ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Ed Gamble, executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, outlined what he believes can be done within the Southern Baptist Convention to support the efforts of grassroots Southern Baptists engaged in Christian schools.
Gamble’s comments were given to the Florida Baptist Witness newsjournal in an interview.
Following are some of Gamble’s suggestions:
“First, the denomination should adopt ‘Kingdom education’ as the official philosophy of education for Southern Baptist churches and provide the funds for every pastor and leader to get a copy of Glen Schultz’s book” [titled “Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Education Future Generations].” Schultz is director of LifeWay Christian School Resources — the office of LifeWay Christian Resources tasked to support Christian schools in the SBC.
“Glen Schultz should be invited to address the pastors at local, state and national pastors meetings and conventions to advance the concept of Kingdom education,” Gamble continued.
“[The] SBC and all its entities should recognize SBACS [the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools] as the official organizational entity in Southern Baptist life for Christian schools. That would involve some financial assistance with advancing our goals as well as inviting SBACS to the table to be part of the SBC in some way, perhaps as an auxiliary or entity within the convention.
“Churches, conventions, associations and individuals should be encouraged to begin providing the ‘liberal support’ for this cause that the Baptist Faith and Message mandates and which is provided for colleges and seminaries but which has never been provided for K-12 schooling.
“The convention, working with LifeWay and SBACS, should begin promoting the idea of Christian schools as a positive feature of our denomination that can and does help churches grow. To do this quantitatively would mean funding some serious research into the effectiveness of Christian schooling as it relates to building up churches and Christian homes.”
And, Gamble suggested, “Look seriously at the possibility of starting schools in neighborhoods in which it would be difficult to start churches, particularly in inner city communities. Then hold church in these schools on Sunday. This is exactly what Lottie Moon did in China.”
James A. Smith Sr. is executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, on the Web at www.floridabaptistwitness.com.