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FSM 291       DO/TS

Christian Vocational College Series--Part 2
       © May 1996, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland
       Recommended reading for age 14 and up. Parts or all may be read by or shared with those younger than 14.

       Higher Education and The Love Charter
       by WS Staff

       The Love Charter Will Change Our Approach to Education       1
       Directing Your Own Education       2
       The Gold and Silver Medallion of Family Education       2
       What's Education for Anyway?       3
       Our God-Centered Education       3
       Keeping Our Priorities Straight       4
       A "Good" Education Is Not Good Enough       5
       Making the Tough Choices of Life       5
       Be Discriminating About Your Education       5
       Some Worldly Education Is Needed       6
       Carrying on the Family Business       7
       Practical and Day-to-Day Training       7
       Variety of Specialized Training       8
       More Ministry Training Is Now Needed       9
       The Love Revolution Is a Training Revolution       9
       Increasing Learning Opportunities       10
       Making Time for Training       11
       Look at Needs and Not Grade Levels       12
       What About Higher Education Within the Family?       13
       What About Outside Education?       13
       Keeping Your Balance       14
       Sample CVC Proficiency Certificates       16

The {\b \i Love Charter} Will Change Our Approach to Education
       As the refreshing winds of change brought by the Love Charter sweep through our Family, one area that will surely feel the effects of the change is education. With the Love Charter, the pendulum of responsibility to uphold basic standards in education is swinging more towards the individual, the parent and the Home. Many large, centralized, childcare and school facilities have dispersed into smaller Homes with smaller "kitchen table" home schools. Most parents will choose to teach their own children using our Family-produced curriculum and recommended materials; some may obtain correspondence courses; others may seek help from tutors and training videos, etc.; and a few may opt to send their children to suitable local schools. Whichever way each parent and Home chooses to meet the challenge of educating their children, the overall effect on education in the Family will be one of significant change.

Directing Your Own Education
       With the implementation of the Love Charter and the introduction of the Family’s Christian Vocational College (CVC) program, each Family teen, YA and adult will assume a greater personal responsibility for the content and quality of education they receive and/or give their children. You young people will also be responsible for maintaining a good balance between your practical and scholastic studies, and your spiritual growth and service for the Lord.
       With greater freedom of choice and self-governing power, you young people will find yourselves increasingly in charge of shaping your own education according to your particular needs, interests and abilities. The Love Charter gives you greater choice and control over your own education, and the CVC provides you with formal recognition for the many areas of secondary (high school) and post-secondary (college) training that you receive in the Family.
       In this FSM, we will discuss not only our new CVC program, but some of the underlying principles, spiritual priorities and practical considerations that are helpful for you to keep in mind when making decisions concerning your education.

[EDITED: "Box with picture and text"]

       For the sake of illustration, let us for a moment compare Family education to a medallion made of gold on one side and silver on the other. The gold side represents the spiritual side of our education, and the silver, the practical side. We like to "wear" this medallion with the golden spiritual side facing out because that is the most important side. On each side of this medallion are figures representing our most important educational goals and priorities.
       Our relationship with the Lord, the Word and witnessing are the priority items depicted on the gold side. Learning to love the Lord and His Word is our first educational priority. Learning to love others and witness about the Love of Jesus is a very close second. The Word of God is our firm foundation upon which we build our spiritual and much of our physical way of life. The Word is the wellspring that supplies us with faith, hope, love and wisdom.
       The silver side of our education medallion represents the many physical and mental skills we must learn in order to put our thoughts and actions to the best use in this life. To live effectively and do our jobs for Jesus requires a lot of down-to-earth practical knowledge and skill. We need to learn how to physically care for ourselves and get along with others. In the course of life we need to acquire essential scholastic skills and common sense, gain a degree of good practical knowledge, and learn many special jobs.
[EDITED: "End of box"]

