Help I pastor a church with a Christian School

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SteveD, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. SteveD

    SteveD
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    We have a school of 145 students. Enrollment is down dept is up and teachers are unable to adjust to change. My question is when is it time to cut the cord. The school has been dominating the church for 25 years. We have open enrollment and very few of our own church families have there children enrolled. We have seen a number of kids come to Christ through the school ministry. I have not been able to lead both church and school at the same time. We have a principal at the school but now he is leaving. Please pray for me and the direction we should take for the 2006-2007 school year.
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Tough decision. I was teaching in a school that went through a similar situation in 1991. Teachers had spent about two years recieving either reduced or no pay cheques. The school closed in May '91.

    I don't think the tail should ever wag the dog. Is there are chance that you can reduce the school to only serve your church families?
     
  3. SteveD

    SteveD
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    Thank C4K for your reply. So far all our staff has been paid and we continue to provide health insurence. The church families are mostly doing home schooling or have their kids in public school. I would hate to have to lay off faithful teachers because of decreased enrollment. Our fourth through sixth grade has only 13 students. Perhaps we should just go up to 3rd grade next year.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Hmm, that may be an option.

    We taught in a Christian school for ten years and helped our home church set up their Christian school before we left for the mission field in 1995.

    Feel free to email if you want to talk further. I have some questions and ideas, but don't want to post publicly.

    Click on "email" in this post and we can carry on from there if you wish.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    I have been in a church which hosts a school. The church does not run the school, though at some point they were able to provide a couple of board members to the school to input church goals.

    Things to consider:

    1.) Is it generally a positive relationship? (there will always be some negative, no matter what you do. )

    2.) Is the church generally positive in attitude towards the school?

    3.) Is the school generally positive in attitude towards the church?

    4.) Are they mutually co-existing for the benefit of each other, or is the tail wagging the dog?

    5.) Does the church need the school to financially exist? Or can the church survive without the school? (The church should not be dependant on the school...in my opinion.)

    6.) Are the goals and outcomes of the school meeting the goals and the outcomes of the church?

    7.) Is the school doing what it was set out to do or revised to do, or has it gotten way off course? The same question can be asked of the church.

    8.) Sometimes you have to reevaluate what your church does, and sometimes we have to change, even though "that is the way it has always been..."
     
  6. kubel

    kubel
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    I agree with SaggyWoman. The school should be a ministry of the church. If the church cannot afford to keep it going (or is not interested in keeping it going), it should be cut or passed on to another church that can take it on. Considering that the church doesn't even make use of the ministry, it might be best to let it go.

    Perhaps it would be best to bring the issue before the members and to have a vote.
     
  7. SteveD

    SteveD
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    Thanks for all your input. Just last night during our testimony time one of our teachers shared that another child came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. There have been about 15 to 20 kids who received Christ since school started. I don’t want to close the school but the fuel cost and the need for qualified teachers who are biblically sound makes it near impossible. This will take a miracle. We pay our teachers an adequate pay. This is one of the hardest decisions. I just learned from our principal that he won’t be returning next year and I can’t be pastor and principal again. Thanks for praying
    Steve
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Steve,

    Not to say that you should or shouldn't keep the school..... There are other ways to win children to the Lord and train them. The school can be a good one, if it is generally a positive thing.
     
  9. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    If the church body will not be supportive of the school by sending their children to it then you are going to be headed for problems. I have been involved in several churches that had a school but did not support the school. It caused problems in the church. I don't know how big your church is or how you are set financially but consider adding staff to focus on children's and youth ministry. These can be more effective in many cases.
     
  10. SteveD

    SteveD
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    These are my thoughts at this time concerning the role of pastor vs. a CEO. I am tired of being an employer as well as the pastor of our school staff. The staffs in order to work in the school have to be members of our church or of a like faith church. I don’t believe I can be policy driven at school and minister as their pastor on Sunday. Give me your thoughts on this dual role and if you have seen it work in other places. I am the senior administrator in the school but have a principal under me. The buck stops with me this is a bad arrangement, but it is in keeping with our church by laws
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    Steve, the principal really should deal with 99% of the issues and should only bring things to you in a pastoral or spiritual capacity.
     
  12. dh1948

    dh1948
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    With few exceptions, what I have seen with church-sponsored schools is that the tail winds up wagging the dog.

    I'm not sure exactly why, but I suspect that the church has become financially dependent upon the school.
     
  13. gb93433

    gb93433
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    As a former high school teacher and now at a university and a former pastor I would never teach under an administration led by a pastor. I know of no pastors who I feel are excellent administrators whose passion is teaching. Teaching is very diferent than pastoring. Pastors shepherd the people with little accountability on the part of the congregant. Excellent teachers expect their students to learn and hold their feet to the fire. Parents today are not nearly supportive of education as they once were. America is losing ground compared to many other countries because it doesn't want their children to work while other countries expect their children to work hard. Pastors have no way of holding the congregation accountable like a teacher does in a classroom.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Actually, gb, they should. The elder's key function (Eph 4:11) is to be a pastor/teacher. And motivating and accountability, like in a college classroom, can be done by the elder.

    But (back to the topic) NOT if the elder is busy with mundane work of the school. While he should be its spiritual head and visible "front man", the main work should be done by paid staff.

    Our church (I pastored a church of 125 with a school of about 100) was the site of our school and a ministry of the church. But we received monthly missionary support from 3 other area churches that enrolled students. And when the Four Square church had enough students coming our way to "influence" our study body, we helped them develop their own school. And a few years later the same with the Assembly.

    Ours was Faith BAPTIST Christian Academy. All staff were members of my church. All board too. And all students had to sign a doctrinal agreement as Baptists. Eliminated a lot of the dross.
     

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