Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening April 2, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. The sermon was preceded by our quarterly Parent Teacher Fellowship of Gospel Light Academy. Since the school ministry is a vital part of our church, and since every student is a member of our church, the PTF was incorporated into the regular evening service.
WHY I’M GLAD ABOUT GOSPEL LIGHT ACADEMY
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Psalms 126:1-6
Text: Psalms 126:3
Psalms 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Introduction: It is my firm conviction that every Christian parent should provide Christian training for his child. As long as the child is in your house, you parents should see to it that Christians, not the devil’s children, train your kids. I don’t believe in putting your children in the heathen’s day care, elementary, middle, high school, or college.
Gospel Light Academy has existed since the church began in 1986, because of that conviction. We even have college courses available for students who want to take them. Kelly Ashby, who is now Kelly DeMoville, took college courses from us before entering college.
I am more thankful for the educational ministry of our church today than ever before. I want to remind us all of some reasons we should be glad for Gospel Light Academy.
I. I’M GLAD BECAUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL PURPOSE OF THE SCHOOL
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
A. Its purpose is to glorify Christ
B. Its purpose is to guard our children
C. Its purpose is to grow Christians
- The only purpose that I know of that is a CORRECT purpose for an education is that of training young people to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Any other type of training, that is, with any other motive than that, is HEATHEN training.
II. I’M GLAD BECAUSE OF THE SCRIPTURAL PROCEDURES OF THE SCHOOL
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Galatians 4:1-2 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
It is the responsibility of the PARENTS, especially the FATHER, not the STATE, to train children. The Bible assumes that a father will place his child under tutors and governors, but the father should be certain that those tutors should help him achieve his goal of bringing that child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
A. The school bases its curriculum upon the scriptures
- The curriculum is saturated with the word of God. We start each day with prayer, pledges, and devotions from the scriptures. Our students memorize the scriptures.
B. The school builds character in the students
- Bob Jones, Sr., founder of Bob Jones University used to say that it’s more important to have CHARACTER than BRAINS, because you can buy or borrow brains, but you can’t buy character!
- If a child has character, he can work to learn what he needs to in order to fulfill God’s will for his life. If he has no character, however, it doesn’t matter if he has gone to the country’s most respected schools. He will still be a failure in life.
- Success in life is FINDING and DOING the will of God!
C. The school believes in the concept of success
- That is, a student does not advance in his lessons until he successfully completes that portion of his lesson.
- Each subject is divided into 12 portions for a year. Each portion is called a PACE (Packet of Accelerated Christian Education).
If a student does not make at least an 80 percent score on the test of one portion, he repeats it again before going on the the next portion.
- This way no student fails for a YEAR and repeats, just 1/12 of a year, if he fails a portion.
- There is no “social promoting.”
III. I’M GLAD BECAUSE OF THE STUDENTS’ PROGRESS IN THE SCHOOL
Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. A. Accomplishments
- PACEs completed
- Love for God
- Love for their church
- Love for their pastor and school staff
- Love for their parents
- Love for one another
- Love for lost souls
IV. I’M GLAD BECAUSE OF THE SUPPORTIVE PARENTS OF THE SCHOOL
Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
A. Supporting the ministry with funds
- The school is tuition-free.
- Parents are not billed.
- Students are not dismissed due to lack of funds.
- The school ministry is supported by tithes and designated love offerings.
B. Supporting the ministry with flexibility
- Field trips
C. Supporting the ministry with fellowship
- Working together with the pastor and staff
- Praying together
- Weeping and rejoicing together
V. I’M GLAD BECAUSE OF THE SPECIAL PERSONNEL IN THE SCHOOL
Proverbs 31:1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
I oversee the school, as pastor/principal. Mrs. O’Neal is the supervisor of the school. Joy O’Neal is a monitor. I meet with the children each morning in opening the school, and am often easily accessible to them if they need me. Additionally, on most Fridays I take the students on a field trip, so they get to spend almost an entire day each week with me.
Mrs. O’Neal has them the majority of the day, with Sister Joy helping in the late afternoons.
A. Our personnel are all saved
B. Our personnel are all separated
C. Our personnel are all soul-winners
D. Our personnel are all sincere
E. Our personnel are all sacrificial