The High Calling of Ministry
Gloria Deo Academy is a kingdom ministry. We are not a church, but we hope to serve the Church by partnering with parents to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Like all institutions, we have the structure and hierarchy necessary for accomplishing our purpose. We have a business office, but we are not a business. Our high calling is to be a ministry to Christian families.
The fruitful ministry of GDA is largely due to the love and passion of those who are unreasonably committed to Christian education. Dads who show up to do carline in frigid weather so our teachers can prepare for the day. Substitutes who arrive at a moment’s notice to rescue us when Covid is wreaking havoc. Prayer warriors who know that this is something special and fight for help and strength for us at the throne of grace. Every week sees our community express their commitment to this ministry in an incredible way. We are nimble and scrappy. We punch above our weight limit. We aim high and trust that God will get us there. We laugh when we fail and gear up for the next round because we are not selling gadgets: we are raising the next generation to be salt and light.
All this to say, we do not run GDA like a business and sometimes it shows. We get help, counsel, and advice from our wonderful community of families who possess expertise in a variety of fields. We follow best practices offered by ISACS, our accrediting organization. We get feedback from our families and students. We are absolutely committed to giving God our best, but at heart, we are not a business.
The Difference Between Ministry and Business
The difference between being a ministry and a business may not seem like much, but it really does show in the life of our school. Do you want to know why every nook and cranny has a kid in it? Because we are a ministry. Do you know why you get responses from teachers at all hours? Because we are a ministry. Do you know why you find random groups of people praying together? Because we are a ministry. And we never want to stop being a ministry.
But …we do know people who are good at business. They are good at getting things done in finance, in marketing, in community involvement, and a thousand other things. Some of these are on staff, some donate their time to be on the Board of Trustees, and some are volunteers. So, while we are not a business, we are also not inefficient and haphazard. We have standards, written documents, accountability, and a lot of other stuff to make sure that the ministry of GDA is not hampered because we got sloppy. We want to do the best with what God has given us. We cannot say that we are perfect, but we can tell you that the ministry of GDA is solid and advancing, built on biblical wisdom, diligence, and best professional practices.
Because GDA is a Ministry
Because GDA is a ministry, friends and family find themselves roped into being a part of it. The preacher’s kid is at the church more than anyone else, right? So, it is not a shock when he winds up going into ministry himself. Some have asked about family members working together at GDA and to tell the truth, it would be weird to have a rule that well qualified and hardworking people could not work here just because of their last name. In order to make sure this is not a problem, all GDA staff submit appropriate documentation (like invoices, time sheets, checklists, etc….) and direct reports at the administrative level and above are organized so that family members do not report to each other.
No one is doing this to get a free ride or get rich. A salary comparison of similar jobs held by staff at GDA, and a local public school demonstrates that we are not in this for the money. The vast majority of our teachers, administration, Board of Trustees, and staff voluntarily go above and beyond. We do not demand that they do this: it is just part of the ministry mindset that characterizes so many in our GDA community. And we are proud of our GDA family.