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The Co-op Ministry
Volume 92, Program 23
9/30/2009
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Is your church looking for a way to support homeschooling families? Being part of a co-op ministry could be a great way to start! Homeschooling dad Jay St. John joins HSLDA President Mike Smith today on Home School Heartbeat to discuss the potentials of a church-co-op partnership.

Mike Smith:
Jay, we talked on the last program about how co-ops can be a great benefit to homeschooling families. You and Heidi have founded First Class Homeschool Ministries to help local churches get involved. Why do you believe it’s important for the local church to be a part of the co-op effort?

Jay St. John:
Mike, I can’t tell you how badly homeschoolers need and deserve the support of their local church. I served as a worship pastor for 17 years, and I’ve seen how the church can have a tremendous impact on the lives of homeschooling families that will reach far into the next generation. We’ve got to remember today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Heidi and I believe passionately that churches should be lighthouses for homeschool families. Homeschooling families have taken on an extraordinary responsibility. Many of them have done so out of obedience to God’s call in their lives.

As a pastor, I felt the weight of responsibility to reach out to many different groups of people, from mothers of preschoolers to divorce recovery groups. And yet churches today are largely ignoring homeschoolers. We want to encourage pastors to see homeschooling families as they are: ordinary families who face the same struggles as other members of their churches do, but with the added responsibility and blessing of homeschooling. Pastors need to come alongside these moms and dads in their efforts to raise their children in the ways of the Lord, and reach out to homeschoolers that do not know the Lord. This is the driving passion behind the work we do at First Class.

Mike:
Jay, that’s a great insight! Thanks for joining us today. Until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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