A Synod Committed to Christian Education
The blessing of parenthood brings with it some weighty responsibilities. Christian parents take to heart God’s reminder of what Christian parents do for their children: “Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). This phrase is not just a catchy motto. Rather, it defines the essence of what distinguishes Christian parents from all others.
The Christian education of children is a responsibility given first and foremost to parents. From day one, faithful Christian parents are engaged in a continuing effort to bring their children to know and believe in Jesus, just as they do. God-fearing parents recognize the truth of Solomon’s proverb, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
But the responsibility of bringing up children in the training and instruction of the Lord is not reserved for parents alone. It’s also an activity that is an essential part of the mission of the church. When Jesus defined that mission, he told his followers to go and preach the good news to all creation. They would carry out that mission to people by baptizing them and by teaching them to observe all things he had commanded them. The responsibility to teach was given not just to parents but to the church as well. Congregations—individually and together as a synod—provide valuable reinforcement to the Christian education that takes place in the home.
From its earliest days, congregations of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod recognized that Christian education is closely tied to this mission of the church. Christian education is the process by which believers grow in their faith through the teaching of God’s Word.
The importance and emphasis that our synod gives to Christian education can be clearly seen in our extensive network of Lutheran elementary and high schools. In addition, we operate a system of schools that trains future called workers on the prep, college, and seminary level. You can see our commitment to Christian education also in the Sunday school and vacation Bible school programs that nearly all congregations conduct.
This commitment does not only benefit children and families. It also benefits our synod as it carries out its mission. Nearly 90 percent of all called workers in the synod are products of Christian schools. The schools, then, are incubators not only for Christian faith, but also for full-time Christian service.
Our emphasis on Christian education results in new generations of Christians equipped with a strong faith and with the zeal to share the gospel. We are a synod committed to Christian education and all that it offers—to our children, to our synod, and to a world that will hear about the Savior through those young witnesses that we train.