Men in suits shaking hands

This is an important question, profoundly important in fact. When you read the title, a variety of memories or feelings come to the surface. It may be a conversation with your child from this morning, a frustration you have expressed when watching the news, or working through an issue at work. However, our answer to this question is fundamental to how we approach EVERYTHING in life. Why do I say this?

During our Whole School Morning Meeting last week, I shared a quote from A.W. Tozer: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Contemplate that for a minute. Now, think back to the account of the Fall of Mankind in the Garden, Genesis 3. Note how Satan works to deceive Eve- he first puts into question God’s goodness, then directly challenges God’s authority. Interestingly, his strategy hasn’t changed from that first temptation until now. The temptation to sin was, and is, in essence, a question of who’s in charge. Our sinful nature will wage war in our hearts and minds against any notion of the answer being the God of the Bible (other gods are much more easily manipulated…). You should not be surprised to see this in your child, but also not in your heart as an adult. One of the primary roles that God has given parents is to teach children about submitting to authority. Of course, this is also why we must be very, very careful about the example we are setting as their authority- that of a servant leader, not a self-serving one. In the classical education philosophy, this virtue of submission and respect is also emphasized. Why? Because wise men and women over the centuries have identified this universal need to actively cultivate a heart of obedience and submission in children, especially in light of the vices that surface in its absence. Sadly, as our current society turns away from its Judeo-Christian roots, our basis for the importance and role of authority is also eroding…and the effects of this are devastating in every institution from the home to government.

For myself, I must consider how this principle comes into play in how I submit to the authorities God has placed over me. I think of our government, law enforcement, and the Board of Directors at Oak Grove. Even more to the point of application, what are my children learning about submission through my example? I will resist the temptation to write much more on the topic of application here. Rather, I want to encourage us all to contemplate this fundamental question and consider what our heart’s responses tell us about our view of God, and how it is impacting the discipleship of our children.

Finally, I have had some families from time to time ask about the Board at Oak Grove and how it functions. Since we are on the topic of authority, I thought I would go ahead and include this.

What is the purpose of the OGCA Board of Directors?

The School Board is composed of members who care deeply for the School Mission and Vision. By application, Board members serve the school and community by ensuring that the Vision and Mission of the school remains central and vibrant. Additionally, the Board provides strategic counsel and oversight for their sole employee, the Headmaster, so that he/she is fully equipped to carry out the responsibilities of leadership. New Board members are chosen by the current Board and serve on a voluntary basis for 2-year terms after a careful vetting process to determine alignment with school Mission and Vision as well as spiritual maturity. As in any organization, Board members only function as a Board when acting collectively. Members hold no school authority when acting as individuals.

Who is serving on the current Board of Directors? 

The Board went through a transition period during the 2018-2019 school year, as terms expired and three couples decided to step off the board at the end of their terms. The current board members and officers are:

Miles Shiver (President)

Angela Shiver (Vice President)

Jay Rush (Treasurer)

Leah Rush

Kurt Sorenson

Dani Sorenson

Over the past few years, the board has worked to refine their on-boarding process for potential members, and is always on the lookout for individuals with a strong heart for the Lord, who are actively serving the school in various ways to consider as candidates for future board service. The Board is so grateful that after completing their application, interview, and 6-month candidacy period, Kurt and Dani Sorenson have agreed to serve for a two-year term which began on July 1. The Board is also in the interview process with another couple, and aim to maintain between 8 and 11 members at any given time.

When does the Board meet?

 The Board meets once per month, together with the Headmaster, to discuss budget, projections, and look ahead at future plans for Oak Grove. They spend much time each meeting in prayer for the school, its Administration, Staff and students. They also hold one or two strategic planning sessions per year. This time is dedicated specifically to looking at the long-term plans and goals for the school, and discussing strategies with the Headmaster to move toward those goals. The last spring planning retreat was held in April 2019. Also, members serve on committees which meet at various times during the month.

The Board wants to extend a sincere welcome to all new families, and a welcome back to all returning families. They look forward to an amazing 2019-2020, and to serving the Lord and the families of Oak Grove in this unique way as Board members