BY FAITH Hebrews 11:1,2,39,40 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see….These were all commended for their faith, yet non of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Philip Yancey wrote a book a few years ago called Soul Survivor. It was a book with 13 chapters each dedicated to a person who helped shape Yancey’s faith. I always thought of the book as his “Hebrews 11”, his heroes of faith. Yancey honoured those people who made him think and change and grow. He acknowledged that they were not perfect (who of us is?) but he celebrated their faith in God and in humanity.
My challenge to you this month is to compile your own list of your heroes of faith and your heroes of Christian education. Who encouraged you to continue teaching when you didn’t feel like you were going to make it? Who modeled for you, just exactly who you wanted to be in the classroom?
Three weeks ago, I traveled to Bellevue, Washington for a meeting of IAPCHE (International Association for the Promotion of Higher Christian Education-report to follow). I had the honour and privilege of meeting some of my heroes of Christian education. These giants had shaped my understanding of what it meant to teach Christianly, of what it means to be a Christian educator in Christian schools. They shaped me through their books and writings and so it was great to collaborate with them about next steps in Christian education and it was an honour to thank them for their influence.
We all have people in our lives that have encouraged us as mentors and “heroes”. We all have authors and role models who lived by faith. So…. who are your heroes of faith, your mentors and have you shared your admiration and debt to them or WITH them? As the author of Hebrews says, these heroes cheer the next generation on in the pursuit of faith, education and wisdom. The last generation needs the next generation to work together so that together with us would they be made perfect. Christian education is about the community where you teach but it is much bigger than that. It also included the community of all those who have gone on before.
Who is cheering you on and maybe more importantly as we age and mature….who are we cheering on? Are we nurturing the next generation of leaders in Christian education? Are we doing enough to encourage young people to enter into this vocation of teaching?
May God continue to bless and strengthen you as you serve Him in education!
(Diane would like to thank her mentors: Anne Ashcroft, Hilda Roukema, Gary VanArragon, John Vanasselt and John Vriend who have shared their encouragement, wisdom and faith over the years.)