By Roy W. Lowrie, Jr. Ed.D. (1985)
Thank God for the Christian school! “The Lord is good to all…” (Psalm 145:9). Praise to Him is within our hearts and upon our lips in a natural, unforced manner as we reflect upon the school. An “attitude of gratitude” is not an interesting play on words for us, but is an accurate expression of how we feel. An “attitude of gratitude” grows out of the thoughts which follow.
Thank you, Lord for:
- Putting it into the hearts of the school’s founders to establish a school where the Lord Jesus Christ is preeminent.
- Your faithfulness in seeing the school through its fledgling days and years when discouragements were numerous.
- Leading men and women of God to serve You here by ministering to children and teenagers in Christ’s name.
- Providing indoor and outdoor facilities where Christian education can take place.
- Giving us “our daily bread” and money beyond that for the operation of the school.
- Raising up people who serve You in varied ways on behalf of the school without pay.
- Making quality education available to our children.
- Building a desire for learning in our children.
- Giving vigorous, wholesome activities.
- Working in the hearts of our children through the school in bringing them to personal salvation by faith in Christ and in helping them to grow in Christ as they are becoming His disciples.
- Answering our prayers clearly, continuously, and bountifully.
- Doing unexpected things resulting in blessings before we even prayed about them.
- Meshing the school, the church, and our home in good ways for our benefit.
- Uniting the school family, sometimes through the suffering of a student or an adult.
- Giving surprises of joy.
- Providing freedom for the uninhibited teaching of the Bible, as a major subject in the course of study and as the philosophical foundation from which all subjects and activities are presented to our children.
Our gratitude to God is always first. The “attitude of gratitude” extends, though, to those who work at the school. It is true that they are doing their work “as unto the Lord,” but it is proper to express heartfelt thanks to them growing out of the thoughts presented below:
Thank you, faculty and staff, for:
- Your obvious love and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The clarity of your testimony.
- Modeling the Christian life, for you are the “living curriculum.”
- Being sensitive to the spiritual needs of students and caring about their spiritual development.
- Knowing how to lead an unsaved student to receive Jesus Christ.
- Exemplifying love for the church and commitment to it.
- Showing the joy of the Lord to our students.
- Praying diligently together each day on behalf of our children.
- Giving time to pray for the school as you come before God in your “secret place.”
- Being willing to educate our students for less pay and for lesser fringe benefits than you would receive at another school.
- Loving our children and caring for them deeply.
- Approaching the school as a ministry and not as just a job to make a living.
- Working with us parents, not as adversaries, but as partners in education for the good of our children.
- Spending hours and hours behind the scenes at home in preparation for teaching, in evaluation, and in grading papers.
- Keeping up professionally through graduate work, seminars, and reading.
- Selflessly going the second mile by spending hours and hours in student activities.
- Being patient when our children do not do as they should and their development seems imperceptible.
- Cleaning up after our children.
- Maintaining your wholesome sense of humor to lighten the school day.
- Challenging students to perform at the limits of their God-given abilities.
- Maintaining the building and grounds in such fine condition.
- Instilling a love for reading in our children.
- Developing, under God, Biblical character traits in our children in cooperation with our parents and the church.
- Emphasizing the truth that life is not meaningless, but that God has a good, acceptable, and perfect will for each of His children.
- Sticking with small, nagging discipline matters and with those big discipline matters which are so disheartening and complex that they make you wonder whether or not your work is worth it.
- Encouraging our children and parents when we are broken-hearted and dispirited.
- Wanting our students to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
These thoughts are not conclusive. They are intended to stimulate your heart and mind to an “attitude of gratitude.” It would be good for you to make a similar list. When you do, thank the Lord first and then thank the faculty and staff and those giving volunteer service to the school. It is a good thing to give thanks to God and it is a good thing to express gratitude to those who serve at the school. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)