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Chapter 10: Getting Paid to Save Souls (Pt. 2)

A Full Reward: Reformation Through Family-Run Christian Schools

Rev. Aaron Slack

Pastor, Author, Marketing Manager, Preschool Director

Chapter 10

Getting Paid to Save Souls (Part 2)

The Product

There is a great misconception about business in our culture of envy, the idea that businesses make a profit at the expense of the consumer. This is not true in the free market. Our markets are drifting further and further away from being truly “free” markets, but the principle remains. In my case, the product is childcare services. The market has spoken: despite government interference in the childcare industry (through Head Start and like programs), childcare is a product worth paying for!

The Bible talks about “just weights and measures.” The basic idea is that a merchant must sell what he has agreed to sell for the amount he has agreed to sell it for. This would preclude false advertising, among other things. Pretending to offer a quality early childhood education but in reality providing subpar babysitting is a violation of the laws of just weights and measures. The average childcare center does not promise much of real value. The common perception of daycare as glorified babysitting is unfortunately true. Sadly, it is even worse than that. The humanistic garbage that infests childcare is actually a risk to the students who attend.

A Grace Community School education—the education you will provide if you are following our system—is completely different. As I have detailed elsewhere in the book, a Grace Community School education is a fantastic thing. Giving young children the gift of reading and above all a firm foundation in God’s law—these things alone would be worth far more than what we charge. However, we go beyond this. We see it as our duty to the customer to provide as much as we can. This is why our programs include free food and optional dance, karate, and piano lessons. Grace Community School has a complimentary photo program for parents; each week parents receive a free photo of their child from school with the school logo printed on it. Every year we put on graduation programs and Christmas plays as well. Grace Community Schools delivers far more than is fair for our price point.

When everybody wins, where is the downside? Who are we cheating? We provide a fantastic product, and offer much more than the competition for a lower price. This is Christian capitalism at its best. More is required, however. No matter how wonderful your programs are, it is all for nothing unless you get people into your school. Souls are waiting to be saved, and money is ready to be made for God’s kingdom. Evangelism and capitalism both require sales.

You Have to Sell Your Product!

A local cinema used to have a short commercial they showed before movies. It said, “Without advertising, a terrible thing happens: nothing.” This point cannot be overstated. Nothing happens until a sale is made. A considerable fraction of Grace Community School’s annual budget is devoted to advertising in various media. This includes phone books, Internet advertising, our school website, and direct mail. No school or daycare in Southwest Florida advertises more than we do, and this is just speaking of our traditional methods of advertising.

Corresponding with his hatred for capitalism and free market business, the average churchman has an aversion to advertising. “It’s so dirty!” is his cry. Any Christian organization that advertises more than the bare minimum (whatever that means) is viewed with suspicion, as is Grace Community School.

I have mentioned our free photo program for parents. This has been a tremendous hit with parents—moms and dads absolutely love taking home photos of their children learning and having fun at school. It is one of our more important advertising efforts. I have only ever had one parent react negatively—a fundamentalist mother (very active in her church) who placed her child in a public school after he graduated from Grace Community School. My wife and I had given her son multiple years of quality education, and taught him to read and to understand God’s commandments. She had every reason to be happy with our school. I handed her a photo of her son smiling and having a great time at one of our water slide events here at school. When she saw the school logo on the photo she said with a sneer, “You really like to promote yourselves, don’t you?” To her, the only thing dirtier than a Christian business was a Christian business that promoted itself.

Advertising is evangelism. Every student you pull into your school is another potential saved soul to be added to your eternal reward. Advertising is not dirty, advertising is how you get those kids in there. Don’t let your non-biblical “principles” stand in the way of more children being reached. Everything we do at Grace Community School, from our school website and newspaper to our annual programs and the learning certificates the children take home, is advertising, and advertising is evangelism! Get it out of your head that advertising is un-Christian! We are saving souls.

Bumper stickers, billboards, and magazine ads promoting “awareness” for various causes are commonplace. It seems you can’t go anywhere without being made aware of breast cancer, autism, bipolar disorder, and dozens of other problems and causes. Grace Community School also promotes awareness. We have to make parents aware of all the great things that are happening with their children. We have to sell our program! Advertising never stops.

We are an evangelistic outfit. It is vital that parents bring their children to us so that we can witness to them. While many parents care about our religious instruction, many do not. We have to convince those parents (the majority) who do not have religion first and foremost that Grace Community School is the best place to send their children. For this reason, we strive to have the best public relations possible. Advertising and public relations are religious tasks for us.

