Excitement is Building!

Sometimes, unless you are in the middle of all the action, you may not have enough information to affect your perceptions of the prospects of the school.  Let me just say that I am very excited about what the Lord is doing in our midst.  Let me just share of few of those moments so that perhaps my excitement would be contagious.

Discover Maranatha evening: I shared many details about this evening in a previous post http://masuperintendent.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/discover-maranatha-huge-success/.  What has added to my celebration for this evening is the context I received from an expert on marketing Christian schools.  He said we were an exception to the rule to have so many people attend an event like Discover Maranatha.  That again points to God working in people’s lives and our job is to obey and work.  To God be the glory!

Inquiries: it is wonderful to be in the office and hear Debbie Hamil answer the phone for another family interested in Maranatha, or receive an email from a current parent say that have a family that would like to meet with me and discuss the school, or hear parents telling me of the families they are talking to about the school.

Rise Up and Big Reveal: I have been doing a lot of praying, thinking and planning for this April 24th event.  We are piggy backing on the Elementary’s Open House to include the secondary.  Besides all the wonderful demonstrations of the accomplishments of your kids, I am planning on taking 20-30 minutes to speak to all of our current families about some things we are changing.  Some will be some cool new looks to our logo, web site and some similar items, but I will also be talking about what we will be emphasizing in academics, policies(like dress code), funding the school, personality of the school and what we will concentrate on to make our school distinctive from those around us.  I hope you will come.  I really want us all on the same page for what the school is striving to accomplish.






Calling All Dads!

Saturday was the Dad’s Prayer Breakfast.  Nine dads showed up and we had a wonderful time of challenge and prayer and of course a little eating.  I am excited that Cary Shiner and Scott Pinter have agreed to step forward and lead our Dad’s ministry.  They have it right: Dad’s are to be leaders, and as our dads step up to that challenge in a godly way, our families, school, community and world will be wonderfully impacted for our Lord.  Scott and Cary desire to expand the impact of our dads on our school through keeping dads plugged into information and opportunities about the school.

We would like to extend the impact dads are having in their homes and bring their talents to the mix to enrich the experience of their kids at Maranatha.  First of all, we need to make sure that sufficient and timely communication gets to dads.  So, we brainstormed on how to use texting, email, dad-to-dad and other means to contact dads.  Dads, if you have experience, tools or ideas on how to make this work, please reach out to Scott or Cary.

Once dads have the information about the opportunities to serve, we want to make sure that we are well-organized in putting their time and talent to good use.  Scott and Cary will make sure that happens in the community building efforts such as the Buckshot Breakfast or the Float Trip (in June so sign up now).  I am also hiring a Facilities Director who will have in their job description that they will coordinate volunteers to help maintain and upgrade our grounds and facilities.

Dad’s, let me speak to you directly.  The school needs you to demonstrate servant leadership in and around the school.  Some of you are already doing that, and you are a wonderful blessing.  Others should accept the challenge and participate more actively in the shaping of our young people, especially our young men, for life and service to our Lord.  I would love to see 50, 100 or more involved in the Dad’s Prayer ministry.  Men we must pray!  We have some new ways where you could plug into this even if you can’t be at an event physically.  I know your lives are busy and many of you work long hours to keep things humming.  I challenge you to evaluate your priorities and make sure your kids are in the right place in that priority list.  Then consider where you could plug into the school to make a difference in other young men’s life.  Our world spends a lot of time trying to tell our young men how to live.  Let’s partner together to show and tell them how the Bible tells them they should live.

Our school is working to help you train your children in the ways of our Lord: Bible classes, chapel, devotional groups, mission trips, Man Up!, and using extra-curricular activities to put the lessons into practice.  Let’s Rise Up Maranatha by making sure we are doing all we can to be used by the Lord to mold our young people into avid disciples of our Lord.

Art and Our Focus

Allison Peck produced this art for me as I asked some art students to help me convey a couple of key points that are essential to moving Maranatha forward:

  1. We are God’s ministry and His sovereignty will ultimately accomplish His purposes.  (Depicted by the bridge and train tracks)
  2. All of the Maranatha family needs to be on board with our destination and enthusiastically doing their part wherever they are on the train. (Depicted by the people in each of the windows of the train doing their part)
  3. We have work and obey as God chooses to work through us to accomplish His purposes. (Depicted by the smoke rising from the train)

Em Barnett’s “Having Fun, Working Hard” picture illustrates these points in a different way.  Do you see them?  An interesting twist in her depiction is that the train is leaving the tracks which implies God’s sovereignty has taken us on a new course.  Are you ready for that?

Faith, Reason and Our Anchor

At Discover Maranatha, I spoke briefly but pointedly to the anchor that all families should use to cement their decision about whether they should partner with Maranatha in the education of their child.  That anchor is our Mission Statement.  We believe that if our teachers are motivated by the ultimate goal of a Christian which is to know God, they should do everything possible to connect, encourage, stimulate students to know and love the subject they are teaching.  That is because every subject derives its origin and essence from God.  Think about it.  Science in all reality and truth is studying God and His handiwork.  The written word was created by God and is used by Him to communicate to His children.  Math is a language of God and allows us to understand His universe and how He constructed it.

