By Melvin Adams
“I guess I would call myself an agnostic.” For the Christian parent, pastor, or educator, these might be some of the most devastating words they could imagine hearing, especially if the statement was from a graduating senior they had invested years of their life in. I’ve seen it happen.
I was at a Christian school that was implementing Renewanation’s revitalization program. One activity tied to the assessment of the school was a time with graduating seniors. I looked forward to the meeting, as seniors can be so much fun and are one of the best indicators of the effectiveness of a school.
The meeting met my expectations. Students were excited to share their stories and experiences at the school. They spoke of their education prior to entering the school and found it easy to contrast their Christian school experience. The consensus was that their Christian school was a positive experience with caring teachers, good learning opportunities, a safe environment, close-knit community, and more God-awareness.
Several students indicated a sense of clear spiritual growth. Others indicated liberation on what it meant to be a Christian, expressing appreciation for teachers who helped them to become open-minded and learn to think for themselves. This was such a strong sentiment that I pressed a bit by saying, “Talk to me more about that. Could you be more specific?”
The very first response was, “Well, I guess I would call myself an agnostic.” With that, all the cards were on the table, and much of the oxygen seemed to leave the room until others found the courage to speak.
While the frankness of the response was shocking, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Our assessment of the faculty indicated there were individuals who were very committed to excellence in education but who did not have strong biblical perspectives or clear testimonies of faith in Jesus.
This is not an isolated incident. Students across this country graduate every year without a solid faith in Jesus from schools that were trusted to help form a biblical worldview in their graduates. Schools are not entirely responsible as negative family and other influences also have an indelible impact on students. But it is always tragic when poor leadership allows for such an instructional environment to exist.
The good news is that many Christian schools, with careful and continuous evaluation and prayerful and intentional guidance, minimize these losses and prepare thousands of students for a life that is full and significant and joyful in their faith in Jesus Christ.
Renewanation is committed to helping millions more students experience such an education and the life that it brings. If you know of a Christian school that is struggling to graduate young men and women who are committed Christians and show evidence that they possess a biblical worldview, please tell them about Renewanation. We would love to help them experience a revitalization.
Melvin Adams served eight years as President & COO of Renewanation. A minister and educator, Melvin’s career includes organizational leadership and ministry in the U.S. and several countries around the world. While leading his family and influencing people for Jesus, he pursues interests in conservative politics, culinary experimentation, and some very small time agriculture. He and his wife, Sandy, have six children and several grandchildren. They reside in Hardy, Virginia.
This article originally appeared in The Renewanation Review® magazine. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted here by permission of Renewanation. For more information regarding Renewanation, visit renewanation.org.