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Be Careful How You Build: The Importance of Planning
Be Careful How You Build: The Importance of Planning
Jonathan Winn
Friday, September 04, 2020

Some of us are dreamers, some of us are planners; others find themselves perhaps somewhere in the middle.  The dreamers love to talk about the future- where they will go, what they will do, who they will see, etc.  The planners will say, “That’s great, so how can we make that happen?  What are the steps to bring this to reality?” 

In the last article, I introduced our theme for the 2020-21 school year: “Be Careful How You Build.”  As mentioned previously, all of us are in the midst of building or developing something, or someone, whether we are fully aware and intentional about it or not.  Additionally, I shared that every building or development project of significance or substance includes several components for success.  Last time we talked about the importance of vision. Now, we will look more closely into the next phase: Thoughtful Planning.

Thoughtful Planning

In Scripture, King David had a vision of building a great temple of worship to God Most High.  This was a vision that God placed in him and also came from a heart overflowing with passion and zeal for God to be exalted in the hearts and minds of all the peoples on earth.  David did not stop with just the dream or vision though, he then took care to record the detailed steps and plans, which the Holy Spirit had also given him, and share them with his son, Solomon, who would bring the vision to reality (cf. 1 Chronicles 28:11-19).

The vision for our Oak Grove students and community is a beautiful and noble one: “Learn for Life, Live for Christ.”  However, without an intentional, thoughtful, and well laid out plan, these are just words.  So then, how do we make this vision a reality?  What is the plan for carrying this out?

An overview of the plan is captured in our Mission statement: “We strive to partner with parents in providing a Christ-centered, classical education utilizing a University Model.  We seek to inspire our students to love learning, to face life’s challenges with courage and character, and to apply God’s truth in their spheres of influence.”

 

For the remainder of this article, I want to focus on just one phrase in the statement: “Christ-centered.” 

Delivering an education and raising a family that is “Christ-centered” is a no small charge, and I want to make an immediate disclaimer that entire volumes have been written on the subject!

Let me share 3 simple analogies that I find helpful in thinking of developing or building a school and home that are Christ-centered.  First, a target.  This is a goal-orientation approach.  The goal is similar to what Paul writes in Romans 11:36: For from Him {Christ] and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” The purpose and goal in all we do and plan is that God is glorified, exalted, worshipped, esteemed.  Regardless of one’s performance, reputation, experiences, suffering- if God gets the glory, then we have fulfilled our purpose.

The second metaphor is that of our solar system.  This is a priority-oriented approach.  All of the planets in our solar system are in orbit, and in order around the sun in the center.  The sun is the fixed reference point, as well as the primary source of light and energy for the planets in the solar system.  If the sun were to be removed, the planets would lose their harmony, balance, and life would cease to exist.  In the same way, Paul writes to the Colossians: “He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). All that we have, and all that we are, and all that we strive to be is contingent upon Christ.  Our very life, and breath, and everything else.  We must train ourselves and our children, by example, that it is only when we place Christ as first importance in our lives, followed directly by our love and care for people in relationship, then everything else falls into its proper place.  When we place personal ambition, possessions, power or comfort above God and relationships, our lives will begin to unravel. 

Finally, a Christ-centered school and home is built like the process of putting together a great puzzle.  This is an integrated approach.  We recognize that each and every piece has individual significance, but only in relation to the whole.  Every piece of knowledge, every concept, word, formula, algorithm, premise, historical moment, color, shape, sound, smell, emotion etc. finds its significance ultimately in what it relates and points back to.  When putting a puzzle together, one must keep in mind the big picture in order to understand how each smaller picture fits. Like solving a puzzle, Paul writes about how Christ is the one who brings the mysteries of life to light.  Like us educators and parents, he struggled “so that that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-4).

 

My prayer for our school is that we will continue, in God’s strength, to partner with one another to be a people who are Christ-centered in each of these ways so that we may have life, life to the full (John 10:10).