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Why do we have a Christian school?

Among the many ministries of Hollywood Community Church is Hollywood Christian School.  For more than 50 years the school has been a major part of the church’s ministry and outreach.  Often, I am asked why we have a school.  Why don’t we just concentrate our efforts on reaching our community through HCC’s various outreach ministries?  Those are great questions that I believe need to be answered.
1.    We do not have a Christian School for financial gain.
It is so very important to clarify that HCS does not exist in order to bring in additional revenue for Hollywood Community Church.  Let me state with conviction that HCC and its ministries are not a business.  Although legally a corporation, we do not function with the purpose of making money or increasing revenues.  Yes, we need financial resources to pay our employees and fulfill our financial obligations.  But, revenue has never been, nor ever should be a factor in fulfilling God’s mission for our ministry.
In I Peter 5:2 pastors and elders are commanded to not minister for what they can get out of it.  Quite frankly, far too many churches and schools exist or close down because of financial blessings or economic restraints.  Money must never be the driving factor in what we do.
That does not mean, though, that we should not be fiscally responsible.   Not being able to pay bills and increased debt should definitely be signs that God is not blessing.  God has definitely promised to meet all of our needs according to His infinite riches (Phil. 4:19).  The old saying goes, “Where God guides, He most certainly supplies!”
2.    We do not have a Christian School because we are against public schools
Public schools are not our enemy!  I know that there will be some Christian educators that will disagree with me.  That is not to say, though, that there is not much in public education with which we disagree.   There are many aspects of public schools that frighten me: The rise of secular humanism, the rejection of absolute truth and the embracing of anti-biblical lifestyles to name a few.  Nevertheless, everything is not bad in public school education.  There are many tremendous and godly teachers that have given their lives to serve in public education.  To them, public schools are a mission field. I applaud them and commend them for their dedicated service.
In addition, many families just are not able to afford private education.  Their only option is public schools.  I myself am a product of public school education.   Quite frankly, the fact that I needed to stand up for what I believed in a secular environment increased my boldness and strengthened my faith.   Therefore, we joyfully partner with families that have chosen to enroll their children in public schools.  
3.    We have a Christian School to reach families for Jesus Christ and to make disciples
Without apology, the number one reason why Hollywood Christian School exists is to reach students and families for Jesus Christ!  Our purpose statement clearly articulates our vision…
Hollywood Christian School, a ministry of Hollywood Community Church, exists to produce passionate disciples of Jesus Christ that will achieve spiritual, academic, and physical excellence and make a dynamic impact upon our world.
By conviction, we are not a covenant school.  That simply means that we do not only receive families that are believers and active participants in a local church.  We intentionally reach out to un-churched families inviting them to enroll their children in our school.   Why?  Because we want to reach them for Jesus Christ.  Through the years there have been many non-believing families that have enrolled their children at HCS, and as a result of the ministry of HCS, they later gave their lives to Christ and are now passionate followers of Jesus.   That is our goal! That is what we are called to accomplish!
Matthew 5:13, 14 tell us that we are both the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  That means that there are times in which we penetrate the darkness for the purpose of accomplishing spiritual transformation.  We have not been called to isolationism.  We have not been commanded to avoid the world, but to live differently in it (John 17:15).  Thus, we reach out to an unbelieving world through HCS for the purpose of producing passionate disciples of Jesus Christ.
4.    We have a Christian School to train future leaders
Every generation is entrusted with the momentous task of training the next generation.  Glen Schultz in Kingdom Education states, “The future body of Christ will be influenced by how we educate future generations.”  As a church and school we assume this sacred trust with seriousness and with conviction.  We believe that our calling to train future leaders does not just come from society, but more importantly, it comes from God.
II Timothy 2:2 – You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses.  Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
As a school, we commit to training our students towards excellence in three areas:
·      Spiritually
We desire for each student to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.    Secondly, every student and future leader must have a biblical worldview.  A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. Thus, a biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. How important is it for our future leaders to have such a foundation?  I can think of nothing more important!
·      Academically
Our task is not just to change the heart, but the mind as well.   We must not allow our pursuit of the spiritual to hinder our development of the mind.  After all, even Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)  We commit to offer a quality education that will prepare our students for future careers that benefit the society in which we live. Not every believer has been called to be a pastor or a missionary.  We need Christian doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, accountants, teachers, electricians, and plumbers.  The list of potential careers paths is endless.  We desire to prepare our students to become whatever it is that God has called them to do.
·      Socially
In Romans 14:7 Paul said, “We don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves.” We were created to be part of a community.  In fact, the Bible spends much time teaching us how to be caring, viable and productive members of the community in which we live.  At HCS we desire to instill within our students a love for their fellow man, a Christlike disposition toward others and even a burden for the poor.
In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” When students are taught to live in such a way, their very lives become a vibrant testimony of the Gospel.  Just think how such a future generation could impact their world for Jesus!
So, I hope that you can see the reason why we have a Christian school.  It is not antiestablishment or for convenience or even for profit.  No, it is by conviction.  From the bottom of our hearts, we believe it is one of the ways that God has called us to produce disciples and impact our community, in the present and in the future, with the transforming power of the Gospel.
May God bless and use Hollywood Christian School!

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