Religion is not a universal plus for parents, but reading is. Even reading, however, does not sell itself! Parents have a tendency to take their child’s reading for granted. Why not? They are told by parenting magazines and the news media that children will learn to read naturally under the right environmental conditions. Many times I have praised a child’s reading ability to have a parent respond with things like, “Well, we do go to the library a lot,” or “We read a bedtime story to her every night.” That being said, I have never had a parent get upset that her child was reading too early. We go to great lengths to help parents understand that Grace Community School’s educational program is different from the rest.

When prospective parents visit our schools, we are sure to tell them what makes us different. I remember giving one father a tour when he first visited my school. He became somewhat upset when I began to talk about our reading program and academics. He said he believed that children should be able to play and have fun during their preschool year, that he didn’t want his daughter doing a lot of memorizing and rigorous school work at age four. I shifted the focus of my talk and assured him that the kids did plenty of playing. He seemed happy with what he saw, and signed up his daughter. By the time she graduated our pre-k program she was reading fluently and happy as can be. I have never seen a prouder father!

Grace Community School utilizes many different tools to tell parents about their child’s reading achievements. We send home colorful reading certificates, suitable for framing, as the children go through the alphabet groups. Once the kids are reading books, they take those home, too. We also photograph each child with his or her reading book, then print the photo and put it in a special keepsake frame with the words “I Learned to Read at Grace Community School” embossed on it. We list the names and achievements of our students in the school newspaper too.

Many parents do not realize that their child can read, even with certificates and books coming home, until their child reads in the “real world.” Our challenge is to make sure that the parents know how smart their children are! It is vital—not just for our survival as a business, but for the sake of the children—that the parents realize that the Grace Community education is superior to that obtained at a regular daycare. Those operating schools like Grace Community School need to understand and believe that what they are doing makes a difference, that the children are better off going here than anywhere else. Growing the school must be a religious task.

Our biannual programs have become major outreaches. By my counts there are four or five adults in attendance for every child in the program. We videotape each performance and make it available to parents. The children sing songs, recite their lessons, perform reading demonstrations, and act out skits. Our programs are not just entertainment, although they are highly entertaining. They provide us with an opportunity to show hundreds and hundreds of people the results of a quality Christian education. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, more extended relatives, and family friends, all get to see this. For many it is the only time they have been directly exposed to the effects of true Christianity in the lives of children. We show what kids can accomplish with practice, hard work, and discipline. These are things no other childcare center is instilling in its students. Countless parents over the years have told us how much the programs mean to them.

By making program performances available on DVD, our reach extends even more. A lot of our parents purchase extra DVDs to send to grandparents who were unable to attend, or to share with friends. Every piece of promotional material we put out has the potential to bring children to our schools. Dr. McIntyre’s book is entitled How to Become a Millionaire in Christian Education. The original title was How to Win a Million Souls. For us, it is not just a matter of bringing in more customers: every child who comes through our doors is an individual God may intend to bring to Him. In fact, He may intend to use us to do it. We do not save. God saves. But he uses people like us to do it. Our reward depends on how well we help Him. For Grace Community School, a failure to advertise is a failure to earn a full reward.

Our school newspaper, The Whale’s Tale, is another vehicle for advertisement, evangelism, and awareness. Besides recognizing student achievements, it is filled with information about our various programs and articles designed to educate parents. Our annual yearbook fulfills a similar function. As an evangelistic tool, it is also provided free of charge to our students’ families. Without advertising, nothing happens!

Remember: It’s a Business!

Socialism doesn’t like a system of winners and losers. God does. A good metric for how successful a ministry such as a Christian school has become is, “Does it make money?” This is not crass unbiblical materialism; it is reality. A ministry that does not support itself is at the mercy of others. When Christian schools and other ministries are subsidized and limp along on donations, it is an attempt to obscure the faults of the ministry and escape from this real world system of winners and losers. A Christian school must be run as a business, because a Christian school must not be under its own control. I am returning to this point because Marxism is so rampant in the church and so ingrained in our worldview that we frequently do not even realize it is coloring our opinions. Even solid businessmen who seem to have conquered Marxist influences often suffer from a powerful side effect: the feeling of guilt that comes with success.

