CLA: God-Centered and Student-Focused

The tyranny of the urgent. I have no idea where the phrase came from, but I understand the concept. Urgent matters are often cruel tyrants. There is always something to do—now. There are places to go—now. There are fires to put out—now. These cruel taskmasters keep us busy, but obeying their commands do not always make us effective.

Leading a Christian school is no different than many other things. There is the urgent pressure of schedules. There are bills to be paid. People to hire. Calls to return. Meetings to have. And that is just before lunch.

That is why I need a team of people around me who get the mission. You see, paying bills is not the mission. Planning curriculum and hiring staff is not the mission. Glorifying God by discipling children through Christian education; that is the mission.

That is why I love our team. They are God-centered and child-focused people. For example, Sherri Kennedy, our instructional coach, will periodically bring me a curriculum question (code word she wants to change the material). After she presents the problem, she pauses to watch me process things, which she knows all too often means I am processing cost. After a moment, she will give me that look—that sincere “here it comes” look—and says, “I really believe this is best for the children.”

And there it is—the reminder I need. After over two decades of teaching, she is still focused on the kids. Now that does not mean we spend money recklessly. What it does mean is that we try to stay focused. And what are we focused on? We are focused on displaying the glory of God by equipping students.

To that end, we stay God-centered and student focused. May it ever be so!