St. Joseph Christian School has chosen Elevate Jesus as the theme for the 2019-20 school year. Administrator of Curriculum and Instruction Connie Thornton was the first to suggest Elevate Jesus as a theme, but it was a Spring 2019 secondary chapel devotion given by Campus Pastor Andrew McDonald that provided the inspiration.
“I just happened to be there that day and when he said those words, it totally resonated with me,” says Mrs. Thornton.
After Mrs. Thornton brought the idea to Co-Superintendents Rose Dunlap and Danny Maggart, they began searching Scripture for a verse that they thought would elevate Jesus while also keeping “the focus where it needed to be.” Mrs. Dunlap said that many past themes have focused on what “we can do” in Jesus’ name, but this year administrators want to put “all of the focus on Jesus Christ Himself.”
Eventually, 1 Peter 3:15a was chosen as the theme verse, “But in your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy.”
“I’m very excited about our theme,” says Co-Superintendent Maggart. “When you look at our world today, it’s common to see Biblical truth, or Jesus, or God being pushed off to the side. As a Christian school, I think it’s absolutely vital that we keep Him at the forefront.” Mr. Maggart adds, “That can cost us some things, but can also help us to grow in so many ways.”
Echoing Mr. Maggart’s sentiments, the message Campus Pastor McDonald preached at the first chapel of the school year addressed the cost of elevating Jesus by referring to a couple of characters who lost everything because they chose to elevate God. Mr. McDonald has identified a total of 19 characters from Hebrews chapter 11 who elevated Jesus in various ways. These characters will be explored over the course of this year’s secondary chapel.
“All those characters are known for elevating God above themselves. So, we are going to spend our chapels looking at how they elevated God,” says Mr. McDonald.
St. Joseph Christian administrators are finding other ways to incorporate this year’s theme into the new school year. Mrs. Dunlap, Mr. Maggart, and Mrs. Thornton are excited about opportunities to encourage all staff and students to grow in spiritual leadership during the 2019-20 school year. Students will be encouraged to lead others by elevating Jesus in their own lives while also encouraging Jesus elevation in the lives of fellow students. To that end, Mr. Maggart is bringing back the 4:12 student leadership program for secondary students and Mrs. Dunlap has introduced opportunities for elementary students to benefit from the leadership of junior high and high school students. Mrs. Thornton, who is tasked with helping SJCS retain its accreditation, is excited to have a theme that goes hand-in-hand with the school’s continuous school improvement plan, which calls for the development of spiritual leadership. The administrative team is grateful for the Lord’s guidance in choosing a theme and they are praying for maximum impact in the hearts and minds of the SJCS students and staff.