As I have traversed this year and all its adventures in my role as Principal of both Blended Grammar campuses at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, my thoughts and reflections continually return to a similar theme: God’s building of His Kingdom.
The one thing God has repeatedly brought to my attention in His Word this fall has been that He has been building His Kingdom since before time began. He is sovereign and has every detail of what transpires in all aspects of His Creation in His design and control. It is a joy to see how, on a micro level, He is allowing our school community to experience the good, bad, and uncomfortable as a tool to build His Kingdom in Oklahoma.
There is no doubt that God has definitely given us quite a challenge in this merger. Although some (from a human perspective) may look at it as purely details, God, Who is and has been sovereign over all events from before time began, always views all things as part of His Master Plan of Kingdom Building.
At no point in recorded history has there ever been a time when God charged His people with a major push forward in Kingdom building that did not include obstacles and challenges as part of His agenda. The reason those difficulties/challenges/defeats are part of His plan? We will only know on the other side of glory, but they have definitely been a viable part of each step in God’s story, from the call of Abraham through Moses through the time of exiles to the New Testament period and into the new Church age.
We know in hindsight that those times have produced several things:
- opportunities for growth, maturity, and sanctification as God’s people
- God’s people to be a witness to the world when they’ve done it right and a witness to God’s holiness and His requirements when they haven’t
- and examples (good and bad) for future generations to follow or avoid in going forth in God’s power to continue to expand God’s Kingdom
Because of this track record, I can trust that none of the adventures of the merger has been by accident or a surprise to God. No one has purposely tried to mess with students and teachers to delay our still-vacant modular building arrangement at North Campus. Yet I will tell you that as I go from classroom to classroom every school day (and often multiple times a day), there is a sweet and cooperative learning atmosphere in every grade, whether they are temporarily in the gym or in a their own room. The “gym classes” have developed a unity “under unusual circumstances” that have bonded them; it’s as if the children almost take pride in their ability to tolerate the less-than-ideal situations with a spirit of joy and contentment. Likewise, at our South Grammar campus, we have adjusted and adapted to small (some would say tiny) classrooms, and again, the educational atmosphere in every grade is nevertheless a delight.
Curriculum changes have been excellent and made after a two-year study by our curriculum team. The materials are a step up in our classical Grammar program and will better prepare our young learners for their years in Logic and Rhetoric. Have there had to be adjustment in how all the subjects are paced due to the inclusion of these two new programs? Of course! We have been making adjustments since the second week of school, but I feel like we are close to reaching a sweet spot of balance in third through fifth grades in particular (PreK-2nd grades at both North and South campuses have not seemed to have to adjust as much, which is not a surprise). All programs, all the time, require adjustments. Each year within the same grade there should and will be a needed study of the students the Lord has given a teacher to determine pace and approach of the scope and sequence, so no two years are alike.
I do not pretend to know exactly (or even partially!) what all God has planned for our Academy community in 2014, but I do know that He is using this group of people from all walks of life and various Christian backgrounds to establish a footprint in the OKC metro for His Gospel message. Change is never comfortable, and often can seem both exciting and scary. But when we serve a God whose Son Jesus taught His disciples to pray “…for Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever…”, we can trust that even minor irritations and setbacks are considered in God’s Plan.
So rejoice in Kingdom Building the rest of this year and in 2014 through this marvelous (miraculous, some would say) community we are privileged to be part of as The Academy of Classical Christian Studies.