{\b What’s Education for Anyway?}
       We believe God’s Word and try to order our lives accordingly. For us, learning about, following, and pleasing God is the purpose of education. Often, what the world values as the end purpose of education, we consider ashes and husks. (See Lk.15:16; Isa.44:20.) What they reject as foolish, we consider a priceless pearl, a wonderful reward unseen as yet, that we are willing to forsake everything to obtain. (See Mat.13:45,46; 25:23; Lk.14:33; Heb.12:2.) Temporal fame and fortune are not valuable enough to trade for our Heavenly calling. (See Mat.7:13,14 and Mk.8:36-38.)
       For many people, the pursuit of power, popularity, and plenty are acceptable, logical reasons for getting a worldly education--whereas sacrificing, giving up good jobs and worldly education to follow Jesus and the hope of eternal rewards seems totally crazy to them. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1Cor.1:18). To them it is just not "natural" to be that way. Of course, in one sense they are right, it is not natural, because it is supernatural!
       Society tells us that one of the main reasons for getting a good secular education is to get a good job. We believe the most fulfilling job anyone could want in these times and the wisest choice of careers is the one God has given our Family of going into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature. That means full-time and fulfilling employment from now till Jesus returns. As long as people need our help spiritually or physically, and as long as we are faithful to tell them the Good News about Jesus, we will never be out of a job.
       We have no unemployment in our kingdom, thank God, and we have more work than we know what to do with, more jobs to be done than we have people to fill them ("Labor Leaders," ML #161:15, written 5/72).

Our God-Centered Education
       We do not agree with the content and direction taken in much of what is taught in many modern worldly schools. The spiritual climate is often openly hostile to a Godly upbringing. Without Godly Love, wisdom and purpose, the best education in the world would "profit us nothing." From a spiritual point of view, much of secular education is flawed or pointless, mainly because it leaves God out of the picture. They simply do not want to "retain God in their knowledge" (Rom.1:28).
       It is never enough just to accumulate knowledge or have the ability to do things unless we act in love and for the glory of God. Getting an education without learning about God, love and wisdom would be as pointless as memorizing the whole Bible without believing it and getting saved and sharing its wonderful message of hope and comfort with others. Knowledge without love and humility just puffs up our pride; and education devoid of God, like wood, hay and stubble, will not endure. (See 1Cor.8:1; 1Cor.3:11-15.)
       We seek a Godly education, which is knowledge of God and knowledge of what is good. We want an education that leads us to the Light and eternal happiness. However, we know it is not always easy to strive for a Godly education, since it will often go in the exact opposite direction to the course of this world and public opinion.

Keeping Our Priorities Straight
       Some people criticize our Family for not being "worldly wise" or "practical" or "objective" enough. It bothers them that we do not strive to be rich, seek out high-paying jobs, buy huge properties, run large businesses, build big churches, open expensive schools and colleges, or push our children to get impressive worldly educations. It all comes down to priorities and what your personal values and goals are in life.
       For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Mat.6:21).
       Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent (Jn.6:27-29).
       By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward (Heb.11:24-26).
       For each Family member, our love for the Lord, Word time, prayer, concern for others, witnessing, and following the guidelines and spirit of the Love Charter should be at the top of our list of personal priorities, because we want to please the Lord and have His blessing. The Word warns us that many cares in life will try to take first place and choke out the Word. (See Mk.4:18-20.) There are many things that we can do each day, things we may want to do, or even must do, but in all we do, we must never lose sight of our spiritual purpose and priorities or we will run into trouble.
       Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Col.2:8).
       When the rich young man asked Jesus what he needed to do to gain eternal life (Mat.19:16-30), he wanted to find out from Jesus what life’s most important priorities are. In the course of the discussion, the young man soon realized that, although he was doing some things well, he wasn’t willing to make God his number one priority. Following God all the way means putting God’s priorities ahead of our own. Putting spiritual priorities first in life takes real faith and trust in God and sometimes does not make much logical or practical sense. To the carnal mind, there just does not seem to be any obvious advantage in giving up "important" things or comforts in the hope of gaining unseen spiritual rewards. Such things must be spiritually seen with the eyes of faith. (See Pro.3:13-18; Heb.11:13-16,27.)
       To please God, we must believe that God’s way is best and seek His education above all else.
       I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word. I have not departed from Thy judgments: for Thou hast taught me (Psa.119:99-102).
       Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (IPet.2:9).

