strive to do every day. We understand that the biblical principles, morals, and ethics we are teaching our young students will help guide them for the rest of their lives. The foundation for what we believe and for the goals we have set for ourselves is that we believe the Bible to be our final authority. The Bible is incorporated into everything we do and teach because we believe that the teaching of the Bible will most directly affect our student’s growth.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
~II Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible is both God’s love letter to us, and also the authority by which we live our lives (also referred to in the Bible as the Law of the Lord.) Both great blessings and terrible consequences are found in the biblical principles of the Bible. We want our students to learn these biblical principles so they might grow up understanding that disobeying God’s Word leads to heartache and suffering, but obeying God’s Word will put them in a position where God can and will mightily bless their life.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Our Curriculum is Bible-Based
Excellent education cannot be achieved without excellent curriculum. We have chosen to use A Beka Book curriculum because they fully incorporate the Bible in every academic subject. Learning academics is important in early childhood, but we cannot shy away from the biblical principles that make us who we are. It is not good enough for the directors and staff to believe in them, we must also teach our students these biblical principles. Our goal is for our students to leave our program advanced beyond the “norm” for their age in the academic areas. It is also our goal for our students to have a higher level of maturity, a respect for authority, strong manners, self-control, and self-confidence. A Beka Book fosters these characteristics while delivering a strong academic foundation.
Our Purpose Gives Us Passion
Our mission and our goals stem from our passion to partner with our parents in giving our students the foundation they will need to be successful as adults. It is well known that a young child has developed their personality, morals, sense of self-worth, and basic character by the age of five. We have the awe-inspiring opportunity to help parents develop their child into the person they will become twenty years from now.
The reason for our passion to succeed in our mission and goals is two-fold. First, somebody did it for us when we were young children. Somebody invested in our future. So how could we be so selfish that we would not do the same for the precious ones entrusted to our care? We couldn’t be so selfish, we must do everything in our power to equip and prepare our students. Second, God loves children and He thinks they are important.
Children are Important to God
I would like to share with you one of my favorite stories in the Bible that illustrates God’s attitude toward children. In this story I see not only Christ’s love for the little children, but I also see a too-familiar attitude from His disciples of impatience toward the children.
“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
~Mark 10: 13,14,16
At the time, Christ was journeying from city to city teaching the Gospel, and healing the sick. The people who brought the children to touch Christ knew that if they could just touch Him they would be healed of any disease or deformity! So, they brought their children to touch Him, so that the children might receive the same miracle. But the disciples didn’t want to take the time or put in the effort required. It was not requested that they spend time with the children, but to simply let the children touch Christ. The disciples had stinkin’ thinkin’ when they thought the children were not important enough for a sliver of Christ’s time. Instead of ignoring the impatience and harshness of the disciples as they attempted to turn the children away, Christ rebuked them for it!
Can you just imagine? Christ, the living son of God, who during His ministry on earth was constantly surrounded by crowds of people juggling for a moment of His attention, rebuked the disciples for not being willing to give attention to the children. The verse says He was much displeased at the actions of the disciples. But my favorite part is at the end. After expressing His displeasure with the attempt to send the children away, Christ didn’t just let the children touch Him as requested. He picked them up and showed affection to them. There was no rush in Christ’s interactions with these children. He stopped what He was doing and spent time with the children because He loves them and because children are important to God.
It is an honor and a privilege to work for a Christian Early Education Center. Every day we get to be a part of influencing our young students for Christ, partnering with parents to give them the foundation necessary to grow and mature in both biblical principles and academics.
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”