This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of his church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. Today if you are able to hold a Bible–in a translation in your own language–in your own two hands, you can be thankful for this influential movement. The Protestant Reformation can even impact your homeschool with godly principles to model after and fodder for discussion.
This anniversary year is a great time to read and talk about this time period with our kids. If you're looking for a good resource to fuel discussion, you might want to check out The Monk Who Shook the World by Cyril Davey from Sonlight History/Bible/Literature G.
The Legacy of the Reformation
Consider just a few transformations that sprang from the Reformation:
- a shift away from the idea of earning salvation through good deeds or money, but accepting grace,
- a focus on missions and evangelism,
- a foundation for ideas that formed the basis of democracy,
- an emphasis on the value of the individual,
- a renewed interest in education,
- even a return to the tradition of congregational hymns!
The ramifications of this time are substantial and I am thankful for the life-giving, liberating force of God's Word.
As I contemplate the changes in society set in motion at the time of the Reformation, I can't help but consider what it means for someone to go against the flow of culture and unchecked authority, to search the Scriptures, and not be afraid to ask hard questions. I think of how we want to equip Sonlighters.
"I appreciate that Sonlight cares as much about the spiritual lives of our students as they do about their academic standards." Kellyanne E. from Bryson City, NC
How to Raise World-Changers
We are called to raise world-changers: students who are equipped to do whatever Christ calls them to do. Students who can delve into the Word of God, listen with humility, speak with confidence, think carefully, and love boldly. We want to raise servant leaders who follow God unafraid. Here are practical ways Sonlight seeks to help parents raise world-changers.
- Within Sonlight, we encourage students to know and love God's Word and to discuss it with their parents. One of the benefits of the Reformation (and the printing press in particular) was an emphasis on education and the ability of each person to access the printed word; to read and study and learn about God and the world, not just based on what someone else has said, but by digging into these issues for themselves. This is a hallmark of Sonlight!
- We want our students to learn how to learn, to take initiative in searching out ideas and testing them. In the course of K-12, a Sonlight student would actually read through the entire Bible several times and commit much Scripture to memory. This work is eternally satisfying and well-worth our time.
- We encourage students to see both sides of an argument and not be afraid to wrestle with hard questions. We need to remember that we delve into issues in the context of relationships. In Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey encourages people to “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Doing so opens doors to share with others, promotes harmony even among those that are different than we are, and gains us the prize of faith that springs not from ourselves, but from the Creator Himself.
- We encourage students to read widely and to think deeply. You have to stand on the shoulders of great thinkers if you want to be a leader. If our kids are taking in only the shallow stuff everyone else is reading, they will only be prepared to think what everyone else is thinking. We must prepare them to lead with insight and wisdom, with a sense of history and a vision for the future.
- We encourage students to know and care about the world. We don't homeschool in a bubble, but nurture our children as they grow and intentionally prepare them to be lights in a dark world. We help them learn about the whole world and develop empathy, compassion and mission-focused hearts.
- We encourage students to engage in solid, rigorous academic preparation that prepares them for excellence in all they do. We want students to love God with heart, soul and mind and bring Him honor in their work.
As you faithfully prepare your future leaders today, may you find wisdom in His Word, comfort in His grace, leadership in his Spirit, and courage in the company of a cloud of witnesses that have gone before us!