The Christian businessman needs to get rid of this false guilt, for the sake of Christ’s kingdom and his family. Remember your product. If you are supplying a quality product to the marketplace, honestly marketed, you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. Beggars don’t generally change the world! It is God’s usual plan (there are, of course, exceptions) for Christians to be wealthy controllers of private property, for the glory of God.

A Godly Inheritance

Everything belongs to God. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psa. 24:1). I have stressed the monetary rewards made available by running a Christian school. You must remember that everything you get from running your business comes from God. “Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (1 Chron. 29:12). All is to be used for His glory. He entrusts it to us. We are His stewards.

When you are keeping God’s commandments, working hard, exercising your calling, and accumulating property lawfully, you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. The family that is financially independent is in a better position to teach its members God’s law and work its trade. In other words, the financially independent family is more free. Property and wealth is freedom—freedom under God, never freedom from God. We must always keep in mind that our property is owned by God. God says there is something very important that a Christian family must do with its wealth: leave an inheritance. Scripture is full of examples of the saints doing exactly this.

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Prov. 13:22). This is a command. If God considers you to be “good,” you will leave an inheritance for your children’s children. There are two parts to a biblical inheritance. The first part is moral character and education. The second part is capital to engage in godly dominion (i.e., a trade). The Grace Community School system allows you to leave both parts of an inheritance.

A prosperous business is a fantastic inheritance, particularly one that does as much good as a truly Christian school. Not only does it provide monetary support for the family, it provides an unparalleled training ground for life. The beautiful thing about a Christian school in particular is that the family can use the school to instruct its children in the faith as well as to to train them in a trade. Having a real-world business for the family’s children to operate teaches deferred gratification, working with money, dealing with people, and many other skills children are unlikely to get anywhere else. These things are as much a part of a godly inheritance as the monetary component. Since the school building belongs to the family, it is also part of the inheritance.

An important aside to all this, since Lord willing God will use this book to produce some wealthy Christians, is a question: to whom are we to leave an inheritance?

Just as the Bible is full of examples of godly men leaving inheritances, it is also full of God cutting off the unworthy from their estates. Inheritance is by the covenant, not by blood. To do this requires something frowned upon in our society: discrimination. Godly discrimination is at the heart of biblical law. God discriminates against the unredeemed in favor of His people. Not all go to heaven. He discriminates between His people, as well. Not all receive equal rewards. Paul ran his race because he wanted a full reward; he wanted to be a winner and receiver a greater reward than those who did not run the race. God endorses the concept of winners and losers, folks. While we are to show love for all, that does not mean that we are to equally disperse our property (remember: property is the means of taking dominion) to all, not even to all of our children. We must keep in mind that the purpose of inheritance is to advance God’s Kingdom, not our own family legacy. Distribution of inheritance equally by blood is a sin; God’s people are not to finance those who do not advance the covenant. Giving the ungodly wealth only helps them become more delinquent.

To put this more plainly, parents will need to determine criteria based on God’s law for how they will divide up the family inheritance. A son or daughter who is clearly more faithful to God and more productive in his calling than his siblings should receive a greater portion of the inheritance. Parents have a responsibility before God to leave their capital to those who will use it for the most good.

Notice also that the Bible says to leave an inheritance to our children, not to the church or charitable organizations. The importance God places on the family can be seen in that inheritance is to be given to the family, not the church; to the extent that the church usurps the family’s inheritance, it is the enemy of the family. The family is the primary custodian of property in God’s order, not the church or state.


The Grace Community School system has proven that you don’t have to be a destitute beggar to be a missionary. It is time for ministries and families to break away from the Platonic ideas that have infested Christendom and shun asceticism and Marxism. There is no honor or reward in subjecting your family to permanent financial hardships for the sake of a ministry. God wants His people to earn a full reward, both now and in heaven. Poverty is not a virtue. A person who does not earn temporal rewards should not be sure of any eternal rewards either!

Platonism claims it is possible to divide the material from the spiritual, that a man may be poor monetarily but rich spiritually. God says it is far better to be rich in both ways. The Grace Community School system of self-supported soul winning may well be the greatest opportunity your family will have to make a difference and earn the fullest reward possible. You will have the testimony of providing for your own and be in a position to help others. I want you to be free to do what God has called you to do with all your heart, soul, mind, and effort. This current world, heaven, and the new earth: they are all real places, and all realms of work and reward. Work with me, and Lord willing a new generation of Christian families, businesses, and ministries—the new “tent-makers”—will rise up and drive a stake through the heart of the public school.