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  • Jonno White

7 Keys to Building a Healthy Christian School

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

I'm passionate about investing in people to become everything they're meant to be. That's why I believe so deeply in education. Apart from a person's family of origin, perhaps nothing impacts a person's future as much as their education. Christian schools are particularly close to my heart at Clarity because we exist to fill the world with great organisations that build the Church. Where are the leaders of those organisations, right now? Some of them attend your Christian school. So, with the future of your city, country and the world in mind, here are seven keys to building a healthy Christian school.

1. A healthy board.

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but a healthy board is so important for a Christian school. If your school is part of a larger organisations such as a church, do you have appropriate representation on the school board? Is the board led by a humble and capable chair with the wisdom to appoint the right board members and the courage to hold you accountable? Get this wrong at your peril. Christian schools will only ever be as healthy as their board. Boards aren't there as an annoying necessity. Boards exist to govern and provide strategic direction. So, if I want to know if a Christian school is healthy, one of the first things I'll ask about is your board.

2. A healthy executive team.

Healthy school start at the top with the board and continue to the executive team. Excellent principals don't make healthy Christian schools. Principals with the wisdom and consistency to build a healthy executive team will in turn build a healthy Christian school. Is your school's executive team diverse? Are the people on the team humble, hungry and people smart? Do they share the school's vision and values? Is your executive team healthy enough to be able to have robust discussions? Do you communicate effectively as a team? Are you able to hold one another accountable for your behaviour as team members and leaders of your school? If you hesitate to answer any of those questions, then this is where to start. Healthy Christian schools are led by healthy executive teams.

3. Vision that flows out of the larger organisation (if there is one) and lines up with the great commission.

Purpose. What's the purpose of your Christian school? No, it's probably not "to teach young people about God." Your school is unique. It is! There is a unique history as to why and how it was founded. There is a unique purpose your school exists for. Even if you don't know it is, it's been there or is there informally. And every Christian school needs a clear vision for the future. What problem are you trying to solve as a school? How are you the solution? Why is it so important?

If you can't define your school's vision, then do whatever you need to do in order to fix this. Then, cast vision again and again and again. Wondering why students are tardy? Why your parent community aren't engaged? Why your staff turnover is high? There could be many reasons. But, I'd suggest they'd ALL involve a lack of vision. Harsh, but true. Articulate your vision, communicate until people literally say, "Stop it, we get that the school's vision is to 'x'" and then tell me how it's affected your school. (Hint: it will be a different place.)

4. Values that define your school.

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