1) What does Luther pen about Lutheran schools?
The Reformation was as much concerned with Lutheran schools and education as it was with church and home. Luther was deeply committed to schooling the young. Luther established a school in Eisleben, prior to his death in 1546 (Pastor Beckmann, 2010).
2) What does the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod believe about Christian education?
When LCMS organized in 1847, their first constitution included the importance of publishing books for Christian education. The Handbook of LCMS states: “The most effective education agencies available to the church for equipping children and youth are the full-time Lutheran elementary and secondary schools so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may become more effective in the Christian life.”
3) What does this mean?
Congregations own and operate the Lutheran school. In other words, congregational members are in a partnership with these servant-leaders. Because of this, the congregation has a responsibility to financially and spiritually support their workers. Congregations promise to do so in several ways.
Congregational members receive teachers into the congregational family. By receiving them, members are acknowledging their love and care for them. Members also receive them because they want Christian teachers to support the Pastoral ministry and teach children about God’s Word and the love of Jesus.
Love, Honor, and Support:
Christian teachers are not perfect. In fact, they are sinful. This is the reason for Good Friday, for Easter Sunday, for our congregation, and for the Lutheran school. Because of the forgiveness Christ showers on us, we, forgive those who trespass against us.
The congregation and school is a family of believers dwelling together, proclaiming Christ’s love, forgiving one another, and bringing the Gospel message to the community. The Lutheran school provides Christian teachers the means to train parents to bring up children in the ‘nurture and instruction of the Lord’ (Lutheran Service Book Agenda, Installation of a Lutheran School Teacher, p. 214).
Gifts and Fervent Prayer:
The congregation provides and promotes the Gospel message through their financial gifts and their prayers. The reason congregations choose to financially support a Lutheran school is because they understand and value the daily instruction of God’s Word to children.
Congregational members pray for their pastors and teachers to maintain a “spirit of unity” that allows God’s people to “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” with “one heart and mouth” (Romans 15:6).
Lutheran schools partner with congregations to evangelize and educate. Evangelism occurs through congregational mission projects to those who may not know of Jesus. Education in our schools occurs to families who know of Jesus but need God’s Word daily to grow in their faith.
Public schools attempt to teach morality and values. The program, Character Counts, is an example. Programs like these and others will teach students that stealing is wrong. Yet, public school teachers are forbidden though to direct students back to the Cross of Jesus, which frees us from selfishness. In other words, programs in public education clarify but will not teach students how to attain morality and establish values.
Beckmann, William, Rev. (2010). Why the Lutheran school matters.
Lutheran Education Association, 7, 15-18.
Lutheran Service Book Agenda. (2006). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House