A "Good" Education Is Not Good Enough
       The best worldly education is not good enough to get you to Heaven or prepare you for the Next Life.
       Saul of Tarsus was highly educated in theology and religious law, but it wasn’t until Jesus knocked him off his "high horse" that Saul "saw the light" and became the great Apostle Paul. (See Acts 9:1-5.)
       The rich man who died and went to a place of torment realized too late how badly he had missed the boat; while Lazarus, the sick beggar who often sat at the rich man’s gate in his earthly life, received a Heavenly reward. The rich man’s outlook and position in life did nothing to prepare him for living in eternity. So when measured in long-term results, Lazarus, not the rich man, had a better relationship with God and came out better in the end. It is not how much you know or what you know; it’s what you believe and do that counts. The rich man discovered that his training and lifestyle had taken him so totally in the wrong direction that he begged for someone to go back from the dead and try to re-educate his brothers. (See Lk.16:19-31.)

Making the Tough Choices of Life
       Lot chose the life of ease in the lush lowlands, while his uncle Abraham chose the rugged highlands. Lot ended up in Sodom, while Abraham went on to become the father of faith. Abraham, Moses, the apostles and others chose God’s way, even when it seemed like the toughest and craziest choice to make. Hebrews 11 is a tribute to some of God’s greats who made the right choice even to their own hurt. Following God sometimes involves making tough choices that require significant personal sacrifice. (Read Heb.11.)
       As in the parable of the houses on the rock and the sand, building on the sand is much easier, yet when the storm comes, the house on the solid rock stands while the other washes away. (See Mat.7:24-27.) Each of us needs to make the choice, and either build our lives on the solid foundation Jesus has set down, or build on the sand of this world.

Be Discriminating About Your Education
       The kind of education we choose for ourselves must be guided by wise choices based on right spiritual priorities. One of the great challenges in life is to learn how to choose what is good and reject what is bad, or bad for us, and use what we can for God.
       As active Christians, we do not believe in just flowing along with the current and hoping everything will work out. A spiritual battle is being fought for control of our very hearts, minds and souls, and to win we must "put on the whole armor of God," remain "sober and vigilant," and be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
       But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of Salvation (1Thes.5:8).
       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom.12:2).

Some Worldly Education Is Needed
       There are many useful things that everyone needs to learn, no matter what vocation they are choosing. Actually, whether something is "good" or "bad" (including worldly education) is often a matter of how it is used, what priority it is given, or how much time is devoted to it. Some things are plainly good and should be learned by all and some things are plainly bad and should not be learned by anyone. But most things are somewhere between these two extremes. For example, everyone needs to learn safety and have a basic knowledge of how the physical world works, be able to stay clean and healthy, feed and clothe themselves, etc. This is all part of personal practical education. To this we add basic scholastic skills such as being able to read, write, do basic math, and communicate effectively with others (subjects which actually form the backbone of most compulsory education in worldly school systems).
       We believe our children should receive a sound, basic education. Some people, however, think that because we usually choose to educate our children at home and reject certain secular teachings, such as evolution, that we reject all worldly education. This is totally untrue.
       We do not dispute that we need an education in all sorts of practical, even so-called worldly skills to live our lives for the Lord, and to communicate and function effectively in society. What we do question, however, is the degree or amount of detailed worldly knowledge we need. We also question where and how, and with whom we need to learn about worldly matters. As much as possible, we try to limit the amount of negative influences we or our children are exposed to, while increasing the opportunity for good and Godly education to take place.
       As far back as 1971, in "Organization I" Dad wrote about Godly and worldly education, and pointed out the need for both:
       We are not entirely against all education; in fact, we have quite a bit of our own, and actually, to educate people in the things of the Lord, even in our witnessing, is our major task. To go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature is a pretty big job of education--the Lord’s education. The basic meaning of the Latin roots of the word literally means "to lead out"--and this is surely what we’re trying to do--lead people out of the pit of the Devil’s education--materialism and sin and darkness--into His glorious light and Love of His Salvation, and the wonderful fellowship of the Kingdom of God.
       Nevertheless, a little of the world’s education sometimes can help in a few instances where you have to deal with the world and meet the System on its own grounds, especially in business and the art of communication!
       This is one reason we have our own grade school and high school, to teach the basic practical knowledge necessary for survival, communication, and business with the System, particularly the three R’s, so-called: "Readin’ and Writin’ and ’Rithmetic!"--As well as to comply with the laws of compulsory education for those of you who are underage, so that you may be with us and go to school, but go God’s way.
       So be careful what you say about education, and be sure to qualify your remarks to others as to what kind of education you’re talking about--and only damn the Devil’s kind--not the Lord’s! You’re enjoying His right now--and even my Letters are an education.
       God will use everything you’ve got if you’ll let Him, and I’ve personally found out that there’s nothing the Lord has let me learn in the past that has not later come in handy, in both past and present--including my own personal experiences in a multitude of fields and jobs. And since God was even then preparing you for His service, even before you were saved [EDITED: "or as a child in the Family"], He’s undoubtedly going to use your hidden talents at some time or other, sooner or later, somewhere, if not here, if you’ll just be patient and faithful! "Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not!"--Gal.6:9. PTL! ("Organization 1!", ML #54:2-8, written 3/71.)
       Carrying on the Family Business
       Being a young person in the Family is very much like being a young apprentice learning a trade in a large company. You are learning how to carry on our Family "business"--serving the Lord--and we hope the CVC program will help you do that even better. It will also document your learning experiences in ways that the rest of the Family, and those outside of the Family, will understand and appreciate.
       You teens in the Family have a wonderful opportunity for vocational training. Many of you have already become secretaries, experts in childcare, expert maintenance men and handymen, video technicians, editors, writers, etc. Isn’t it fulfilling knowing that you’ve been able to learn a real skill? Many of you have become virtual professionals in many important areas, and become fruitful and fulfilled at your jobs, as opposed to just sitting in school ingesting a lot of useless knowledge like your counterparts in the System!--Head-stuffing that they’re not going to remember anyway! You have your share of scholastics too, but you can have both scholastics and vocational training, and the right balance between the two ("Jewels About Teens!", ML #2864:40, GN559).

