Why Christian Education?
Did you know that 2012 Gallup poll showed only 65% of US residents agreed with the statement: “religion is important in your daily life”? This places the US 104th of 147 nations survived, indicating that US residents identify less with any faith than most other nations.
In fact, the number of those living in the US who believe “religion can answer all or most of today’s problems” has fallen to 58%, while the number who believe “religion is largely old-fashioned and out of date” has increased to 28%.
Okay, so even if religion is not important in their daily lives, how many in the US at least culturally identify with a religious heritage of any kind? The Pew Research Center estimates that nearly one-fifth of the US public-and one-third of those under 30 have “no religious affiliation.” Our children are growing up in a national culture that does not have a biblical worldview.
What about our corner of the nation? Washington State church attendance and membership ranks us at 43rd in the nation according to the Association of Statitians of American Religious Bodies. Within Washington State, Kittitas County ranks 26 of 39 counties for total religious adherents. 60% of our neighbors do not claim to identify with any religion—triple the national average.
How many of those 40% in Kittitas County identify with a faith founded on the Bible (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)? 23%--or about 10,000 people in Kittitas County.
Pretending for a moment that Kittitas County was its own nation, how does the percentage of profession Christians here compare to other places in the world? Benin, Ivory Coast, South Korea, Tanzania, and Togo are most like Kittitas County, with about 25% of the population identifying with a Christian faith.
While those who identify with a Christian faith are not the majority, how many people who do describe themselves as Christians have a biblical worldview? Before we consider the answer, how is a “biblical worldview” being defined?
For the purposes of the statistics cited below, a biblical worldview is defined as agreeing with the following statements: 1) Jesus lived a sinless life, 2) God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules today, 3)Salvation is a free giftand cannot be earned, 4)Satan is real, 5)A Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people, 6)The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
Only 9% of US adults agree with these six statements.
There are many people in who consider themselves Christians. Let’s narrow it down a bit more. Of those among the 9% who say they “have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their Savior,” how many have a biblical worldview?
Only 19% of the 9% who profess a biblical worldview.
Statistically, this means fewer than 1,900 adults in Kittitas County have a biblical worldview and base their salvation on Christ’s sacrifice in their place. Our community is a mission field!
Among our upcoming generation of parents, those 18-23 years old, less than one-half of one percent have a biblical worldview. Raising children who know, love, and serve God is something parents need help to do, especially since many parents are first generation believers themselves.
While the population of the US is projected to more than double by 2050, an increase of 272 million, church attendance is likely to rise by only 10 million, dropping church attendance from 20% to only 10% of Americans. Children’s ministries, youth programs, and discipleship are vital ministries for equipping the next generation of believers entrusted with the message of Christ. We need to pray not only for our own children, but also for their peers, other parents, our local churches, and schools.
Why does a worldview matter? It matters because ideas have consequences. They shape our values and morals, which determine our actions. Research shows that a person’s worldview is “primarily shaped and firmly in place by age 13”-before they enter high school. Only 3% of 13 year-olds in our nation have a biblical worldview.
While Kittitas County has many caring and capable teachers serving in safe neighborhood schools, Christian teachers in secular schools cannot openly pray with students or talk about a biblical worldview. We believe this opportunity is vital in our post-modern culture. Before they are freshman, the average student will have spent 11,340 hours in school. We believe that children learn best when all three major influences in their life—home, church, and school—point them in the same direction. Luke 6:40 says that “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”
The mission of Ellensburg Christian School is to equip students to put their Christianity into action and develop their academic abilities through a biblical worldview, impacting their lives for today and eternity. How are we doing?
With no preparation before being asked, 95% of ECS students in grades 6-8 indicated they have a biblical worldview. (One student disagreed with one statement of the six.) ECS parents and teachers have a strong partnership that is making a difference.
Please continue to pray for Ellensburg Christian School. Pray that we would be after God’s own heart, and settle for nothing less than the abundant life that He has for those who seek and serve him.
At Ellensburg Christian School we are privileged to be able to learn together, play together, and pray together as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. In a Christian learning environment students can examine life while wearing the “spectacles of scripture.” We can openly state that our worth is based on who we are as an image bearer of Christ. We can seek truth. Christian education is a legacy that lasts literally forever—for eternity.
Thank you for your prayers and support of this ministry to partner with young Christian families in Kittitas County.