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Chapter Eleven

How to Start A Christian Daycare

Rev. Ellsworth E. McIntyre

Founder of Grace Community Schools & Early Childhood Education Pioneer

Chapter Eleven

A Better Gospel

The most compelling reason to found a Christian school is not financial gain, or security for your family, or freedom from being arbitrarily fired, or financial security in your old age, or even an inheritance for your children’s children; the best and most Biblical of reasons for your Christian school is that you can instill a gospel that is not watered down. Matthew 6:33 states, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” This formula for success is quite different from “Seek ye first profits measured in dollars.” Matthew 6:33 is saying to seek first to extend the Kingdom of God and wealth is added as a by-product or an unintended consequence of first seeking to do our duty as designated by God. To the Christian school teacher, this means your first goal must be to capture as many young hearts for devotion and conversion to Godly living as possible. Happily, my system allows a stronger, purer, and more potent form of the gospel to be taught than would be possible in 99 percent of the churches or church schools in the world. I can best illustrate this gospel by asking you a Bible quiz question.

You are seating on a bench at Disney World. Toward you is strolling a buxom 16-year-old female. As she passes, you see a white patch framed in red, sewn to the seat of her skintight blue jeans. You notice the patch is shaped like a Valentine heart. Inside the patch is some blue lettering. The lettering is hard to read, bouncing up and down and side to side, but presently you decipher the message. It reads, “God is Love,” and below that, “I John 4:8.” Puzzled, you read from your pocket testament, “He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.”

Question: Please choose one of the following as most likely to have the greatest sin:

  1. The buxom teen
  2. Her Pastor
  3. Her Parents
  4. You! (Bible study on hinder parts, especially underage girls’ parts, is “risky.”)

Seriously, let’s consider the first three choices and try to laugh about the fourth. I think we can agree that if the teenager confuses God’s love with sex, she’s a sinner. The Bible distinguishes between “good sex” such as lawful enjoyment of the marriage bed and unlawful or “bad sex” such as fornication and adultery. God’s love, as defined by I John 5:2, is a quality that causes us to prefer the lawful and hate the unlawful. The teenager, like nearly all of her generation, probably lumps all sex together, and all love as romantic. The Bible, on the other hand, divides the clean from the unclean. The clean is known by its fruits or results. For example, we read in I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.”

In everyday language, if we regard it as “grievous” to pass up the joys of unlawful sex and boring to be confined to the lawful variety, we are not on the narrow path to paradise. We may have prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” and sincerely believe that we are heaven bound, but our destination is Hell and shame. Matthew 7:7 is best understood, “Ask [keep on asking] and it shall be given unto you; seek [keep on seeking] and ye shall find; knock [keep on knocking], and it shall be opened unto you.” If the Lord validates our faith with a new desire for obedience and a fresh hatred for sin, we then know the love of God. A teenager, therefore, blinded by lust is very far from the kingdom of God. If, however, our teen cannot see the difference between evil love and God’s love, perhaps her pastor shares some guilt. This teenager may be assisted to an early grave by her pastor’s ignorance or negligence. If so, is not one to whom much is given, much required (Luke 12:48)?

Perhaps item (b), the pastor, is our best choice for our quiz answer. Let’s review that possibility. The gospel honored by most of today’s pastors accepts any sinner’s prayer as sufficient evidence to be recognized as a Christian. “Salvation by grace through faith plus nothing” is the dictum they live by in the kingdom of the local church. Salvation by “any faith” is what the people mistakenly believe; and by the silence of the pastors, no separation is made between “vain faith” (I Cor. 5:1,2) and “saving faith” (Eph. 2:8-10). The beautiful gospel of the Bible’s faithful universal church is perverted by silence, and “vain faith” is substituted for “effectual faith.” Teenagers who have never experienced a changed life believe that they are Christians when they are not. No one has taught millions like our buxom teen that the call on Jesus must be examined by its results. Small wonder that preacher’s children and church kids have no fear of God before their eyes. At every sermon, the pastor removes the fear of God by teaching, “It’s a sin to doubt your salvation.” Instead, the fear of God should be taught by saying, “Only faith proven by a changed life is the real thing!” The fruit of a perverted church gospel is tearing apart church families. “Ye shall know them by their fruit” (Matt. 7:16). So, what do you think? The pastor choice (b)? But wait! Can the parents transfer primary responsibility for their children’s education to servants of the church and school?