Practical and Day-to-Day Training
       There are many daily jobs and responsibilities that are common to most Family Homes: witnessing, follow-up, provisioning, entertaining and inspiration, childcare, caring for the sick and for new mothers, handling finances, cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving, counseling, leadership duties, handyman, letter writing, scheduling, office work, gardening and landscaping, organizing, fund raising, typing, public speaking, etc. Many of these skills need to be learned by most members to some extent.
       In addition to the various "Home life" jobs, we learn scores of personal and practical skills. We learn the importance of keeping clean, avoiding and controlling the spread of disease, cleaning and caring for our teeth, reading in the proper lighting, getting good exercise, eating balanced meals, avoiding junk food and unclean foods, attending to personal grooming, clothing care, getting proper rest, not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, not taking drugs, not drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages, etc.
       Since our Homes are usually our work places, we have to learn to get along with the people we live and work with. Counseling, communicating, organizing labor, making collective decisions and working in unity are all highlighted in our life, in the Letters and in the Love Charter. In our Homes we have the environment and the teacher (the Word) to help us learn these important skills that other young people may not learn even after spending years in university.
       Living and working communally helps us learn the value of staying positive, being cheerful, friendly, sympathetic, outgoing, concerned, considerate, kind, full of faith, prayerful, and doing things decently and in order. As we learn to do different jobs, we also develop many qualities of character such as perseverance, responsibility, sensitivity to others’ needs, respect for authority, cooperation, adaptability, a sense of purpose, contentment, honesty and integrity, efficiency, doing quality work, economizing, patience, positiveness, teamworking, etc.
       Not surprisingly, these "character qualities" are actually more valued by many employers than a person’s training and ability in other skills. In a 1994 survey by Michigan State University of 600 businesses, industries and government organizations, the people who hire new employees said that the most important things they look for in job applicants is that they show responsibility, honesty, integrity, sincerity, eagerness, decision-making skills, initiative, professional attitude, plus have good verbal communication skills. They indicated they were least interested in a person’s sports ability, experimental work they had done or academic papers they had written.

