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Christian Day Schools as Part of a New Approach to Domestic Missions

Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.

At this past year’s CLC Convention, the delegates recognized a need for a new approach to domestic missions. In order to encourage a new approach, the following resolutions were passed: (1) Resolved that the Board of Missions encourage domestic subsidized congregations to open Christian day schools and provide counsel and financial assistance as appropriate; (2) Resolved that the Board of Missions be directed to develop and implement a model for a Christian day school program as an outreach tool in domestic subsidized congregations; (3) Resolved that the Board of Missions and the Board of Education and Publications with the help of the Standing Constitution Committee explore other ways to make use of subsidized Christian day schools as mission tools and report their findings to the 2022 Convention.

The Board of Missions has formed a subcommittee which includes pastors, former teachers, and laymen to help formulate an approach to these three resolutions. The initial work has focused on the importance of Christian education, in general, and discussions about how we can better use our Christian day schools to spread the Gospel. The subcommittee has also discussed various models that could be used to start a school including a homeschool co-op, a “start small” approach which involves starting with a preschool and adding the next grade each year, the idea of a teacher at large whose focus would be on starting a school in one congregation and then moving on to another, in addition to a more traditional startup method. The subcommittee has spent time discussing the financial aspects of starting schools, considering factors such as startup costs, salary and housing for a teacher, and potential costs associated with having space for a school such as the possible need for an addition to the church building or perhaps a new building. The subcommittee is also putting together a Christian day school Startup Checklist which can be used to help congregations to consider all the aspects involved with starting a school. Going forward, the subcommittee plans to put together a CLC School Promotion Packet and develop a presentation on the importance of Christian day schools that could be presented to churches for a Christian Education Sunday.

Please pray that the Lord will grant wisdom to Board of Missions and our subcommittee as we consider the important work of promoting Christian education and spreading the Gospel.

Robert Sauers is pastor of Luther Memorial Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions