Dear Friends of Mayer Lutheran High School,
Thanksgiving greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The mission of Mayer Lutheran High School is to prepare the next generation of Christian leaders. You know that. Everyone involved with our school knows that. In fact, the major difference between Mayer Lutheran and any other
school is that our mission is so well known by our school community. Ask Bob Johnson, our Director of Grounds and Maintenance, what he does here, he will respond, “I prepare Christian leaders.” Ask Paulette Jopp, our faithful school secretary the same question, and she will give the same response. Our entire staff responds the same way. What a blessing to have such a well known mission!
But, what exactly is a Christian leader and how do we prepare one? Books have been written on the subject and I choose not to write another one. Yet, I am drawn to one particular Old Testament book that shares some interesting descriptors of leadership. Read 2 Chronicles 12:23-38 and you will see a list of tribes who sent warriors to help David as he sought to have Saul turn his kingdom over to him. One group, in particular, caught my eye—the men of Issachar—who understood the times and knew what Israel should do (v.32).
The men of Issachar sound a lot like Mayer Lutheran students and alumni. Our job in preparing Christian leaders is to train our students to not just know stuff. Rather, we want them to be critical thinkers. We desire that when they graduate they truly understand the times. And what times they are! Radical changes in government, economics, society, and the church are making it more and more difficult to understand the times. Who can make sense of recent Supreme Court rulings, long-understood social norms seemingly melting away in front of our eyes, and the decline in engagement in the church or anything to do with the Bible? By God’s grace, Mayer Lutheran teachers engage our students in understanding the times—a never ending task. They work long hours pursuing the challenge of understanding the times and creatively sharing their findings with their scholars. It is on-going and tiring, but we choose to persevere for the sake of our kids and their Lord.
Of course, understanding the times is one thing. Knowing what God’s people should do is a different kettle of fish. Schools often are accused of spending way too much time on understanding the times and too little time on putting that knowledge into practice. As a Christian school, Mayer Lutheran is committed to helping our kids know what to do as they lead in a world that cares less about Jesus and seems to be lost without even knowing it. We not only teach what the Bible says, but also how it relates to life and how to put it into practice. Knowing what to do outside of the context of our relationship with Jesus Christ is impossible. Learning God’s law in light of His sweet Gospel, on the other hand, frees us to serve Him and each other without compulsion. The world will never understand why we serve and why we do what we do for the sake of the Gospel. But, God does, and, by His grace, so do we and our kids.
We are grateful for a ministry like Mayer Lutheran High School and for the men of Issachar. For, to “understand the times and know what [God’s people] should do,” is a mission we should pursue and a blessing we shall never forget.
Thankfully Serving in Christ,
Joel P. Landskroener