Community–the Soil of Christian Education

community– by Carol Veldman Rudie

The woman at our meeting was telling us about a new anti-drug education program. Her enthusiasm was infectious; those listening were impressed with the obvious merits of the curriculum.

I was impressed too. So I was happy to learn that such a good program would be available not just to public schools but also to the non-government schools that I represented.

Then somebody asked the most important question of all: “Is it effective in helping kids stay away from drugs?”

The presenter’s pause stilled the room. We waited. She looked down.

Finally, into the quiet she admitted, “This program is effective only if the parents and the community support its goals.”

The educators around me nodded. Because we all represented non-government schools, we knew the truth of that statement. I knew that her insight was, in fact, part of the educational philosophy at Calvin Christian School and the other Christian schools that I represented, members of Christian Schools International.

The reality is this: education is effective only if the parents and the community support its direction, mission and purpose. At Calvin Christian School we see that reality every day. But what often escapes our awareness is what the word “community” means.

To some, community means their children’s circle of friends. Others limit school community to the families with whom they share social connections. Still others know that faculty and staff form community, and that teachers work to form community within their classroom. But at CCS community is much deeper and more permanent than those relationships. Community includes all those people whose deep commitment is to the nurture of God’s children into meaningful discipleship in the body of Christ.

That community has a history that is over 50 years old. That community contains people you and I have never met. That community has deep loyalty that goes beyond their own children and grandchildren. That community ensures that the values, educational philosophy, and support of CCS reaches every Christian family in the Twin Cities who wants the kind of education available on our campuses.

Being part of that community made CCS effective for the children of my family. As a continuing member of that community, I’m now contributing to the effectiveness of CCS education for your family.

How am I doing this? By being a life-long member of the community that “owns” CCS. We call it by its 50-year-old name: The Calvin Christian School Society. By whatever name, this community surrounds God’s children and their families with the Christian education that you’ve seen so effective for your child.

Now it’s your turn. Join the community! For Jesus’ sake do your part to make Christian education effective. Not just for yours but for God’s children.

Carol Rudie is a Calvin Christian board member and parent of two CCS grads.

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