The following letter first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of ‘Vine & Branch Magazine‘
Dear ROBS families,
Have you lived in a home while it was being renovated? The process is messy and tedious, full of big ideas and long on results. That’s what this year at ROBS has felt like. With construction on the Mosing Middle School building underway and another strategic planning cycle in motion, we are entrenched in mission-driven operations with our eyes fixed on the future.
No matter how beautiful the design, a lofty renovation depends on a structurally sound foundation. Likewise, we continually assess the strength and durability of our core mission by asking the same questions over and over again. Does ROBS’ programming promote intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral, and social wellness? Does ROBS embody a spirit of inclusivity for all? How do we measure our performance as a faith-based school? That last question always gets me.
The truth is I don’t know how to measure “Christian enough.” I bet each of us would have a different idea of how to measure it. If we move forward in academics, arts, and athletics, will it be at the expense of our faith mission? Conversely, will academics suffer from stronger faith curriculum? The beauty of ROBS is not only that we offer both, but that they are inextricably intertwined. It’s symbiosis at work, strengthening the whole education.
Let me give an example using a recent experience in Julie Blackwell’s eighth grade English classroom. It was an introductory lesson in preparation of reading “A Christmas Carol.” Julie posted a statement based on a literary theme from the story and the students had to agree or disagree. They posted their opinions on Kahoot, then they lined up on either the side of the room (agree to the left and disagree to the right). Next, they had to defend their opinion. The other side got to rebut the opinion. Good ole’ fashion debate!
Their arguments employed strong fluid reasoning skills, but that’s not what impressed me the most. Each and every student employed his or her understanding of faith, Christ, and Christian principles into the debate. Each time a statement was posted, the debate included something about God or about their understanding of how Christ wants us to live. Not prompted by Julie, this was all
One of the statements read, “Family is the most important thing in life.” It was almost 50/50 with agrees and disagrees. The disagrees were ready to say, “No, God is the most important thing in life.” I could hear them discussing it. They thought they had this one in the bag.
The agrees went first. They said, “God is our father. He is a part of our family. So,
If you look for Christ at ROBS, you will see Him – everywhere. We don’t just devote time to Him in Chapel, advisory, or bible classes, He is infused in all we say and do. If you are ever in doubt of it, visit a classroom, sit on the bench with the athletes at a game, read the student work on the walls, sit on the floor with students in Preschool chapel. You’ll hear two-, three-, and four-year-olds who can recite Bible stories better than you and I can.
Look for Him, and you will see Him.
I am not sure we will ever be able to say that we are “Christian enough.” But I think that is a good thing. If we thought that we were good enough, we might quit trying to be better!
ROBS’ commitment to better is precisely what fuels its growth, even when it’s messy. If this issue of Vine & Branch is any indication, the magic happens in the messy middle, in the day-to-day diligence of renovating.
I’m pleased to share the many ways the ROBS’ students, faculty, volunteers, parents, alumni, board members, and others commit themselves to better. From strategic planning, faculty continuing education, and students serving the community, these pages highlight just a few examples of how ROBS is getting better every single day.
Head of School