August 12, 2013
There are just 25 days left…
“Until what?” is the reasonable question. It’s months until Christmas shopping closes; schools are already reopening across the country. No NASA launches in the new sequester era. What’s up?
There are only seven times each year when the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) are offered; the first of this school year is October 5th… and the deadline to register is September 6th. Only 25 days left…
The SAT is the live-or-die inquisition for teenagers hoping to head for college. This rite-of-passage is de rigueur for entrance into any undergraduate program. Grades are slippery; one high school’s “A” is another school’s “B-;” the SAT levels the playing field, allowing head-to-head comparisons across the spectrum.
Measuring the ability to use what 12 years of classroom life has imparted, the SAT explores math, critical reading and writing skills in the student participant. With the max score of 2400, most colleges establish a minimum SAT to be considered for acceptance. Elite institutions pride themselves in ratcheting the numbers ever higher, in pursuit of the brightest and best in their incoming cohorts.
While the SAT is presumed to measure the performance of the student, it also has the effect of evaluating the school system that produced them. Colleges boast of the high-caliber freshman class, based on SAT scores; shouldn’t the high schools find their value in the scores they enabled?
What if there was a credible rating system for measuring the potential of Christians, as they navigate through their Sunday school systems heading for ever-higher level of Kingdom preparation?
The assessment could share an acrostic; SAT would still work, but the meaning would be realigned. For progressing value in the Kingdom, the achievement would be Scripture, Attitude and Transformation (SAT); without those takeaways, no graduation is plausible.
Scripture is foundational. God went to extreme lengths over generations to communicate his truth to mankind, and to see it archived in language that would allow it to be as dependable and powerful in 2014 as it was when he inspired human authors to capture his truth. Today, churches are the institutions tasked with raising biblical literacy among the people of God. How are we doing today, in passing the knowledge of the Holy to the current generation(s)? “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15). An honest evaluation of church-goers would see a declining trend line…
Attitude is next; “manner or disposition” is the issue. Human perspective begins flawed, and the warping continues through exposure to the culture. What agency is capable of realigning attitudes – among Christians – to a supernatural level? “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5). Talk about a challenge: be the best, but serve the least of these. Wholesome condescension, with purposeful intent. That isn’t taught in Division 1 schools…
Transformation is the ultimate intended outcome; if we had valedictorians in Sunday School, this would be the qualifying criteria. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will,” (Romans 12:1-2). Ultimately, God’s appraisal of our maturity is based, not on what we know, but on what we do with what we know. Our life – transformed by truth – is what he intends, still.
Elite Sunday schools are measured by the SAT scores of their students. Great churches aren’t ranked – by God – for great productions; they’re marked by great people. SAT matters…
What’s your score?
August 12, 2013