Starting a Christian education: best practices


You might be successfully pastoring a church and thinking the “next step” for your ministry is starting a school.

CAUTION: Your technique and experience with operating some sort of church might or might not lead to the unique challenges that universities present.

Who wouldn’t be interested in choosing new ways to reach the neighborhood while impacting the life of children, youth and individuals? Seems like a no-brainer, right?

If you’ve been thinking about these questions, it’s likely that you and your church are considering commencing a daycare or faculty operation. Establishing childcare or even education can be an excellent way for your church to create social impact and offer families a viable alternative to public or private (non-Christian) education. Even so, before launching into this start-up, there are several things to consider.

In an effort in order to arm your team with a few real-world “boots on the ground” advice on this subject matter, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Robert “Bo” Gutzwiller. He has spent his everyday living investing in private Christian colleges as the superintendent of Foothill Christian College and serving on various boards. Most notably, Gutzwiller serves as an international executive board member for any Association of Christian Faculties, International (ACSI) and Western Correlation of Schools and Colleges. ACSI is often a Christian education organization this serves 3,000 fellow member schools and more than 5.Several million students.

Here, Gutzwiller helps fill the gap between what a loan company will want to see and some of your issues a church could encounter.

Where to start: prayer

Like any different ministry, starting a daycare as well as school must begin with prayer in addition to a process of seeking God’s eyesight for the church and its improvement. This new ministry will require an amazing amount of research, planning, monetary consideration, staffing adjustments, as well as possible capital / developing improvements. This will certainly threaten the culture of the religious.

According to Gutzwiller, successfully launching some sort of daycare or school surgery requires a pastor-led and fully support board to commit to the actual vision that has been cast.

He at the same time advises that just because you can, doesn’t suggest you should. The new ministry can be very impactful, but this requires vacationing true to its vision from the ups and downs.

Additionally, Gutzwiller advises churches to hear the specific call on the religious and to be open to the possibilities in your local community. Not every cathedral is called to start a kindergarten-thru-high classes ministry, so a daycare may well be a good starting point, depending on the vision on the leadership team.

Next steps: central & external assessments

If the senior minister and board are in-line and want to explore this opportunity, the next phase is to complete an assessment of your online community and identify a need that your chosen ministry can meet. An after-school program or daycare might in shape this need.

Your path may very well be slightly different than others, since was the case for Gutzwiller and also Foothill Christian. In 1964, they thought their

calling and had the opportunity to start a K-6 grade school. They began utilizing 64 kids and have grown each year.

Although a K-6 school isn’t the easiest way to enter the market – due to the high staffing fee, regulation, and possible qualifications demands – the church has remained committed to its idea and has found significance along with success in its ministry.

Next, an internal expertise assessment is critical to identifying if the church currently includes competent staff with the control, as well as the organizational and management skills, needed to operate a university. Staffing requirements and costs will increase in accordance to the level of training, which is why most churches commence with a daycare; these prices are generally low and do not require advanced degrees or accreditation.

Similar to the internal staff analysis, you should complete an internal services assessment. Ideally, your cathedral campus should have adequate class space that can be used during the week by a school or child care operation. Using your existing traditional provides far greater use of the facilities and also exposes brand-new young families to your church. Without available space, your team will need to plan for adding clam shell facilities, leasing space, or starting a building undertaking.

As you can see, there are a lot of issues to think about when starting a faculty in your ministry. This series will help you unpack several key queries before taking the next step.

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