Our church has a very successful preschool. Kailua Baptist Preschool has a great reputation and God has blessed us with incredibly skilled teachers. The only negative part of our school is that it has been difficult to keep it as a true ministry of the church. Any true Christian ministry should always have the glory of God in saving sinners as its highest goal (I am pretty sure everyone who has ever worked at our school would agree with that statement). But it is always tricky to run faithful parachurch ministries, and this is no exception. No one would dispute that over the years the school became “successful” because of its ability to educate pre-K children (and we praise God for that aspect), and not necessarily for its intentionality in proclaiming the gospel to children and families. At no point did it ever become un-Christian. But there is no doubt the focus shifted from being an intentional evangelistic arm of the local church to an excellent academic institution run by gospel-believing followers of Christ.
Again, parachurch is always tricky, so I do not doubt the genuineness of anyone who has ever worked for the school. But God has been very gracious over the last couple years. God has allowed me to personally become more and more involved with the teachers, children and parents. God has given me more and more courage to push for more gospel-centered intentionality. One of our aides has started attending our services because she seems to benefit from the teaching. I was able to have a beginning-of-school-year “retreat” with the ladies on staff where I was able to remind them of the vision of the school and encourage them in a more God-centered approach to ministry. I was even able to exhort them to more faithful evangelism, encouraging them to communicate even hard truths to little children. And the response has been very affirming. The teachers have talked a lot since that time and they have all been inspired to think harder about how to communicate the gospel with kids. They have encouraged our new preschool director to give guidance on how to make sure all the Bible stories are being taught correctly. Our director allowed me to make a recommendation to get all the students the Jesus Storybook Bible.
Besides all that, the church which I serve loves the Word. The congregation seems to be growing in unity, maturity and even in number. A couple that I told I could not marry has still stuck with our church after being married by someone else. A fellow that I said we needed to wait to baptize has still kept coming. A young couple just started coming because they noticed their church was not sticking to the Bible. Our Wednesday night group is studying Romans 9-11! The members of KBC are lavishing each other and all newcomers with Christ-like love. I have a growing relationship with the PCA church up the road. We are both a part of a growing Gospel Coalition network here on Oahu. Above all, Jesus is Lord, and the steadfast love of Christ endures forever. Oh, there are a ton of hardships and frustrations as well, but the Triune God who created all things seems to be preparing the soil in Kailua for revival.