This month KCTV5 is featuring the impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Axcet HR Solutions was the focus of the piece last night, and Axcet invited Maranatha to participate. Axcet serves as the employer of record for MCA. They serve in this capacities for many small businesses in the KC metro area. They assist with HR services, benefits, payroll and safety and security. Therefore KCTV5 wanted to tap into their expertise and insight into the impact of the ACA and KCTV5 wanted our perspective of that impact. The actual footage showed many of our kids and our facilities. It was great exposure for our school!
Last time I shared about the 40 & 40 Initiative which is focused on celebrating what God has done and on preparing us for the next 40 years – if the Lord does not return before then. Let me add some more details of our thinking at this point. We believe that God is calling us to live by faith and grow the impact of His ministry through MCA. I believe God has planted in my heart – and in the hearts of many others – that we should be an Academy with an expanding part in the work God is doing to bring up the next generation of disciples of Jesus.
That is a big idea! That is bigger than any one person or even a group of people could accomplish. That is a God-sized ambition! Do you get excited about God-sized tasks, or do they cause fear? Do you have faith that they could happen, or dismiss them because you can’t see anyway humanly possible that they could happen? Well, I have wrestled – am wrestling – with those questions, but my home base continues to be that I serve a God that created all things, sustains all things and that includes any plans for His ministries. If He can create the universe with His words, can He not do things that humans think are impossible?
Ok, it is a big deal. Wait, what is the big deal? Glad you asked. If we are going to expand our part in bringing up the next generation of disciples of Jesus to change the world, we better be plugged into the Master and we better be intentional. So here is how we are doing that right now and what we think the next big steps are:
- Lock into Kingdom Education. For a definition, see my blog posts starting with “In the beginning…” We are calling this portion Project 40…the first phase of the 40 & 40 Initiative. Our work is to assess, recommend and implement a way of training up children in a manner that see God as creator and sustainer of all that is inclusive of everything …EVERYTHING…we do at MCA. Everything includes how and what we teach, business functions such as finance, marketing and development, how our facilities and grounds look and function, and what programs are in place to create the graduate parents and the school desire. We have momentum turning around. What if we could invest $200,000 in rejuvenating our facilities and grounds? What if we brought expertise in-house to accelerate the full adoption of Kingdom Education? Would God use that to grow us to 540 students in a few years?
- Expand. As we start approaching 540 students, we will need more room, so phase 2 of the 40 & 40 Initiative. This is the first year in 7 years that our enrollment has increased. We are praying that is a sign of more growth. Our preschool is very close to full capacity. We are investigating where do we go when we need more space. All options are on the table. Should we buy, build, renovate or lease? How do we get the funds to do so?
- Center of Influence. Our goal by 2025 (Phase 3) is to have established such a track record and have the facilities to become a regional center of influence for excellence in Kingdom Education. We want to train other Christian school leaders, church leaders, and parents in how to do Kingdom Education.
I hope you will pray with us as we seek God’s leading. May He make the path clear. Help us have faith to trust His guiding hand. If He speaks to you about these plans, I trust you will share with us.
Some proponents of education believe you can teach just the facts and not associate any values. That is certainly what the world wants us to believe. For America it started back with Francis Bacon in the Enlightenment period. “He urged his fellow scientists to forget about the supposed meaning of phenomena and simply look for physical causes.” (Albert Greene, 2003)
Please meditate on this paragraph from “Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education” by Albert Greene.
“The cosmos of which we are a part has, in its entirety, a purpose, and that purpose gives it meaning or value. It is intended to be a channel for God’s self-revelation to humanity and for humanity’s friendship or communion with and service to God. To suppose that it can be adequately defined by statements of value-free fact is to lose what is most precious in human life and experience. It is to deny God’s existence or to accuse Him of creating a world without thinking what He was doing – and that is sacrilegious.”
This statement underlies the desire for how do education at MCA.
In the Bible, the number 40 often refers to a generation. Next Fall we will begin celebrating the fact that MCA has helped raise up a generation of disciples of Jesus. Yes it is the 40th anniversary of the start of Maranatha. We look forward to honoring alumni, leaders, faculty and staff who have faithfully and sacrificially given to the ministry of MCA. We will be sharing more as the time approaches.
As we complete one generation, we must look forward to the next generation. That requires us to examine our environment, anticipate what might happen, seek where God is at work and prepare for ministering to the next generation. Think of all the change that has occurred in the last 40 years. Now imagine if you were in leadership 40 years ago how you would try to build a school to deal with all of that would happen so that you would have an effective Christian school. Well we are at that point as we look to the next 40.
With that context you can now understand why we have commenced the 40 & 40 Initiative which represents the first phase in our Strategic Hope Plan. In summary, this Initiative’s purpose is to celebrate our first 40 years and to prepare for the next 40. This initiative needs the whole MCA Family to be involved. We need people who are willing to be involved in projects as we apply lazer focus on establishing Kingdom Education across all aspects of our school.
So what is underway?
- Secondary and elementary faculty and leadership went offsite to develop a list of priorities for improvements for our effectiveness in education of the whole child.
- Leadership is focused on ensuring all faculty, staff and coaches understand Kingdom Education and its implication to their responsibilities.
- Next each department (secondary) or grade (elementary) will evaluate what they are doing in light of their understanding of Kingdom Education and ensure alignment.
- We will soon start a technology assessment. We are going to have an outside party do a comprehensive assessment of our use of technology both in the classroom and in support functions. We then should have a roadmap for advancing the integration of technology into our instruction of Kingdom Education.
- We need your help in reworking key documents that direct our activities. For example, we are constructing a Portrait of an MCA Graduate and a Constitution that declares what we are all about. I believe parents and students should help shape these documents.
Other work will commence as God helps us get traction with the work listed above, but many hands make light work. If you are interested in being involved, I would love to hear from you.
I was so blessed yesterday to receive an account of one of our graduates having the courage and the ability to stand for truth in a public college. This recent graduate was challenged by her professor as the professor stated that science has proven evolution and disproven the creationist’s beliefs. This MCA graduate admitted to being caught off guard some in the class setting, and she did not want to be disrespectful to the professor so she didn’t debate this statement fully in class. Since she did not feel she had fully explained her position to the professor, she went back to her room and carefully crafted a response that would make her parents, pastor and every faculty and leader at MCA proud. She was articulate, tactful, thorough, respectful and convincing. I have not yet received her permission to post her response, but trust me when I say God is using this lady to impact lives at her college.
Thank you to parents, pastors, and teachers who have been used by God to enable this lady to be a world changer