From the beginning of Judaism, from which Christianity is derived, there was an emphasis on the written word. But the phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in the Protestant Reformation.
In order to promote Bible literacy, Christians have been leaders in education. This trend was accelerated with the advent of the printing press at about the same time as the Protestant Reformation. Many of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries in order for people to read the Bible.
Jesus was not discriminatory in who he taught. Both men and women came under his instruction. And later in history it was bishops who taught things like reading, Bible doctrine, writing, logic, math, geometry, music, grammar and astronomy. During the Reformation men like Luther and Calvin advocated, universal state sponsored education. It was Luther who told authorities that children should be compelled to attend school. Now the Western world has this concept in their laws.
Benedictine monks were the people who started the universities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. And some of the most respected universities in the world today began as Christian institutions: Harvard and Yale for example. The interesting thing is that all the way up through 1932, out of 182 colleges in the United States, 168 of them were founded by Christian denominations.
Robert—Trained a local man to go to a village of tribal Buddhist people in Cambodia. Over the course of many months he taught God’s story chronologically. Eventually in this village of 500 people, 60% committed themselves to follow Jesus. As they learned more about God’s love and concern for all aspects of their lives, they decided they wanted to help their children. The village did not have access to good education for the children. The Lord stirred them to action. They found a way to start an appropriate schooling system for the village.
Children are learning to read and write and do math. Meanwhile these believers have gone out with the Good News and have already made disciples and started fellowships in other villages.
My friends went to a tribe in the Upper Amazon region to make disciples and start churches. As new believers began to mature in their understanding of God and His Kingdom, they realized they needed to help their children with education. Eventually, the new church started a school. Later, as the Gospel took root in another community, a new church emerged—they too decided to start their own school. Children, families and communities are being transformed.
Question for reflection: One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering Him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them!” In what ways could you bring children to Jesus so He can touch and bless them?
Kingdom prayer: Lord, show all families of the earth, who put their faith in You, creative ways to teach children about You and Your Kingdom. Amen.