So if teachers are rightly motivated, than they should be fanning the flame of curiosity in students to seek to know God better in each and every class.  The product is a student who is a life long seeker of knowledge and well-prepared to practically apply that knowledge in service for our God and a productive member of society…maybe a world changer like St. Augustine of Hippo.

Way back in the first millennium after Christ was on the earth, St. Augustine of Hippo was enabled by God to think deeply about many important things.  I read today in my devotional that He had these thoughts about education way before I did.  The devotional book Table Talk by Ligonier Ministries says this about Augustine, “Empirical facts, said Augustine, are important, but we get true knowledge only as the mind reasons through what our senses tell us, drawing conclusions, making inferences, and so on.  Because non-Christians do not fear the Lord, however, there is a limit to what they can know.  The human mind begins to see the fullness of truth only when it submits to God and His law.  Conversion to Christ is the prerequisite for a deep understanding of God’s world.”  One of his famous statements is, “I believe in order to understand.”  There is a deep thought for you to meditate on.  May the Lord bless your meditation.


Former Maranatha Runner Honored at KU

Lawrence — Like most student-athletes at Kansas University, senior distance runner Zach Zarda is plugged into social networks.

In fact, before anyone could tell Zarda that he received the Big 12 Conference’s highest academic honor, the Dr. Gerald Lage award, he stumbled upon a tweet from Kansas Athletics, opened up the link on his phone and discovered that he had been selected for the prestigious award. 

Read The Full Article >>

Strategic Initiatives: Financial

I have written at some length about this topic in previous posts, so let me just provide context for finances as they fit into the Leadership Action Plan.  We have highlighted 5 critical levers that must be pulled over the next 3 years if we are going to be a healthy, vibrant school.

  1. Eliminate debt – we need a plan and then we need execute that plan which will include a capital campaign and financial discipline
  2. Seek major gifts by building relationships with those with capacity and desire to give so that they understand the impact of Maranatha and believe in the vision to raise up students for life and service to our Lord.
  3. Optimize our business office functions.
  4. Maximize the profit potential of our Preschool
  5. Execute a diligent campaign to increase awareness of Maranatha and then warmly welcome those who consider partnering with us so that we will successfully graft them into our school family.

I hope you have already seen activity around several of these goals.

  •  I believe the Lord is blessing our efforts as we saw wonderful results at Discover Maranatha, and we have a steady stream of additional inquiries about our kindergarten.
  • We have been doing our homework through conversations and surveys to understand the level of success we could expect from a capital campaign.
  •  We are investigating all of our options for optimizing our business office functions (hiring, training, out sourcing).
  • We have a wonderful consultant who has made a significant impact on our preschool, and we will continue to retain her.  We have seen a number of new students join us over the last few months, so that is an exciting upward trend for our school.

Next week, we will be sending out a re-registration letter and billing.  I will include more details in that letter, but you can look for a few changes in how we handle re-registration.  Let me state here, and I will repeat in that letter, that everything we are doing is being prayed about, is seeking counsel, and is designed to help us be wise stewards of God’s ministry.  Key points that you will find in that letter will be a tuition increase (remember we are all working diligently to reduce that amount), re-registration deadlines with financial incentives, and a special invitation and financial incentive to attend the April 24th Open House and State of the School event.

Praying for His kingdom to be worked out through us.

Discover Maranatha – Huge Success!

Maranatha Family, I sent the following email out to our faculty and staff(and Devona Troutman the project lead for Discover Maranatha) this morning.

LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.  Isaiah 25:1

What a day of rejoicing we should have today!  God blessed us richly last night with so many wonderful families who are considering Christian education.  And you were awesome!  I absolutely loved your creativity, flexibility, engagement and smiling faces.  You were the stars of the show, and I am so grateful for your commitment to the evening.  More importantly, I am grateful for your commitment to serving our Lord by reaching out to those parents and helping them with a critical decision.  Now you were stars of the show, but you had some real competition: our student ambassadors made a huge positive impression on our guests and our volunteers were wonderful in the giving of their time and engaging with our guests.  Devona, please know that God used you mightily to pull off this crucial event for the future of Maranatha.  I heard many comments of appreciation for how you facilitated this event.  Your leadership by prayer, effort and attitude was an incredible blessing.

 Now here are some God-delivered results from last night:

  • Secondary: 9 families attended representing 10 students
  • Elementary: 16 families attended representing 19 students
  • Kindergarten: 33 families attended who brought 22 new kindergartners, but represent 33 kindergartners.
  • Preschoolers: although we did not advertise for preschool we had: 6 preschooler-age 4 and 5 year olds and 11 kids who were 3 or younger who experienced what our preschool offers

 Later today Debbie, Karen or Sandy will be creating a list of all the families attending and may be asking you to make a phone call.  I would like that follow-up call to happen within the next week and the intent is just to thank them for coming and see if any further questions have arisen.  We are also going to be sending out a post card on Monday thanking them for attending.  We have them on a contact stream where we will be periodically touching them to remind them of Maranatha.  At some point later in the year, we will be asking you to reach out again.  So in advance, thank you for investing in these families’ decisions.

Maranatha Family, thank you for your prayers and encouragement.  God has answered in His way and His time.  May He find us faithful in His ministry