At Little Sheep Learning Center (LSLC) and Good Shepherd Lutheran School (GSLS), faith development is a central part of the curriculum. We seek to nurture the whole child: body, mind, and spirit. Kids participate in daily prayer and weekly chapel in order to develop their faith lives; they practice seeking and following Jesus, and this is a gift for the whole world.
LSLC and GSLS partner with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (GSLC). Since GSLC is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are also part of the great tradition of following Christ through the scriptures and the church, guided by the Holy Spirit. This tradition extends all the way back to Jesus’ first disciples! Martin Luther (1483-1546 A.D.) was one important follower of Jesus, and his teachings continue to guide our faith development today.
One of the ways Luther talked about faith development in the community is to place priority on Christ, grace, faith, and scripture, all to the glory of God. Faith development at LSLC and GSLS follows these overarching focus points too. If you want to read more about these five focuses, please continue reading below, or click here.
1. To place priority on Christ means to refer everything to the person of Jesus. The famous question, “What would Jesus do?” is an example of prioritizing Christ. We are called to ask this question at all times and in all places!
2. Lutheran Christians claim that we are saved “by grace alone” (Eph 2:8). This means that there is nothing we can do to earn, achieve, or acquire salvation. Instead, “we are saved by grace through faith….” It’s important to note that this salvation-by-grace does not mean that our actions don’t matter. We are still called to seek and follow Jesus, loving God and neighbor with our whole self. Luther wanted people not to be anxious about their own salvation or that of people they love. For him and for us, God promises salvation, and this promise is absolutely trustworthy.
3. Faith is the basic attitude of Christians. For Luther, having faith means having confidence and trust in God’s promises, among them salvation, freedom, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, etc…. Having faith is also about being willing to follow Jesus, even if that journey is scary, dangerous, or difficult.
4. Luther insisted on referring to scripture when seeking Christ. For example, since there are no monasteries in scripture, Luther decided there should not be monasteries in his time (even though he, himself, was a monk!). At LSLC and GSLS, we engage Bible stories regularly, both through weekly chapel and through daily story. Familiarity with the Bible helps us discern God’s will, of course aided by the Holy Spirit and our community of faith.
5. Lastly, we seek to glorify God in all we think, say, and do. We do not live for ourselves, but for God’s purposes. We join the whole creation in “telling the glory of God” (Ps 19)
(photos by Terry Hagerty)