Does Jesus Care About A School?

When we moved from Alabama to Nashville last year, Jeff came to be the principal of Pioneer Christian Academy, the school he graduated from 20 years ago. Jeff never imagined being a principal of a school, and I certainly never imagined being married to a principal. But we knew that this is where Abba was sending us, and we saw Him part the Red Sea to get us here.

Pioneer is a school that has been around for 40 years on the Northside of Nashville near Goodlettsville, but not many in the community seem to know about it, and it’s a miracle if you can even find it. If you happen to stumble across it, it is one of those weird God-things, and funny thing is, there have been quite a few of those in the last year…I see Abba’s hand all over this place.

Pioneer’s legacy has been one of legalism all wrapped up in fear, from the sign in the principal’s office that said, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” to the faculty and students walking around on eggshells, fearful that they were going to cross over some very real imaginary line. The fear and condemnation have been thick, so much so that some alumni and former students refuse to even step foot on campus because they cannot stand what the school used to represent for them.

The school has really struggled and has been more or less coasting for the last 10 years. It’s hard to run a school in neutral. So Pioneer needed a jump start, and Jeff was coming to literally shift it out of neutral and turn it in another direction.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have a hard time dealing with change, and some people seem to like neutral. Some would rather have something stay unhealthy than to be a part of growth and change…change is very uncomfortable for me as well, but I’m learning it is a necessary part of being alive…otherwise life is lived in an unhealthy coma-like state.

And Pioneer is no exception. It has to grow and change, and Jeff sees a vision for it to be other than it is. So, Jeff talked about his vision for the school, but, instead of the school growing, it actually decreased in attendance. But the ones who left, teachers and students alike needed to go…no hard feelings or anything…just going a different direction.

Pioneer is a school that’s quickly growing a heart, among other things and only those who can see past surface things, like old carpet and Pepto-Bismol pink walls, will truly get it. But for those that do, it’s like an unexpected gift…it’s actually becoming a place where the students want to be, and that in itself says a whole lot.

This year, there are teachers teaching at the school because Abba brought them…that’s all there is to it. I look around and think, why in the world are these amazing people here? But maybe this thing is bigger than a school…maybe it’s about seeing Christ in each other, about embracing our diversity, and loving each other in the process.

But right now at Pioneer, finances are a serious issue, due to the lack of students. My faith is big in some areas, but finances have always thrown me for a loop. I have fear and doubt all mixed in with questioning whether Abba can really provide for a school or even if He wants to. So I’ve been asking the question does Jesus care about a small school on the Northside of Nashville?

I was at a Moms in Touch group the other morning where we pray for our school, the faculty, and our kids. And one of the other moms really believes that Abba is going to provide for the needs of the school. I told her that I had my doubts, and I asked her if she thought her faith was big enough for the both of us. She told me it takes the faith of a mustard seed, and I think that’s about all I’ve got right now…

I know it’s often thought tacky to talk about money…maybe it is…maybe it isn’t. But I don’t think Jesus thought it was, because He says, “Ask and it will be given to you.” And I tend to think this phrase also includes money or students or whatever the need is…I have a hard time asking for things…I hate it, really…I grew up thinking that asking for stuff was presumptuous, but clearly, that is my own issue… 

So, Jesus, I’m asking. I’m asking that a school that cannot get enough of You these days is able to remain open. I’m asking that You provide the money or the students or both so that these adults and little ones alike can see You, can experience Your power, can feel Your presence move and are mindful that You are the One doing it. Provide the daily bread or part the Jordan River…we’re like the Israelites standing on the shore in the middle of flooding season and see no way to cross on our own. Our strategizing and our planning are all in vain if You’re not in it. But I see You, and I know that You can provide what is necessary if this is Your will. I am already grateful for what You have done in us and through us and in our midst. Help us see You and experience You in a way that a school never has before. Help us be a light in our community that points people to You, Abba, because knowing You and experiencing You are what it’s all about, and the school is just a small part of it. But I’m here, and I’m asking because we need You more than anything…

I got one of those e-mail cards for my birthday, and at the end of the card, Eph 3:20 came across the screen…”God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine.” So, right now, in the middle of all my fear and all my doubt, I’m praying and hoping that Abba will provide the miracle that will keep the school’s doors open, that He will do the “far more than we can imagine.”

And, yes, I still have my doubts because humanly speaking it looks bad. But I know this for sure that Abba is bigger than my fear, bigger than my doubts, and really it’s not about me anyway…my faith or lack of faith. But I have a feeling that whatever happens, it’s going to be one of those things that when I finally see what’s really going on, I’m either going to be falling on my face in gratitude or dancing till my head pops off…

“Word of God speak,
Would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty.
To be still and know
That you’re in this place…
Word of God speak.”



4 Responses to “Does Jesus Care About A School?”

  1. 1 Connie Houston
    October 1, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Although I never attended Pioneer and our children haven’t attended, I am familiar with the school. I am ashamed to say that I was one of those that never considered Pioneer because of it’s reputation steeped in legalism. However, after reading your comments, I find myself excited that a change is in the air. I have dear, dear friends whose children are attending Pioneer—I know that it has been a blessing to them. God is good, and His plan is exciting! I will pray not only for our own families decisions concerning education, but for the finances needed to keep your school open.

    Thank you for being bold and letting the community know Pioneer’s situation—now we know how to pray—May God continue to walk with you all as you continue on this adventerous little path of God’s Will:)

  2. 2 shelgeyer
    October 2, 2008 at 5:58 am

    hey kim 🙂
    Its been too long!
    Just had to write because I just had a conversation about this subject with Phoebe last night. About asking….having hope…. having faith…..thinking that God cares…..
    Its so funny/sad how our culture/age whatever, maybe its always been this way, has so much pride and fear that we don’t want to ask because then we don’t have to deal with the answer no because then we will have to deal with the question “does God even care”…..
    Maybe thats not what you were saying….but we spent a good hour at the library talking about some of the things we were both dealing with and that was so evident. It made me sad……kind of felt like a baby…..like I could only handle it in my controlled environment. I will pray for you guys. Love you!

  3. 3 Elizabeth R.
    October 2, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Hey Kim,

    “God is bigger than the boogeyman, He’s bigger than godzilla or the monsters on TV, yes God is bigger than the boogeyman, and He’s watching out for you and me.” Just a thought from some of my favorite vegetables… Your post reminds me of a school near Denver that has struggled with the exact same issues of finances and wondering if the doors are still open… they are vision casting in a very different direction and God has been faithful. Where He leads, He always provides.

    I miss you!

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