Friday, March 10, 2006


Just wanted to clarify a few comments:
Natasha called me on a contextual problem of problems that I made in my last post:
I really wasn’t talking about the nature of “Calling” as it pertains to giftedness, ability or perceived direction from God on life’s vocation or intention. Instead I was specifically referring to people who have walked away from youth ministry as a volunteer or whatever and have used the excuse that they were not “Called” to do this. It was a comment on how we tend to put a spiritual spin on our excuses so that we can get out of situations without a guilt complex. But you raise a few good points
First yes people are going offer different focal points for the activity of their lives but in a very real way whether you are going to be an environmentalist, a social justice person, whatever... I would hope that the reason we are going to get involved is to help future generations experience a better future. So in that way hopefully we are all working toward helping youth…
Unfortunately too many people are only living for their own benefit.
My intention was not to make you or anyone else for not rushing out an signing up for the closest youth program as a volunteer. I don’t want you to think that you are garbage for not being a youth worker. I was expressing my frustration about selfish people really don’t care about the future generation.
Pat – I don’t want you to be mad at me but I’m probably not going to back away from my comments too much. I know private schools are not perfect and need evangelizing. And that they themselves can be considered as a light into their own communities. But I have to say that the core reason behind sending your kids to private or home school is out of some sort of protectionism. Some of that protectionism may be warranted out of a desire to have the best for our kids. I can understand that motivation. I can also see that there is frustration with the academic standards of the public school system. But even there I guess that there is something interesting going on. It makes me ask the question about whether we as Christians are willing to lay down our “Rights” to have our kids in better education?
I’m sorry if my comments came across judgementally – I’m not trying to make myself look better than you or anyone else. I am just really tired of the escapism, and excusism that is so prevalent in Christian culture. You probably need to evaluate whether this is your rationale or not. That’s not my job. I assume you have thought about these things and know how your choices are not escapist and I would be interested in hearing them.
Sorry for the confusion and the perceived accusation


Freezer said...

Don't worry Dale - I may not agree with your position on people who send their kids to "Christian schools" but I still respect you and adore you as a brother. Like you say we need to listen more and in order to listen we need to ask questions. I've got some questions posted at my blog.

Naomi said...

One question about "Christian schools"; What if the level of education is just that much better? What if we are sacrificing our kids education to make our statement that we are not trying to "protect" them from the big, bad world? What if it is just a legitimate option in the area you live? I would never have questioned sending my kids to Jenny Emery, if we still lived in Coaldale, but once we moved out here, school seemed to open a whole different can of worms. We have decided to send our kids to the public school that is in our community, but it was only with a lot of struggle. We did look into private Christian as well, and if we were going to stay in Vancouver, I don't know, we might have done it.

Natasha said...

To me, you came across more passionate than judgemental and honestly, I understand where you're coming from - just for me it's a different issue other than youth. I can say, I wish I would have been in your youth group when I was a teen!! I really think that my marriage is more rich and blessed because Jesse had someone like you when he was that age. Almost ten years later and he still talks about "skipping school for coffee at Dale's". In any case, I agree though, that really whether it's youth ministry or teaching or plumbing or business...every "calling" will bleed into one in the end.

Teach said...

I like the discussion on education, so I thought I'd add my peice. I am finishing up my teaching degree and have my own insight into schools and school systems. I became a teacher for two main reasons, 1) I beleive we need to ensure the education of future generations and 2) I believe that I can make a difference and have an impact on kids' lives. Dale, I see your point on having "light and slat" kids in public schools but think that a better place to start is with "light and salt" teachers. I want to teach in the public system, I see it as my mission field. I believe that if there were more Christian teachers in the public system who actually expressed their beliefs instead of being passive about them, that there would be no need for a Christian school. Education in Canada, as in many other countries had its begins in the church and society has turned away from this. With more Christian teachers in the current system, maybe we can rekindle the flame that has been taken out of our forefathers view of education.

Incoming... said...

Naomi - good question
I would suppose that when God was choosing what time period and what community Jesus would be born into he "checked out" the local schools. After all wouldn't the son of God's performance be based on the right set of factors present to allow HIM to achieve his goal...?
(That said tongue in cheek)
If you ask our friend Bonnie (for instance) - a question like the one you are asking likely originates out of a slightly misplaced expectation of our schools to be our primary educators. In other words we have a tendency to abdicate our own primary role as parents in the education of our children.
An example of this is in Sex education: many Christian parents choose to pull their kids out of those classes citing the need to protect their children/teens from the values imposed by those classes. What is troublesome is that those parents obviously have not done enough work of their own to instill the correct values so that a child of whatever age can differentiate the difference in values. (If you don't think this is possible: take my 7 year old son who flipped through various songs on a CD skipping some because they had bad words) I can understand that the desire for parents to have their child in the best education possible is a strong desire. However my observation would be that these determinants are more a product of affluence than a pursuit of knowledge. I think there are likely certain situation where a student’s aptitude for certain areas of learning might be best served in a private school. Don't get me wrong I think your desire to have the best education for your children is a great motivator for making your choice. In the end I'm gonna warp the old adage "What School Would Jesus Go To?"
TEACH thanks for your input. I appreciate your willingness to get involved in the system. If you talk to most of the teachers I know they easily acknowledge that the public school system is not well. Problems are chronic so...
Being an inspiration for change is a valiant cause - I hope you will not become jaded too quickly.