God Equips the Called

“I hope in God, I pray on, and look yet for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.”  - George Müller

I (Christopher Haynes) read George Müller’s autobiography in high school and it was one of those reads that sticks with you. George Müller was a Christian evangelist and the director of Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. He cared for more than 10,000 orphans and established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children. He was an amazing man with tremendous faith.

I attended Aurora Christian Academy (ACA) kindergarten through 12th grade. Like most seniors, I thought when I walked out those doors after graduation it would be my final time and I would be free of high school forever. Needless to say, God had His own plans.

In 2010, I sensed God preparing me for a new direction. At this time, neither Tiffany (my wife) nor I were sure what that path was; nevertheless, it was evident the tides were shifting. Even though I was Senior Programmer at large tech company – a comfortable position – I began considering a career move and dabbled in several things like making craft root beer, starting my own computer service business, and even opening a bakery. Nothing quite seemed to fit, so we waited, and waited, and waited.

In May of 2014, after spending years in prayer – both as a couple and in our prayer groups – I felt strongly about returning to Aurora Christian Academy…as the principal. I had kept tabs on the school over the years, and unfortunately, it had dwindled from the 70 some students when I had attended, to around five.

Toward the end of that month, I decided to speak with Bob, the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church (FBC). FBC founded Aurora Christian Academy. Bob was also serving as the principal of the school. I remember sitting in Subway with Bob and telling him I felt the Lord was leading me to ACA to serve as principal. He was overwhelmed – in a good way. Bob told me he had scheduled a meeting with the church board on Sunday to discuss hiring a principal, and also that he and his wife had been in prayer since 2010 about someone else leading the school (around the same time I sensed God stirring my heart toward something new). Wow. Four years of waiting and prayer, and look what God planned!

Within the week, I was unanimously hired by the board and now am in my fifth year serving as the principal at Aurora Christian Academy. Of course, leaving my position and stepping out into ministry made me a bit nervous. But in that faith-walk, both Tiffany and I have experienced the most intense peace.

Fast forward to May of 2018: Tiffany remains at her tech and payments company and I love being able to serve the students and community. What a marvelous step of faith. Tiffany continues to be blessed and truly enjoys her leadership calling. On several occasions, God poured out His favor and provision to close the financial income gap we experienced when I accepted this call. We know this is the Lord laying His hand upon the work He wants to fulfill for His glory. God is faithful. 

I often received a couple common questions, and I wanted to share those answers:

 Do you have experience or a degree in education?

While I do have my M.B.A., I do not have a degree in education. Unlike public schools, the state does not require private school teachers/administrators to hold an undergraduate degree in education. In man’s eyes, it doesn’t make sense, but this isn’t man’s plan, it is God’s. I continue to trust Him to equip and direct me as He sees fit. I love Acts 4, which talks of Peter and John being arrested and addressing the Sanhedrin. In verse 13, it reads, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” There are many people more qualified to do this job – I am uneducated and untrained when it comes to being a principal. But, this is what God has chosen for me and I am humbled to walk this path.

How will you continue to increase enrollment? What is your marketing plan?

There is no marketing plan. One of my greatest cautions is to not start conjuring up ideas, project plans, and strategies to recruit students. This is God’s school and He will provide the appropriate number of students – whether that is 30 (which is where we are now, in 2018) or 3,000. My focus is not to recruit, but simply to minister to the community and make them aware that ACA exists and desires to serve. Unlike Müller, I don’t foresee serving 10,000 orphans or establishing 117 schools, but with what I am given, I will be faithful.

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, and love for us. God equips the called, He doesn't call the equipped. We are richly blessed.

-  Chris