Consider this: At every orthodox baptism, the parents swear to “Bring them [their children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The pastor and the church members are also bound, but only “to help” in this task. The oath, primarily, binds the father and mother with the responsibility to keep the vow or suffer frightful sanctions. For this reason, we read in I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” This clearly means the parents must ensure that the child is taught the “fear of God” (that’s what admonition means). The parents must see that this “good fear” is not confused with the fear that leads to Hell (Rev. 21:8). The parents must see that the child learns the difference between faith and “vain faith.” The parents must examine the child to find fruit that indicates the child knows the difference between romantic love and God’s love. The parents may hire a church and school to aide them in this holy obligation. But if the “hirelings” abandon the children for paychecks, pensions, honorary doctorates, or responsibility, the parents are not “off the hook!” Sad to say, the greatest sin or the best choice in answer to our quiz question is no doubt, “The parents.” Of course, if the parents choose, teach, and set the right example to glorify God and the child, in spite of the parents’ best efforts, willfully rejects the faith, the hands of the parents are clean, and the child is on his own. This brings us to my “clean hands plan” in two parts.

First, you must teach the beautiful gospel of the Bible’s universal church, instead of the modem gospel taught in nearly every evangelical church. Don’t worry! The true gospel is not as unknown to you as you may think. As a matter of fact, your pastor and your fellow church members know and use a tried and proven technique to teach this gospel. They use it on one particular sinner—the drunkard. Isn’t it time that the drunkard is not allowed to pass himself off as a Christian until his prayer is answered by the Lord? Only when he is transformed from a drunk to a sober person is the alcoholic permitted peace from hearing “The drunkard shall be turned into Hell.”

Ordinary sinners, like your children, experience a watered- down gospel. This gospel robs many of their birthrights (see II John 6-8). In every “soul-winning” church of my knowledge, the most attractive, faithful Christians are converted drunks. The “fear of God” was used to drive them through the strait gate.

The formula seems to be Fear of God (Ps. 19:9 and Prov. 1:9) = Wisdom (Prov. 9:10) = Seeking, Asking, Knocking (Matt. 7:7) = Faith (Eph. 2:8-10) = Love of God (I John 5:2,3) = Confirming Fruit (II Peter 3:14-18). Remember this key thought and question: “Is your child in his natural condition just as lost as the drunk?” Please read I Cor. 6 for the answer, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.” It is clear, painfully clear, that children who cannot obey the commandments better and better are not growing in grace. Using the fear of God, we must warn them to flee from the wrath to come. Until they can honor and obey lawful authority from mother, father, pastor, policeman, or teacher, they must not be allowed to condemn themselves by wicked presumption that their prayer for salvation has been heard. The only fear, wisdom, faith, and love that can save their souls is defined by the law-word of the Bible and known by Godly fruit. Accept no substitutes! As you love the drunk, so love your child!

Now to the second part of the parents’ hand-washing plan. I left the church of my father over thirty years ago. The Lord honored my faith. All eight of my children, their families, and my grandchildren worship and attend classes at the church and school that grew out of my home church. Today that church founded in my living room sponsors six Christian schools. My family enjoys spiritual and material blessings beyond our dreams. I want that for you. You will know in unmistakable terms what to do. Insist on the Bible’s gospel being taught! Either the church members will change, or they will force you out! Don’t worry; you will be in the very best of company. Church history records that every successful national revival or conversion begins when the sinners drive the saints outside the camp (see Heb. 13:13). As Jude 19 tells us, “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit.” We are called “Reformed Christians,” because historically we desired reform rather than separation. So when strong families are driven out from “respectable, approved churches and schools,” the saints should count it all joy! Don’t rob yourself of your birthright by trying to win the “respect” of sinners. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

More Examples of Gospel Fruit

What follows are real-life illustrations of the Bible’s gospel. The testimony of a two or three-year-old within even a “dysfunctional” home when in the hand of the Holy Spirit is an amazing encouragement for those of us in the day-to-day work of the preschool ministry. I had only been in Christian preschool work a few months, when one of our parents buttonholed me near the school door with the following question, “Reverend, do you teach the Commandments to the children here at school?”

