When Jesus began his earthly ministry, he issued a simple call to his would-be disciples, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). These individuals could not at that moment have grasped the gravity of the decision that was set before them. They would face a life of homeless wandering, beatings, and death, but also of purpose, abiding joy, and eternal reward. That call was the beginning of a journey that would transform them from humble fishermen into heroes of the Christian faith. Jesus likewise calls out to each of us to drop our nets in the sand and pursue him with all we have.
Madison Christian School exists to lead students on this road of discipleship: to join with families and churches to mold young people into strong Christian leaders. The Bible Program at MCS plays an integral role in this mission by affording students the opportunity to dive into the Scriptures and the Christian story and see its importance for their own lives today. Students will read the entire Bible during their time at MCS, along with several of the most enduring and inspiring works in Christian history. However, it is not enough to simply have an intellectual understanding of these texts. Students are called to put what they learn into action, examining their own lives and heeding the correction of the Holy Spirit as he shapes them in the image of Christ. As they walk this path, they will become painfully aware of their own sinfulness and will be taught to take that sin seriously, but they will also learn that God’s grace is more than sufficient for them.
What does this look like in practice? In a typical middle or high school Bible class, students will start the day with homeroom. Depending on the day, this may be a spiritual development activity such as practicing gratitude, or a community builder like talking about the weekend or playing a game. After morning announcements, students engage in prayer, Bible reading, and class discussion. Each day students complete a journal that chronicles what they are learning and helps them to think more deeply about the text and how they can apply its truth, wisdom, and virtues to their life. The journal makes up one portion of students’ completion of the Holistic Spiritual Formation Plan along with chapel attendance and community service. This pass/fail requirement is designed to place students’ focus on growing in their walk with Christ rather than on their grade.
In Psalm 81:10 God says, “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” God delights in filling his people with good things if we are willing. Students who choose to fully engage in Bible class will reap a reward that stretches far beyond the gradebook.