The governing board of St. Mark’s Lutheran School is the Board of Child Discipleship (BCD). What at first sounds like an unusual name for a school board makes sense when you understand the mission of the school and its association with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
The mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran School flows from the mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church which, in turn, flows from Jesus’ Great Commission to his disciples and his Christian Church on earth. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19,20).
Accordingly, the mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and her members is to GLORIFY God, GROW in his Word, and GO with the Gospel.
The staff and members of St. Mark’s serve Jesus’ mission through several ministerial boards which oversee worship services, Bible classes, care for our fellow members, maintenance of our facilities, various adult fellowship groups, and programs for our children. One of these is the Board of Child Discipleship.
The Board of Child Discipleship (BCD) oversees programs for children from preschool age through eighth grade including Sunday School, summer Vacation Bible School, youth sports, and St. Mark’s Lutheran School.
St. Mark’s and the BCD continue the tradition of teaching the timeless and enduring truths of God’s Word to children as confirmed by Martin Luther almost 500 years ago. Luther taught the importance of Christian education both in the home and through the church. He wrote catechisms (instruction books using the question and answer method of teaching) for fathers to use to teach their children in the home. He also oversaw the development of a formal system of education as a function of the church and its mission to bring the Gospel to young people.
At St. Mark’s, the BCD ensures that Jesus’ mission is carried out in the school. The BCD develops policy, establishes goals, coordinates the process of calling teachers, oversees accreditation, ensures a Christ-centered climate, addresses difficult discipline issues, etc. In other words, it does what most school boards do, except that the foundation of everything it does is the good news that Jesus has forgiven our sins and won for us the gift of eternal life.
The members of the BCD are all volunteers from various walks of life who are members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. The chairman is nominated and voted into office by the Voters’ Assembly. The members of the board are approved by the Coordinating Council and are selected for their leadership, management, decision-making, and personal skills. They have an open door policy and like to hear from people.
So the name of the Board of Child Discipleship is well-suited for its purpose. It serves the needs of parents and the mission of Christ and his Church by providing programs and a Christ-centered curriculum through which our children become disciples of Christ and grow in the same four ways Jesus grew – intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).