Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Growing Disciples and Changing Lives

For nearly fifty years, Portersville Christian School has provided a ministry of discipleship to the children of families looking for a comprehensive, distinctively Christian education environment.  We are a school that recognizes its calling and role as a Christian discipleship ministry, training and developing children and young people to recognize their calling as servants of Jesus Christ through his church.  Students come to us from families who live in a radius of the school in Butler, Lawrence, Beaver, Mercer and Allegheny counties and receive a high quality education in a distinctively Christian environment with a well balanced program of student activities available in fine arts and athletics. 

We are the only fully accredited Christian school offering a comprehensive, distinctively Christian education to students in grades PK through 12 in the three county area of Butler, Lawrence and Mercer, and we are very glad to partner with other Christian schools who serve different grade levels in the local community.  Students who come to school here are involved in more than just an educational experience.  We disciple followers of Christ in preparation for kingdom service, whether they are called to vocational ministry, missions, or to be a Christian businessman or woman. 

You don't have to compromise academic quality in Christian education.  PCS students are at the top when it comes to SAT scores at both the state and national level, and the school's senior classes regularly produce National Merit semi-finalists and finalists.  Our elementary students score in the top quartile on nationally measured achievement tests in math and reading.  And our balanced program of fine arts and athletics rounds out the school experience here.

We run our own bus system, so if you live in Cranberry Township or New Wilmington, Butler or New Castle, getting here is no problem for your students.  We want to build relationships with the churches in each of these communities, and others, and partner in a ministry which helps turn believers in Christ into disciples who understand their calling to service in his church, and have both the desire and the training to fulfill it. In a time when younger people are leaving the church at a high rate around the time they graduate from college, PCS students remember what they've learned, and most of them want to put it to use serving Christ's church. 

If you want a taste of campus life at PCS, come to the play performance this week.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 15, 16 and 17, on campus at 7:00 p.m. our students will perform "The Pink Panther Strikes Again." 

We want the church to work with us, walk with us, support us, and help us grow disciples into the mature young servants of the church Jesus wants them to be.  Together, we can make a difference in our world here in Western Pennsylvania, as well as across the globe.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So, I Heard There was an Election the Other Day...

"Do not put your trust in Princes, in human beings, who cannot save," says Psalm 146:3.  "This is what the LORD says:  Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on the flesh for his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD."  Jeremiah 17:5

There was another post here Wednesday, but after reading through it, I didn't like it and I took it down.  In chapel on Wednesday, knowing that most of our students were disappointed, as were many of their parents, I had the opportunity to share a message of encouragement with them.  God is in control.  The scripture teaches us that, and we can trust what they have to say.  This generation is the hope of the future, and I also wanted to encourage them not to allow their disappointment to lead them to do something that would damage their testimony.  We concluded by doing something that the scripture tells us to do, we prayed for our President, our Congress, our state government, our local leaders, all of the people who are in authority over us.  We prayed for our country and for its military, and we prayed for God to help us, as his children, grow in our faith. 

We are going through the process of re-accreditation, and one of the self-study committees has dealt with a question about measuring the effectiveness of the mission and purpose of PCS by analyzing the experiences of its graduates.  While we don't have a comprehensive survey with data related to the outcome and effect of a PCS education on those who graduate from here, we do have some evidence that this school has been extremely effective in providing an excellent academic foundation, and an excellent spiritual foundation.  I am constantly being given news articles, facebook posts, notes and other information about graduates of this school who are having a positive impact in the college they attend, or the company they work for, and especially in vocational ministry and missions in their churches.  I believe that our students and alumni are a shining hope for Christ's church in Western Pennsylvania and beyond, wherever they are serving. 

It would be nice if there were more of them.  Our nation needs leaders who have the academic knowledge and the moral fiber to win elections and provide strong leadership.  The public education system has been systematically influencing generations of American students in a secular philosophy of humanism, which has caused a decline not only in moral values and character, but in academic performance as well.  It's been going on for several generations, which is why we should not be surprised that voters in some places went to the polls on Tuesday, legalized marijuana and approved same-sex marriage in several states.  That is only going to increase, since 90% of high school graduates in the US receive their diplomas from a public school. 

The struggle faced by Portersville Christian School, and most other Christian schools, is that our resources limit the size of our school.  In several surveys, Christian school organizations point out that only 12% to 18% of the families who consider themselves active in their local, conservative, Evangelical church can afford to choose a Christian school for their child.  And much of the rest of the Christian community doesn't seem willing to provide much in the way of help.  American Christians will spend over a billion dollars this year on buildings to house worship services and church activities--buildings that will stand empty for all but a few hours each week, but parents of students in Christian schools will be asked to come up with 90% of the tuition and fees needed to provide a Christian education for their children.  If we had just a fraction of the money Christians gave to political action committees to influence the outcome of the election, it would go a whole lot further in influencing the outcomes.

We have started an annual fund here at PCS to meet some of our pressing financial needs.  The top priority is to fill in the gap for families who need assistance to make the choice to send their children to a school that is distinctively Christian, and oriented toward Christian discipleship.  There are other priorities, including our physical plant, and our technology capabilities.  So if you weren't particularly pleased with the way things turned out on Tuesday, you have a way to invest in something that will go a long way toward making genuine change.  You can get your checkbook out, write a check to Portersville Christian School, maybe one, maybe one each month, and put "annual fund" in the "for" line.  Perhaps, one day, one of the students you helped put through school will become the President of the United States.