C O V E R S T O R Y
1990 Home School Leadership Conference
Home School leaders representing 21 state organizations attended a special Leadership Conference in California near Disneyland, July 16–18, 1990. The Conference, hosted by CHEA of California, provided a time of fellowship and mutual encouragement for all who attended.
A banquet opened the Conference on Monday evening, July 16. Following dinner the leaders were privileged to hear Bob Sweet, the newly appointed Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, share how clearly he witnessed God's hand moving in the events leading to his confirmation. He expressed gratefulness for the prayers of God's people as he faced that difficult challenge.
During the course of the Conference, a number of excellent speakers challenged the leaders.
- Gregg Harris, speaking on Ephesians 1:15, led the Tuesday morning devotional. He reminded those present that all too often we view our circumstances as a lack of “something” like time, money, or possessions. But, as this passage makes clear, what we really lack is the spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand what we do have! Christ did it all on the cross, and we have all things that pertain to life and godliness.
- Rob Gregory from Family News in Focus challenged the group to realize that we are involved in a battle of words; that ideas and philosophies are expressed in words. His address focused on the two areas of media with which home schoolers deal most: press releases and interviews. His advice was practical and to the point, and he provided many examples of both good strategies and poor ones.
- David Davidson was the noon speaker on Wednesday. He has been involved in politics on the state level for a number of years, and his message cautioned the leaders to realize that, as Christians, they tend to make a commitment to one party only. He warned that there is a vast difference between Conservative politics and Christian values, offering a vivid analogy of the American political scene as that of an ocean navigated by the leaky, creaky ship Conservatism. Watching the ship, however, one notices that there is a rope dangling over the bow which, upon further observation, is discovered to be a twenty-year long rope that is tied to the pirate ship Liberalism. It is important that this tie be broken by the grace of God and the courage of Christian leaders.
- Michael Farris closed the conference by calling the leaders to a serious consideration of what the future holds for the home schooling movement. Mr. Farris, citing the present scene in various “tough” states, stated that he believes more constraints will be placed on home schoolers and that the battle will not be won in our life time. In addition to the outside constraints, he believes that there will be internal controversy over such issues as Christian v. Secular groups, early v. late education, etc. In response to these obstacles, Mr. Farris challenged the leaders to be willing to work together with a “coalition” attitude, to covenant to support each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and to face the tough times with courage. He concluded his challenge with this definition of courage: “Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is doing what is right even when you have legitimate reason to be afraid.” Joshua 1:6–9 was his final scriptural charge.
During the Conference, Denny and Mary Joyce Johnson from Minnesota ministered to the leaders through music. The theme of their music and of Mary Joyce’s poetry is family life. Their love for their children and commitment to the family was warmly communicated.
Panel discussions punctuated the Conference with topics like “Hidden Dangers in Legislation,” “Coalitions and Networking,” and “Statewide Organizations.” Workshops also provided a valuable time of sharing information and experience. CHEA offered a terrific line-up and did a super job of hosting the Conference.