To know God and to make Him known.

Directing: My Mission Field

"I don't know, Lord. Are you sure you mean me? There are loads of parents much more qualified than I am to direct."

That was me about ten years ago. When my state manager (this is back when Classical Conversations still had state managers) first called and asked if I would be interested in directing a brand-new Foundations/Essentials community I was thrilled…for about ten seconds. Then I began to quickly and effortlessly rattle off in my head myriad reasons someone other than me should start the new community. I was too busy already. I was not organized enough. I didn’t know how I would find new families. My boys needed my attention. It didn’t matter that a facility had already been contracted. It mattered only slightly that the facility was my own church.

Now, don't get me wrong. The idea of taking this on did excite me. However, mental images of crashing and burning soon took over. But then God seemed to say, "I am asking you to do this. That should be the only thing that matters." God had a particular assignment just for me. How could I say "no" to that, no matter my excuses? If I chose my excuses over His plans, what did that say about our relationship? So, I took a deep breath and said six little words that continue to bless and enrich my life, "I will trust in you, Lord." That was all it took. From that point forward, I began learning what it meant to fully live for Christ.

I started making plans for a new Foundations/Essentials community—still with some reluctance but there was also excitement. Today I remember those years with a smile. It was hard work and many things did not go smoothly. I really didn’t know what I was doing. How could I? I had never done anything like this before! But the leadership in Classical Conversations had done this before. My state manager was truly amazing. She was there for me whenever I had a question or concern. Plus, she modeled for me what it means to fully live for Christ. She still does. New directors are certainly not doing this alone, especially now with the more intimate leadership structure. So, I was stepping out on faith, with only two years of Classical Conversations from which to draw upon. Yet, thanks mostly to the Lord, that new community thrived and after a couple of years, I passed that community on to another mom learning to more fully trust the Lord while I went to start another Foundations/Essentials community closer to my home.

With my second community, the Lord stretched me in new ways. This community started out quite small. Some seemed surprised that I would put in the work for so few students. But, I remained focused on the fact that I was doing what God asked of me. The money was nice, but not my main motivation. Not even close. Psalm 49 was taking on new life for me. I made amazing friendships in that community that I still cherish. We were a family. It fills my heart with joy as many of those students, including my own two boys, now work their way through the Challenge years.

About four years ago, the Lord began to stir my heart for teens and young adults in our society. At that point, my oldest was a teenager and I began to realize how ill-equipped so many teens are to do battle with the world we live in. But, it continuously seems the world is ready (and eager) to do battle with them. Young believers are falling away from their faith in droves. Statistically, this is happening for two main reasons: their faith is not their own and they have not been taught how to see fallacies in arguments. In God's infinite wisdom, He put a burden for youth in my heart, then called me to move away from directing Foundations/Essentials and step into Challenge, specifically as a Challenge II director. This did not make sense. The “normal” next step was to direct a lower Challenge level. I was not going to have a child at the Challenge II level and there was no apparent need for that level where I was. It just didn't make sense. But, I clearly felt that was where the Lord was calling me so I shared it with my support representative at the time. I felt so silly as the words were coming out of my mouth. But, I was trusting the Lord and that was the important thing.

Fast forward a bit. I have just finished my third year of directing Challenge II. It turned out there was a great need for that level at a community nearby. Can I just say that I love directing Challenge? I get to interact on a weekly basis with young adults who are often grappling with those tough issues so common to their age group. I have the privilege of guiding them through such strands as British Literature in Challenge II while we analyze the choices made by characters. I get to walk through the history of Western culture with them as we study how culture began pulling away from Christ and how that is reflected in the works produced by that culture. We learn to recognize cause and effect in the world around us and thus in our own lives. Through studies of traditional logic and through debate, students learn, beginning in Challenge A, how to spot fallacies in arguments. The Classical Conversations Challenge program is equipping our young people to go out into this world we live in and stand up for themselves and their faith. Challenge provides a safe environment in which they can ask the tough questions which are best examined while they are still living at home and under the tutelage of strong Christian leaders. They may or may not get that once they graduate high school.

Through my role as a director, both at the Foundations/Essentials level and at the Challenge level, I have met people I never would have met otherwise and I have been able to share Christ with them. Oh, many of them already followed the Lord, but not all were fully living for Him. God slowly revealed to me that directing was my mission field. I was modeling for those around me how to more fully trust in the Lord, whether they be parents or students. Hopefully, I still am. Directing with Classical Conversations has given me a platform from which I can guide families trying to raise children for Him. Homeschooling is tough. Satan loves to distract those who are trying to live for Christ. He is great at pointing out minor issues and helping us blow them out of proportion. C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (which we study in Challenge II) helped me realize that truth. The structure and proven pathway Classical Conversations provides through high school is such a blessing, both because it eliminates some possible areas of distraction, and because the students are being well equipped to face the world we all live in. I am so thankful I chose to listen to the Lord and not to myself all those years ago. He definitely knew best.

 

CATEGORIES: Articles, Big Ideas: Truth, Beauty, Goodness and more!, Classical Christian Education, College and Post Graduation, Rhetoric Stage (ages 14 to 18)

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