From the Desk of Dan DeKam
Executive Director, West Michigan Christian Schools
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”
Many institutions have crafted mission statements. These statements are used to set the course for the culminating impact that the institution wishes to have in the world around them. They serve as a broad over-arching “goal.” These are critically important statements that need to be reviewed periodically as institutions like people have a tendency to drift from their intended goals and pursue goals that are more congruent with where our human hearts want to go. In 1692, Harvard University adopted its motto, “Truth for Christ and the Church.” But as the decades slipped by an emphasis on being a highly respected academic institution became the highest priority, the motto was changed to just “Truth.”
In 1692, Harvard University adopted its motto, Truth for Christ and the Church. But as the decades slipped by an emphasis on being a highly respected academic institution became the highest priority, the motto was changed to just Truth.
These mission statements do reveal something about the institution and should be read carefully. Consider this statement from an unnamed public school: “…will be a place of excellence where all students are engaged in high quality, real-world learning and….will encourage children to achieve their full potential and become responsible citizens who are lifelong learners.“ It is the goal of this school to serve the state and produce good citizens. This should not be read as a criticism of the people who work diligently in the public school system, for they are not permitted by the state to do anything else. It should point out the importance of knowing where you are going.
As Christian schools, we are not limited in the ways that we can express the truth of Christ.
As Christian schools, we are not limited in the ways that we can express the truth of Christ. The following quotes are from the West Michigan Christian School member websites and should be read frequently as a reminder of why God has called us to this work:
New Era Christian “…to prepare students for lives of Christian service.”
Grand Haven Christian “…we want our school and each student to SHINE for Jesus Christ.”
Fremont Christian ”…our teachers strive to help students reach their fullest potential as children of God.”
Muskegon Christian “…to engage each student in a lifetime of Christian discipleship.”
Western Michigan Christian “…to equip students to work and serve Christ in their communities.”
This is not to say that academics are not important. They are vitally important – we are schools after all. But they are important as an expression of our gratitude for what God has done through us, through Jesus Christ. We are to take all of the talents and opportunities that God gives us in life and do our best to utilize them fully – for his glory. As it says in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Over the next several weeks, representatives of the boards and other representatives of the WMCEC schools will be undergoing a strategic planning process. Please be in prayer for the schools as we seek to discern where God is leading us over the next several years and how we can be of service to Him in His world.