Education as a way of life?

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “Education is not a subject, and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life.”

My mind has already turned to preparing for the coming school year — both in our home schooling, and in our church ministry. The above quote certain pushes one’s thoughts and plans to a whole new level. But then, again, shouldn’t Christians already be aware of this, that education is a whole life activity — engaging all areas, throughout one’s whole life? I think so. This is why we are called “disciples” (learner/followers) of Jesus.

And not only that, but we are disciples who have been commissioned to make more disciples! The passage at the end of the Gospel of Matthew now only gives the church this order, but in so doing reveals the essence of discipleship:

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

It would seem that discipleship (the education or ‘making’ of a Christian) aims to cover ALL that Jesus taught, and to make sure it is not only LEARNED but OBSERVED (practiced/obeyed). So, tweaking the Chesterton quote a litte, we could say this: “Christian discipleship is not a subject, and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life.”

~ pdb

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