Boise Classical Academy
As a pastor’s kid, I grew up in church. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and youth activities were only broken up by weeklong revival meetings that started at 6:00 PM and ended at 10:00 PM. On Saturdays, I cleaned the church and mowed the lawn. Summer camp was a weeklong fest of three messages in the morning, Bible memorization in the afternoon, and three more messages in the evening. The schedule certainly looks spiritual, but what about my heart? Did I truly love Christ?
I did love Christ. And yet, as I waded through public school, a job, and later university, my faith was tested. I drew heavily on the tools that my parents instilled in me. Surprisingly, Mom and Dad didn’t force church attendance, daily devotions, or prayer. Instead, they had me learn the arts. They encouraged me to read widely both history and philosophy. They encouraged me to connect with the non-Christian world through work, video games, and friends. Why?
If you hold the Christian walk next to the world’s lifestyle, the world looks awful. The negative consequences of living for self rather than God are spotted easily. My parents did just that, comparing the two in the safe atmosphere of our home. We saw people destroy their lives by rejecting Christ and living for the sensual pleasures of the moment and the joy a life lived for Christ brings. Long conversations about why God’s plan lingered into the night as we poured over what is Good, True, and Beautiful. My parents disciplined us through discipleship.
At Boise Classical Academy, we do the same. We encounter literature, history, philosophy, maths, and sciences and wrestle with concepts before the students face them in the world. As they enter adulthood and are tempted by the world’s ways, they have the tools not only to avoid them but to push back and fight for the Kingdom.
The concept our Lord brings up in John 21:20-23 illustrates the teaching philosophy. As the Disciples question John’s future, Jesus asks an important question— “What is that to you? You must follow me.”
As we prepare youth for the future, we ask ourselves how we can best equip the students. We may want to get them ready for this or that job, or prepare them for this or that temptation. But we don’t know what they’ll face, and truly, ‘what is that to us?’ Our job is to give them the tools to follow Him. They will fall in love with Him and the truth that is our Savior.
*Peter Leavell is the director of Boise Classical Academy where he teaches Literature, History, and Rhetoric. He writes Christian Historical Fiction and has several columns on writing fiction. In his spare time, he enjoys jogging, reading, and most of all, chatting about how to keep Marxism at bay.