If we look at the world around us, we see sickness, suffering, and sin. We know that this suffering will only end when the gospel reaches the ends of the earth, so our schools have to be so attractive that they stand out as beacons of light and centers of evangelism in their communities. The influence of our schools should be so profound that they become agents of change in their communities.
More than a century ago, in February, 1894, Ellen G. White received a vision in Melbourne, Australia, where God showed her the essence of true education: “the harmonious development of physical, mental, spiritual and social faculties” of our young people. This is still our goal as Adventist educators, but sometimes we encounter parents or constituents who wonder why Adventist education is still important.
Although there are many more, here are seven reasons why we still need Adventist education:
- Ellen G. White emphasizes the vision for Adventist education and calls for Adventists to offer holistic education.
- 70% of the 350 million people in East-Central Africa Division territory are young and of school age, mostly under the age of 25. This is an opportunity for evangelism and a great harvest.
- 40% of the young people who attend Adventist Schools remain faithful to the church, and they are more likely to become active lay leaders or full-time workers in our denomination.
- A typical Adventist Church is open for about 7 hours a week, an Adventist day school for 40 hours, and an Adventist boarding school 168 hours.
- Where our young people go to school often determines their careers, spouses, faith, and even their eternal destiny.
- Adventist schools are “cities of refuge” for many of our young people living in a broken world full of moral decay such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and immorality.
- Adventist education prepares our young people for this life and for the life to come. Our young people can be “taught” into the kingdom of God.
The book of Acts, chapters 4 and 5, narrates a compelling story of Peter and John at the beginning of the Christian church after Christ had ascended to heaven. Acts 4:13 states “when [the people] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” They stood out in their families, neighborhood, and communities. Their master, Jesus Christ, had transformed their lives, their purpose and their mission. There is no doubt that Peter and John were on fire for God in spite of being “unschooled ordinary men.” The common and ordinary men had become extraordinary.
God is raising up yet another generation in these last days. God has given the Adventist Church the responsibility of raising up this generation in Adventist schools—a new generation of Peters and Johns. Yes, the first generation of Christians was made up of “unschooled ordinary men,” but the last generation that will finish the work may very well be those trained in Adventist schools.
Note: Article written and posted in English