Variety of Specialized Training
       The smaller the Home, the more jobs you may need to learn. In a small Home it is harder for an individual to specialize in just one job or ministry, because you soon find out that everything needs to be done by the same few people, the only ones available.
       Down through the years, our worldwide membership has seen and tried out a great diversity of ministries, many of which have required special training. The challenges of our life continually motivate us to learn new things. The fact of the matter is that the Family must continually keep learning new skills and new ministries just to survive and keep getting our job done.
       Looking back through our history, there is hardly a ministry that at least someone in the Family has not attempted. Some among us have done art, bookkeeping, building houses, parks and pools, busking, caring for the elderly, catering, childcare, clowning, cooking, computer work, construction, dancing, delivering babies, DFing, disaster relief, distributing food, drug counseling, editing, encouraging the sick, entertaining, family counseling, farming, fund raising, helping the poor and homeless, helping war refugees, holding conferences and seminars, importing and exporting goods, interpreting, journalism, lecturing, legal work, litnessing, marriage counseling, ministering to the deaf, modeling, narrating, news announcing, nutrition and menu planning, office management, people handling, performing, photography, picketing and protesting, postering, poster production, provisioning, recording, repairs, running restaurants, running schools, social work, tape distributing, teaching children, teaching languages, television work, tour guiding, translating, tutoring, typing, video production and sales, washing cars, witnessing, working with churches, writing books, and many more. The list is as long as the many lessons we learned and published in the process.

More Ministry Training Is Now Needed
       The Love Charter allows a wide variety of ministries to develop within the Family by encouraging more personal initiative and accommodating individual burdens. The Love Charter also makes allowance for the need to adapt to physical realities such as aging, and finding new sources of income. What all this means in terms of education is that as Homes and individuals venture out into new ministries and pioneering efforts, they will need ongoing training in a multitude of areas.

The Love Revolution Is a Training Revolution
       The Love Charter and the CVC program directly and indirectly encourage the teaching of others. The financial deacon in the jumbo-size Home has had to pass on his or her skills to others who have left to form their own Homes. The provisioner, computer whiz or secretary must share their expertise with others if the Family is to prosper in smaller, more efficient units.
       The Love Revolution, as brought about by the Love Charter, is very much a learning revolution, and its success somewhat depends on each person’s willingness to share their skills and teach them to others. As pioneer teams venture out, a great vacuum for information is being created. "How do you organize a follow-up ministry and keep records of your sheep?" "How do you fill out this form? How do you keep financial records and balance the books?" "How do you organize a Home library?" All the myriad of details handled by a few "Home experts" now have to be passed on to many. More people than ever need to learn to drive, care for children, teach, cook, witness in the local language, do follow up, plan, organize a Home, make schedules, budget their income. Thousands of new jobs in the Family are being created. We hope that among other things the CVC program will help provide a convenient, organized means of transferring special skills quickly to younger members who need them.
       I’m all for you teens receiving as much practical training as you can. You should learn an actual job or a skill or something that you’re interested in and are happy about and that you see as something responsible and that you can accomplish something concrete in, something that will help others and help you to feel confident and well prepared for life.
       I would hope that by the time our young people reach the age of 21 they will have had a chance to try out a wide variety of ministries. It would be beneficial for them to rotate through different ministries, even those they don’t have a special liking for, so they’ll at least have had a chance to try them and learn something about them. . . .
       In order to give them more opportunities as well as more well-rounded training, we need to give them the chance to rotate ministries more. Perhaps we ought to almost make it mandatory!--Or at least we should strongly suggest that any time a teen has learned one thing well and has learned to do it right and has been a blessing in that area and has trained someone else to take over their job, that they should be rotated into a different ministry to allow them to learn more and broaden their horizons. Of course, to do this we’ll have to make sure that we provide another person for them to train.
       I feel that the more our teens are able to experience a wider variety of things, the better off they’re going to be when it comes time for them to shepherd and care for others. I think our new [EDITED: "CVC"] vocational training program will thrill them and cause them to want to try all the exciting things available for them to learn. ("Jewels About Teens!", ML #2864:41,44,45,48, GN559).

