Every organization has a culture. Whether it is a family, church or business, every organization has a way of doing things. At CHA, we call this the CHA Way. One of the distinctives at CHA is our open-door culture. It begins every morning as Mr. J. Bullard walks the halls of our school praying for our school. He opens each door that is closed or pops his head in to say “Good morning.” As you walk down the halls, you will find open doors. Many teachers teach with their door open. You can walk down the hall and listen to our teachers and students engaged in the learning process. Some of my favorite sounds in our halls are the discussions that you can hear of students grappling with difficult concepts, articulating a Biblical worldview, reading aloud, and LAUGHTER within the classroom.
Our open-door culture is seen in our administration. Students, teachers, parents, alumni, and community relations just “stop by” to chat. Our doors are always open. They are not locked. We rarely meet behind closed doors. The CHA Way is one of relationships. We value time with each other and we are never too busy. Students regularly visit with headmasters to share their dreams, ideas, and struggles. There is a culture of transparency and trust. Listening and praying with students as they grapple with college decisions, career choices, or life is a gift. The joy of teaching comes from relationships. Relationships are built inside and outside of the classroom. I am grateful for open doors.
One of my favorite events of the day is when the elementary students pass by my office. As they pass in the halls or as they leave for dismissal, they oftentimes pass by my door. If I am in a meeting, they peer inside. Their big bright eyes and vibrant smiles beam through my office and heart. Oftentimes, they come inside, give me a hug and politely ask for a piece of candy. My jar of jolly ranchers is refilled weekly (sometimes daily). What a joy it is to see each of these students! The picture above captures a group of these students who often drop by to see me.
Our open-door culture reminds me of Christ. In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” He is the door to our hopes, dreams, and ultimately salvation. He reminds us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I am so thankful that God’s door is always open. He is never too busy. We can always pray to him any time of day or night. He is the Way. He always tells us the truth. His words bring life.