September 30, 2019
All of us seek out the best when we are making decisions about our personal life and family. We want the very best for our children in every aspect of their lives. We search for the best medical care for our children, for the church that can meet the needs of the entire family, and an excellent school that challenges our children and meets our expectations. We also know that this pursuit of the best care for our families is an imperfect process, and we have to be realistic in recognizing that the needs of our family may change and may require adjustments in the individuals and institutions that impact our lives. This is why the search for the best, for excellence, in every aspect of our lives is a continual process, and we are constantly seeking it.
The pursuit of excellence here at FCS is no different. It is a constant process of evaluation, adaptation, and sometimes change that will result in excellence. Every subject and every program in our school curriculum has goals and objectives. These goals are tied to sections of each course with a time frame for presenting the material. As teachers and administrators our goal is to effectively present these written objectives to our students in a way in which they can move from one concept to another in a seamless fashion. At the conclusion of each course, our goal is for each student to master each described objective in the curriculum. We recognize that every student in our school will not master every one of these objectives, however, it is in the pursuit of excellence that we are motivated to achieve this goal for each one of our students.
To achieve the goals, we have for our students in our school, we must have vision. Our vision must be both in looking forward to future goals, but it must also include having insight into each individual and their needs as they participate in our school in the present. As we have a vision of what our students can be, we will be able to look ahead to the end results of our work. The teacher and parent who only see their student as they are today could become very discouraged, so it follows that as teachers and parents we must be full of optimism and hope. No pessimist ever became a great teacher or a successful parent. The pessimist sees a difficulty in every child, while the optimist sees opportunity.
In Philippians 3:7-10, the apostle Paul was talking to the Corinthian church about the motivation for their relationship with Christ. He said, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” To Paul, the excellence in his life was found in learning more about Jesus. In another passage Paul spoke to the church about the goal that each one should have in exercising their own spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:12, “Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church.” Paul taught that the goal for excellence in the church was to strengthen the whole church. Through Paul’s messages to the early church we can see his view of the pursuit of excellence in their way of life. This way of life is very different from the way of the world. The world sees excellence in a much different light. Excellence in the world is gauged by competition and achievement, rather than commitment and service. Excellence for Paul was modeling Christ in His daily walk in a manner that strengthened the church. His vision for the success of the church was much different than that of the world.
The good news for Christian educators, and parents as well, is that God promises us wisdom in accomplishing our goals and working with each child. Paul told the church at Colossae that his prayer for them was, “that they might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” Colossians 1:9. He wrote to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who handles the word of God correctly,” II Timothy 2:15. Knowledge is obtained by study, but when God’s Spirit fills us, we can impart wisdom that can be used and applied correctly, allowing our pursuit of excellence to be a reality.
What a great opportunity we have here at FCS to seek excellence, not only in the pursuit of academic preparation for our students, but by helping them achieve that “excellence in the knowledge of Christ…” that Paul spoke of to believers.