Increasing Learning Opportunities
       Some of you young people have at times felt frustrated if you want to learn a job other than the one you presently are doing. Or, you feel you would have more opportunities if you lived in some other Home. As a result, some of you have at times felt left out because you could not be in certain Homes or were not included in certain ministries. Problems begin if some members of a Home feel excluded, unappreciated or neglected, or if you young people do not have opportunities to succeed or develop in the areas you have burdens for, or if your initiatives and involvement in decision-making are not encouraged or appreciated.
       In our former larger Homes, individual interests were often hard to accommodate, and you young people may have found yourselves spending a significant amount of time doing minimum-skill jobs. You helped keep the Home running, but may not have received much in the way of challenges and training opportunities. Smaller Homes in themselves should help solve some of these problems.
       Homes that need to be large should keep the above point in mind and do all they can to give their young people variety and challenge in their training. As much as possible, and when and where possible, every Home should try to offer our young people the training they need and desire.
       Adults, this will require some real work and some good in-depth training and not just putting them [EDITED: "the teens"] into a slot and saying, "There, do the job," as has been the case so often. Dad gave a whole message not too long ago about the need for our teens in childcare. (See ML #2845, "’Teaching the Children’ Dream," GN 545.) But where are our teens trained in-depth with actual courses and classes in all the how-to’s of childcare?--Where they feel like they are getting actual vocational training and not just being stuck baby-sitting a bunch of rowdy kids? And where are they given classes on budgeting, scheduling, finances, provisioning, driving, answering the media, guitar playing and singing, handyman, secretarial work, running base, organizing the kitchen and cooking, etc.? ("Getting Back On Track for Jesus!--Part Two," ML #2891:125, GN 576).

Making Time for Training
       Too often, training others is not seen as an immediate priority if it is totally voluntary, or left to good intentions, personal convenience, or "if there is time." Logistically speaking, special training takes away from a busy someone’s work time, hence involves a certain amount of sacrifice by the skilled person to stop and train others. Plus training can require special scheduling, instructional facilities and resources.
       It can be argued that it is most practical and time-efficient to learn what is needed, when it is needed, in real-life situations. The drawback to this approach to job training is that it leaves gaps in learning because it only covers what is immediately needed. Also, since personalities and situations vary so much, and some people who do their jobs well may not be good at teaching others, the quality of learning can vary greatly from situation to situation. Another problem with only learning by real-life experience is that not all problems come up in a nice orderly way, or occur at convenient learning times for students and teachers. Practically speaking, many job-related problems are good to know how to handle or prevent even if they don’t happen during the training time. To train someone how to be well prepared in any job takes experience, good curriculum planning, and an organized presentation.
       With the CVC program we hope to make special skills training more a matter of choice, and much less the result of chance or circumstances. Of course, you young people will also have to do your part to make training happen.
       We can’t put the entire responsibility for providing ministry training on the adults, teens. Sometimes they just don’t have time. So in some cases, if you want ministry training you’ll have to take the initiative yourselves and seek it out by studying the Word, doing research in the pubs, observing and asking questions of the talented adults you work with, etc. In some cases, ministry training will have to be a do-it-yourself program, and how much of it you get will depend on the initiative you teens take. Of course, even if the teens have lots of initiative and drive to educate themselves, you adults will have to allow them the time to do so ("Getting Back On Track for Jesus!--Part Two," ML #2891:126, GN 576).