I knew the woman to be a devout Roman Catholic with three daughters; therefore, I replied without hesitation, “Why, of course!”

She smiled graciously and replied, “I thought so, and do you teach the children to shout them at the top of their voices?”

Again, I answered quickly, (but now wondering where this was leading) “Yes, the shouting helps to lend some excitement to the drill and helps to imprint the commandments on their memory.”

“Do you teach the commandment on adultery?” she continued.

Now less quickly and more concerned, I answered, “Yes, but, of course, we don’t get into details with children so young about the meaning of that commandment. We do teach the children that they must be faithful to their marriage vows beginning right now at the age of two or three; in other words, adultery is more than just being faithful to your husband or wife after marriage.”

Now she smiled even more broadly, to my relief and told the following story: “The other evening while my husband was buried in his newspaper, my little girl stomped through the living room, hands and feet swinging high, yelling at the top of her voice, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery!’ My husband jerked to consciousness, threw the paper to the floor, and with bulging eyes, spitted out, ‘What in hell is this all about?’ I stammered, ‘Well, I guess it’s the Christian school teaching the commandments.’ My husband replied, ‘But why that commandment?’ and ‘Did you put her up to that?”’

At this point, she giggled, patted me on the shoulder, turned and left the building, shouting, “Keep up the good work, Reverend!”

The Holy Spirit Uses Children

Yes, the testimony of a preschooler in the hands of the Holy Spirit can be devastatingly effective. Another example that comes to mind was told to us by a mother returning from her father’s funeral in Tennessee. She said that she and most of her relatives are all non-church members, and the funeral was a very sad and discouraging service. But when the pastor began to quote the Lord’s Prayer, the congregation was startled to hear the high-pitched sound of a child’s voice reciting the words along with the pastor. After the service, many members of the family complimented her on the education of her two-year-old daughter and related how they were blessed to hear her daughter’s expression of faith. The little girl kept telling all who would listen that “Grandpa was just sleeping with Jesus.”

Over the years we have had dozens of such funeral stories. This ministry, which I pray will be yours also, has power to reach into homes that no church can reach. We have also dozens of stories of churches we have blessed through the testimony of our students. For example, a local pastor told me that during a service he quoted from the Twenty-third Psalm. (The Twenty-third Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Commandments are recited by our students twice daily.) Therefore, when one of our students heard the Twenty-third Psalm, the three-year-old immediately chimed in. Seeing the surprise of the church members, the pastor told me he decided to take advantage of the situation. He asked the child if he wished to come to the pulpit to say the words with him. Instantly he said, in the manner of some who are not yet experienced enough to have stage fright, “Yes.” The child bounded up the platform. While the pastor held his microphone to the boy’s mouth, the child quoted the Twenty-third Psalm perfectly with feeling to the emotional response of the church.

Families Made Whole

All in all, we have had dozens of couples, who were living together, become embarrassed by their illegitimate children who asked sharp questions about the Commandments, and then the couples legalized their common-law marriages. We also have had dozens of baptisms, re-dedications, and renewals of commitment to Christian doctrine. Again, let me emphasize that these are families who attend no church, but have been softened to the reach of the gospel through their children. It always surprises me that evangelical churches will organize door-to-door visitations but will not consider offering a needed service that will bring hundreds of potential converts to the doors of the church without any expense to the church and even at a profit, provided they were to use my system as laid out in our operational manual.

The daycare ministry or a Christian school built from scratch with a resulting church ministry is the logical way to win souls in our time. Historically, the Sunday School, presently atrophied to one insipid hour of pious goo with a watered-down gospel on Sunday morning, was originally a robust reading school taught daily to slum children in London by Robert Raike. Our ministry is in the solid tradition of the original Sunday

School. What is called Sunday School today is a tattered remnant of a once-effective church tool. The design for new models for evangelism has always been in the mainstream of the genuine faith set free from institutional arthritis. For example, the great Wyclif designed a model to fit his age.

