I never thought that I’d have to deal with churches persecuting homeschoolers when I first started out. Boy, was I wrong.
When I first started homeschooling, the pastor of my church at that time stood in front of the congregation and openly denounced homeschooling. He also said that homeschooled children didn’t love Jesus the way that public schooled children did. Children in a hostile environment, he said, have a greater hunger for salvation. He never did share where he got his ideas from.
I was furious and so were the other five or so families that were affected. After his public statement, I felt that others in the congregation judged and opposed us. I knew that his opinions were not based on facts or Scripture and I lost respect for him.
Needless to say, we left that church for another church where most of the pastoral staff and many of the elders homeschooled their children for at least a few years.
What to do if your pastor doesn’t support homeschooling
You could leave that church and try to find another one that is supportive, but that can sometimes be difficult to do. In our situation, I was already active in a homeschool co-op at the new church. Your situation is likely very different. If you choose to try to stay, here are some other ideas:
- Invite your pastor to attend a homeschooling conference. Many allow pastors to attend for free.
- Give him a copy of the latest research on homeschooling, offered by The National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).
- Create a cheat sheet of Biblical references to the training and discipleship of children and give it to him, maybe including a testimony of why you homeschool.
Or, just start your own church
If all else fails, no one should continue to be a part of a hostile church environment. You probably won’t convert others, it is not conducive to your spiritual growth, and it will likely harm your children’s growing perception of God. Maybe you could form a small house church with other homeschooling families in your area if there are no other options.
If you faced persecution from your own pastor, what did you do? Do you have any other suggestions you’d like to share?