Look at Needs and Not Grade Levels
       In some countries such as the US, getting a grade 12 education today and graduating with a high school diploma is no longer a guarantee that the person is even able to read and write or do basic math! Standards also vary tremendously from school to school and from country to country. So grade level as an indication of what a student knows or is able to do is no longer very reliable. Taking all this into account, the Love Charter seeks to assure our young people of a least a junior high (grade eight) basic education. And the CVC program provides them with a means to get a high school diploma if they so desire, while they continue their Christian and vocational ministry training.
       Is a high school diploma necessary in the Family? No, but in all honesty it would be fair to say that the skills needed to run a Home, read Family pubs, understand and apply the Love Charter, carry on Family business, witness and communicate effectively in speech and writing, work with computers, do the shopping, do Home finances, etc., if equated to current grade level skills, would generally require a high school level of education, or beyond in some cases.
       Of course, thinking in terms of grade levels is not very practical. We prefer to concern ourselves more with what each individual needs to learn in order to effectively carry on their ministries. If they need math skills that are currently being taught in a grade ten classroom, and foreign language skills that are equivalent to a third or fourth year college course, so be it. We should not so much equate the skill needed with a grade, because most often when we need to learn a new skill, we just have someone teach us, or get a book and learn it. We do not often go to an outside institution to learn it, though that option is possible within the terms of the Love Charter.
       In the System, even learning how to witness would require some level of college education, yet we believe it is a skill that even our young children should, and do, learn. Does that mean our children are in college? Well, yes, in a way--in certain Bible subjects or social skills that most people only begin to study after high school, if ever. So, would we encourage our children to attend college to learn these things? Probably not, since we feel most colleges, including Christian seminaries, do not do a very good job of preparing a person to be a good witnesser.
       Just because we consider a formal grade eight education in the Love Charter as a suitable minimum scholastic requirement for our young people, that does not mean that we expect all learning to stop there. Family young people are often surprised at what high grade scores they make on standardized educational tests. Their formal schooling was often not that high but their learning has certainly gone far beyond grade eight! We expect to keep on learning right into eternity! Education does not stop when "school" is over. On the contrary, in many cases it can then finally begin in earnest. Textbooks and schooling by grade levels are a tiny and almost insignificant part of the total education we receive in life, though they have their place.
       You might ask, "Well, how much special training or ‘higher’ education can or should a young person in the Family pursue?" The answer to that, under the provisions of the Love Charter, depends upon the needs and wishes of the individual involved, in prayer and counsel with his or her parents and the Home. The Love Charter assures that all Family young people have opportunity to receive a basic junior high school education (grade eight). Beyond that, through the CVC program, our young people, and older ones too, can specialize in a number of practical vocational and Christian service ministries, as well as pursue whatever further scholastic studies that they feel they need, including getting a high school diploma if they so desire. Some of our CVC Christian and vocational certificate studies go well beyond secondary (high school) education.

What About Higher Education Within the Family?
       As our Family youth mature, providing Christian ministry training, high school and "higher education" such as technical school and vocational training are increasingly topics for prayer and discussion. What may be good and very needed by one individual might be insufficient for some or unnecessary for others. There are some skills that all members of the Family need and benefit from learning, such as how to read and how to witness, but in other areas, each of us needs different types and amounts of training. Someone working with business, finances, stats, budgets, balancing books, purchasing, planning, and who is generally in charge of keeping a Home financially healthy will benefit from bookkeeping, or perhaps special math, knowledge of spreadsheet computer programs, and several other skills that a person in a different ministry may not need. The performer and inspirationalist will need a whole different emphasis in their training.
       To illustrate the fact that educational needs vary a great deal in the Family and in many cases require quite advanced skills, let’s consider what reading level most people need in the Family. For example, what grade level of reading do you think is needed to read and understand the paragraph you read just before this one? According to a computer analysis, to be able to read and understand the above paragraph, a person would have to have a reading ability somewhere between grade 11 and grade 14 (which is first and or second year college). Were you able to read and understand the paragraph? Now whether you finished high school or went to college or not, probably you are able to read at this level. So how is it that most Family people perform way beyond their formal schooling?
       Well, the fact is that we do have a great deal of "higher education" in the Family, much of which is the result of the education passed on to us from Dad and Mama in the Letters. In the Family, we expect people to keep improving their skills as a regular part of their ministries and doing their job for Jesus. We do so as a natural part of life without concern about having to go back to school or college to reach whatever supposed "level of training" this or that skill might require. A lot of jobs in the Family require special training and skills easily equivalent to high school or college. Yet, because what we learn and do is so much a part of our life and work and not formally categorized into courses or grades, few realize or appreciate the great amount of higher education they receive in the Family.

What about Outside Education?
       In the Love Charter provisions have been made so Family members can, in counsel with their Home, attend non-Family schools, or take special courses if they need or desire. (See The Love Charter, "Home Life Rules," pg.132.) Students may enroll in short-term classes or night courses in studies such as a local or foreign language, first aid, practical electronics, computer, disaster preparedness, driver education, special teaching methods, typing, translating, sign language, car maintenance, handyman skills, household repairs, sewing, etc. The individual, the parents and the Home should prayerfully consider the need, the cost, how disruptive it might be to the function or main ministry of the Home, and any physical or spiritual drawbacks involved. It would also be wise to look into in-Home options and alternatives available, such as a computer tutorial course, correspondence courses, tutors, video classes, etc.
       Hopefully, if needed, their Home will be able to accommodate certain special studies, exams, correspondence courses, night school courses, or, finances permitting, even hire special tutors. The main point is that our new Love Charter provides much more room for personal faith, initiative, and choice in matters of education, and allows a greater flexibility at the Home level to prayerfully consider non-Family educational options.