The Wyclif Model

Throughout church history, renewal has ordinarily come by means of men and ministries “outside the camp” (Exodus 29:14). Because of deep-seated heresies or self-serving bureaucracy, revival, by necessity, prospers outside churches. New life flows from the Lord through men and ministries of the church universal (i.e., catholic), chosen and blessed for their special mission. After the elect return to lawful obedience, the revival is forced on the local church. Churchmen typically argue that God’s work cannot be undertaken without their blessing, aid, or “approved ordination.” They are wrong. The best of many historical examples of these “outside the camp ministries” was the Lollards, founded and organized by the great Oxford educator, Wyclif (1320-1384). Wyclif s ministry had three characteristics common to most genuine revivals. First, it was a Biblical revival, not an emotional bath; second, it was funded without dependence on apostates; and third, his message was delivered in spite of, and independent of, the local church. The author has founded a 1990’s version of Wyclif s model.

It is important to note that Biblical revival is much more than walking down a church aisle. Biblical revival is a return to obedience to God’s law, instead of an emotional bath. (Definition: emotional bath is when you feel clean from sin, but your dirty sins remain, and worse, your ability to improve is less, not more! See Matt. 12:43-45). Wyclif taught the law as all those who reconstruct society must. Wyclif was a true evangelist. As R. J. Rushdoony, in his Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. I, page 1, insightfully observes, “Wyclif s departure from accepted opinion was that the people themselves should not only read and know that law [referring to Biblical law], but also should in some sense govern as well as be governed by it.” Our task is no different today. As true children of Wyclif, we must find a way to teach the elect that the laws and methods of democracy are not the laws and methods of God. We must also teach that a profession of faith not followed by a resulting obedience to the Commandments is not salvation or revival, but “the hope that maketh ashamed.” The Christian school is a way to accomplish such a task, but most Christian schools are financially depen-dent on the erring church. If the law-word of God is to be taught, independent funding must be found. We of necessity must fund our work and fashion our tactics in spite of a church hooked on democracy and a humanistic plan of salvation and revival.

In order to accomplish this goal, Wyclif commissioned lay preachers to teach the law of God to the people in their own language. Financial support came only from the people served, not the establishment. God blessed and we now hail the school teacher Wyclif as “the morning star of the reformation.” We rightly condemn the misguided churchmen who dug up his bones 10 years after his death as those “filthy dreamers [who] defile the flesh, despise dominion and speak evil of dignities” (Jude 8).

When we pray for revival, whether we are aware of it or not, we are asking for new ministries that will be viciously hated by the condemned but dearly loved by the blessed. Our school/daycare ministry is funded solely by the sale of daycare and education for children from infant and up. What’s so revolutionary about that? First, we start from scratch without the aid of the church; second, we teach binding law; and third, we are able to deliver our doctrine directly to the elect. In other words, we follow the Wyclif model. Since 1986, six such schools have been founded. These schools provide a living wage and opportunity for those willing to labor beyond the pale of a mainline denomination. In fact, the wages are much more than those normally paid by the enemies of Christian reconstruction. The funding is secured by the free market. It is the author’s pleasure to report that the profit from the sale of our services has freed our ministry from all dependence on gifts. We are expanding so fast that we are seeking men and women who are committed to Christian reconstruction to hire, provided they are committed to genuine Biblical salvation and revival. Our schools have prospered without a dime of tithe or freewill offerings. As a matter of corporate policy, 100 percent of our tithes and offerings must go to other ministries. In addition, our managers can be disciplined and dismissed for begging favors or money from our clients. We recognize that a ministry called to Christian reconstruction cannot prosper while depending on the good will, money, or tolerance of antinomians. So, like Wyclif, we have an independent core of teachers and independent support. But what about the message and its delivery?

