In every church I’ve ever been a part of, there is a ceremony where a young child is presented before the Lord. Some churches baptize babies, some have dedications. I’m not here to debate that one. Either way, the children are presented, the parents vow to raise the children in such a way as to lead the children toward Jesus, the church agrees to support this raising in any way possible.
OK then. Sounds good. However, church in America, I have this against you. I have never been a part of a church that had any initiatives that were specifically designed to assist the families with home schooling, and of the churches I have researched in my area, support for home schooling is seldom discovered. I find this to be a big miss in a vast majority of churches. Especially ones that sit mostly empty during the weekdays, with WiFi humming along but nobody on it except the pastor who is preparing a sermon or answering emails.
“We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”Voddie T. Baucham Jr., Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God
There are churches that offer private schooling, and I think that’s great. But there are many more churches who neglect this key period of time in the lives of their youngest responsibilities. And this isn’t a big ask. It can begin with a general offer to provide a place where homeschool families can network and combine resources in a Co-Op fashion. This can later evolve within the church as other considerations are discovered.
A while back, I was an elder in a small church that would have 130-150 attendees on an average Sunday. I mentioned this very idea in an elder’s meeting and it went nowhere. We didn’t have any expertise in the area and had enough going on at the time. Meanwhile, at least two of our families were actively homeschooling their children. We had another family who had recently enrolled their kids into government schools because they were advancing into grades the parent wasn’t comfortable teaching.
If religion is primarily about making disciples, government schools are the established religion of America.Toby Sumpter
Let me rephrase. They handed their kids to be discipled by the government because the homeschool parent felt overwhelmed and the church did nothing to assist. That same church that loves to make vows to assist in the discipling of the child toward salvation in Christ.
For additional reasons, I am no longer even attending this particular church. But I grow more and more convinced that churches need to allow for the facilitation of homeschooling if they are to fulfil their mandate to make disciples and to let the world see that we belong to Jesus by how much we love one another. I have written before about the theological malpractice of using “loving your neighbor” as a pry bar to coerce Christians to do things that are a matter of conscience. This doesn’t fall into that category. Vows were made. And then discarded just as soon as we saw that it was time to start rolling up our sleeves.