Keeping Your Balance
       A closing word of caution as we step forward to open new doors to learning, and exercise greater personal choice: Many things may now be "lawful" but they still may not be expedient or appropriate, or in everyone’s best interest. (1Cor.6:12) To be a disciple of Jesus, we still must be willing to put God’s priorities ahead of our own wants and wishes. If there is something we value above obedience to God, it could become a spiritual snare or stumbling block to us, resulting in leanness to our souls, or causing us to turn out of the way, sorrowing like the rich young ruler.
       This doesn’t just mean that you must be wary of too many System influences and involvements, but we should all strive in every area to hit the mark and be in God’s will. You may have heard the expression, "Don’t make a god out of your work for God." This means that no matter how important you think your education or job for the Lord is, you must never neglect the Lord or what He may prefer you to be doing at that moment. "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psa.37:4,5). "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mat.6:33).
       Keeping our life in proper balance between our spiritual and physical pursuits and interests can be a real challenge. However, like riding a bike, it does get easier with practice, as we gain knowledge of the Word and heed God’s checks in all we do. There are many good, useful and even fun things to learn and do in the Family, but one thing is needful--that we sit at Jesus’ feet and learn of Him.
       While it may be good to learn how to run a printing press or sew costumes or make puppets or do artwork or take care of a pet, or operate a computer, we must be always ready and willing to put all these "good" things in second place to God and His priorities. It can be tempting to get very involved in learning all the things that interest us. We can get so into our "job" or "ministry" that we begin to neglect our spiritual duties and God’s urgent priorities. As Dad warned, "Don’t get so involved in mechanics and maintenance that you settle down and stop getting the job done!" (ML #23:8). Or, "we will become like the man in the army who got so busy fixing the other guys’ watches, he forgot he was suppose to be fighting a war!" (ML #129:21).
       One of our young people commented to Mama on this difficulty of keeping ministry training and personal pursuits in balance:
       (Family member to Mama:) I believe that at least part of the problem is that with the concept of "ministry training" for our teens, maybe we forgot that witnessing is a ministry too, which our teens can specialize in and get training in as much as any other ministry. In the Teen Homes I was in or heard of, there was little emphasis on witnessing when compared to other ministries, and there were no special "courses" in it like there were for kitchen, handyman or childcare.
       Maybe this misconception is something that could be addressed in a pub, and our adults could be encouraged to promote witnessing as a real ministry in their Home, and that the teens be actually trained in it just like any other ministry. (Mama: Right!--See the Christian Vocational College course on Witnessing [EDITED: "Christian Studies"].{\b --Or you don’t have to wait for that, just look in the CAT Book under "Witnessing."-- Make witnessing a priority.)} That would elevate the status of "witnesser" to the same level as that of "kitchen deacon," whereas in many Homes that I have seen, it is not. In fact, the Bible says that "first are apostles," so the "witnessers" should be the top level, and that is what Dad has brought out in the Letters. (Mama: Right!) But in some large Homes it seems to have gotten to be the other way around, so the teens aspire to be kitchen deacons, child-care overseers or handymen rather than follow-up experts or top-notch witnessers ("Personal Letters!--Number 3!" Letters to Mama and Her Replies; ML #2951:27,28, GN 611).
       Mama also commented on this important balance in her "Back On Track" Letter, making it very clear where our priorities should be:
       There is a balance in all of this and we just have to find it. I think we do need to make use of the teens’ individual talents and train them to some extent in the areas and ministries of their choice. But still, our main job is winning the world and saving our children, and these are the things the Lord is going to bless the most and reward us for the most.--Not in seeing how we can develop our talents in the area of choreography or computers or darkroom or dancing or music or video, etc. These specialized ministries are all well and good, teens, and we need some of this, but the things that are going to count the most are God’s children, your little brothers and sisters, serving others, witnessing to others, winning others, seeing the lost and dying world and wanting to get out there and rescue it ("Getting Back on Track for Jesus!--Part Two," ML #2891:124, GN 576).

       We love you! Keep going and growing for God!

[EDITED: "End of file"]

Copyright 1996 The Family