Waiting Until Six is Forbidding Children to Come

In order to benefit from Wyclif s genius, the correct audience must be taught with the correct message or we miss the mark. For that reason, we prefer to teach two-year-olds, instead of six-year-olds. Besides the obvious business consideration of serving a huge and growing demand for daycare for children of working mothers, the best window of opportunity to teach the law of God with the most impact is to teach little children. “Forbid them not!” warned our Lord, and on this point, even the social scientist agrees. A person’s basic values are formed between the ages of two and five, simultaneously with learning the native tongue. The Christians, who wait for five or six-year-olds to start to try to win souls, have missed the boat! By refusing to offer a Christian alternative to the humanistic daycare, they have forbidden the children the opportunity to come to Christ. The best of all mission fields is now, and always has been, young children. From the preschool, reconstructionists can permit the elementary, secondary, and college to grow. Eventually, should the Lord bless, our graduates will feed into the local church demanding that God’s Bible be regarded a binding law. True revival thus comes, simply, and logically.

Now, what to teach? Space won’t permit full development, but the fear of God must be introduced if Christian education is to begin (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” Prov. 9:10). The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, yes of course, but most important, followed by this invitation designed to provoke wholesome fear of God, “How will we know if Jesus is our Shepherd? Let us pray right now that Jesus will bless you. If the Lord chooses to be your Shepherd, He will lead you in the paths of righteousness.” (We have found the Twenty-third Psalm fits perfectly as a Biblical salvation prayer.) After the prayer, the rhetorical question should be asked repeatedly, “How will we know if Jesus is our Shepherd? Yes, He will help us to keep the Commandments.” Don’t bother to teach against any particular error. Since you have “first crack” at these children, you have no need to contradict error. Let the heretics try to teach these children as they grow older that Christians have no need for supernatural obedience to validate their profession of faith.

I have faith that easy-believism will fail. Our school has discovered that even nominal Christian parents are very pleased to learn that their children know the Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Twenty-third Psalm. Very, very seldom have we had any complaint about this approach. The door is wide open!

Do You Have Zeal?

Several years ago, when my first school was only five years old, I founded a franchising corporation with a vision of starting Christian schools like a McDonald’s or similar franchising arrangement. What I discovered was that those who had the money to buy a franchise almost always lacked the necessary zeal to win souls as their first desire; those, on the other hand, who had the vision of Matt. 6:33 to extend first the dominion of Christ almost always lacked investment capital. This has led me to make the following offer:

I will offer employment to qualified applicants with or without a college degree—home school graduates welcome, converted single parents welcome also; in short, nearly anyone who has the proper religious zeal to desire an apprenticeship to learn our system is welcome. We only require that you sign a non-compete agreement to not start a school within 40 miles of one of our present schools. This is a very generous offer, because it allows you to acquire or, more accurately, “steal” all of my trade secrets while earning a salary.

My other offer would be that if you think you already have the necessary experience or you have a ministry under your control that you wish to convert to a profit maker, I will sell you my manual. Your only obligation would be to sign a legal agreement not to reprint and sell the manual. In this manner, everyone reading this book should pray earnestly about them-selves, their children, their grandchildren, or associates as potential candidates for becoming school owners who will have all the earthly benefits of being a business owner, but also the vast treasures in heaven that only such a ministry can yield. How much reward can be earned? Well, the Bible says that if a man gains the entire world but loses his soul, he has made a bad trade. In other words, the soul of a child won is worth all the treasure of earth. In my former days, I was a commissioned salesman. What do you suppose the commission would be on a sale valued at more money than all the treasures of the world? Well worth pursuing, don’t you agree?

As I finish this book, I am seated in a penthouse apartment overlooking Pelican Bay in Naples, Florida. The ads regularly appear in New York newspapers advertising Pelican Bay as “The best the world has to offer.” In other words, my friend, my potential soul-winning Christian school teacher/friend, if my reward in heaven is not worthy to be compared with this “earnest” down payment of a penthouse apartment and owner-ship of six school buildings and four faculty houses and on and on, then the size of the heavenly reward is immense. I want that for you. Write to me today and let’s discuss your rewards on heaven and earth. The Lord Jesus Christ pays His faithful servants very well indeed. After all, didn’t He promise to divide the spoil with the strong? May God bless you as you consider this Wyclif model for the 1990s and the coming century.