By WCS Headmaster, Dr. Roger Erdvig
As I prepared for the start of the school year, I asked God to help me focus the WCS team on what is most important. Time in prayer and reflection helped me see that our focus as teachers and leaders should be on what our students (and children!) should see in us at this specific moment in history. This led me to four characteristics that mentors should be exhibiting in the latter part of 2021.
First, and most foundational, our students should see in us genuine devotion to Christ. Our first desire should be for the Kingdom and His righteousness. This means that we are devoted to living life under the good rulership of God, and the desire for such a life should be the organizing principle around which our thoughts and our actions revolve. Anything that’s not consistent with a Christ First approach to decisions and actions must not have any influence in our lives.
Second, we should focus on our mission, not the mess. There are plenty of messes around us, and while we should acknowledge them and deal with them appropriately, they should not distract us from our core mission as a school. Afghanistan. COVID-19. Hurricanes. Political unrest. These are all very real, but WCS’s mission of cultivating Godly influencers transcends the challenges our world is facing. I read the following quote from the Colson Center, and it perfectly shapes our perspective in this unique time in history.
“When Christians are deeply rooted in the True Story, rather than tossed back and forth in the chaos of a cultural moment, they flourish.”
The Story that we know is True is the big picture narrative that we learn from Scripture – Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. Everything we face in this life can be given proper context by seeing how it fits into God’s big Story. While things around us seem to go from bad to worse (FALL), Christ has invited us to play a role in redeeming things around us (REDEMPTION).
Part of Christ’s redeeming work is raising up young people who will boldly embody the Truth in a world that no longer values objective truth. This is why we exist as a school. In every classroom, every sport, every musical ensemble, we’re training our students to influence the culture in ways that reflect the goodness of God’s original design (CREATION). This is our mission.
Third, we must demonstrate the ability to quickly “return to joy.” Each day, we as teachers and leaders are bombarded with situations that can cause unhelpful emotions. Anger. Fear. Shame. Despair. Disgust. Sadness. Each of these negative responses to life robs us of energy and crowds out the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
All of us experience these emotions on a regular basis, with some being more potent in our lives than others. A wise and mature leader or teacher will acknowledge the emotion and then quickly “return to joy.” This is only possible as we nurture our walk with Christ and recognize that while things can cause sadness or anger or shame, we don’t want to stay there. The “joy of the Lord is our strength” and the sooner we can return to joy from other negative feelings, the quicker we are to realize His strength to persevere victoriously.
Finally, young eyes need to see a kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving approach to one another. Our theme verse for the year is Ephesians 4:32, which encapsulates all three of these Godly relational standards. While the world around us fights and tears each other apart, the people of Christ should demonstrate kindness.
Our focus for our campus culture this year is kindness – treating one another as beings made in the image of God, worthy of utmost respect and goodness. Offense and disagreement will come, but on the WCS campus those unavoidable realities will be met with Christlike kindness as exemplified in being tender towards one another and being quick to forgive.
As we start a new school year, may I invite you as part of the extended WCS family to consider what you’re modeling for our students and the younger ones in your life?
Focus on mission, not the mess.
Return to joy.
And be kind.
Cultivating godly influencers
Wilmington Christian School provides a distinctively Christian, innovative education that effectively develops Godly influencers who are well prepared for life after high school and who impact the culture for Christ.