Wildcat Tracks: Becky Baer Shultz ’91

One of Westminster’s core values is to “partner with the Christian home and church.”  This three-legged stool ideal of Christian education, “training up children in the way they should go” (Prov. 22:6) through a partnership of home, church, and school, has always been the goal at Westminster. For Becky Baer Shultz, this is more than a concept; she has made it her life’s work, which she is passionate about. “For many families, we are so caught up in the rat race of this life that we forget to nurture our own spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of our children,” Becky said. “For others, we pour into ministry outside of our homes, and we forget ministry begins in our homes—our children are the first part of our ministry work, our beautiful, God-given, #1 responsibility. For others, the church and its programming have replaced discipleship in the home. Nothing can replace parents passing on the faith. For the next generation to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus and His Word must be part of the fabric of our homes. One of the biggest ways the Lord works to save and sanctify and redeem the next generation is through the family.”

Becky and her family are the co-founders of FamiliesAlive, Inc., based near Denver, Colorado. “Nearly 22 years ago, the Lord impressed upon our family that He wanted us to start a family ministry. My dad had been a pastor for many years and knew that parents needed to be encouraged and equipped in their main role as parents—as disciples of their children. My parents, my sister (JoAnna Baer King ’92), her husband, my husband, and I co-founded a nonprofit ministry, Covenant Family Ministries, Inc.,” Becky explained. “We are now known by the name FamiliesAlive®. My dad was the President and CEO of the ministry until about three years ago. I worked closely with him for the first 18 years—writing, speaking, and working on family retreats together. We spent years creating fun and meaningful devotions for families called Family Time Materials. As Dad neared retirement, the Lord made clear He was calling me to take over leading the ministry (gulp). I still feel very humbled by that.”

During high school, Becky was encouraged by her interactions with teachers and staff. After starting as a new freshman, Becky felt welcomed very quickly into the Westminster community. Whether playing sports or in the classroom, she now realizes how fortunate she was to learn in a place that gave her a firm faith foundation.

“I have to say that everyone impacted me in some way—from the smiling front office staff to the whistling janitor. Love was poured into me by every adult during those formative years.”

“Mr. Marsh. Mercy! What can I say? What a kind, humble leader who loved the Lord, the faculty, the staff, and the students well. Watching the next Mr. Marsh (Jeremy) step into leadership of WCA has been fun—Jeremy was a classmate and friend who shares a similar kindheartedness to his dad. Sue Tameling and Tim Hall were coaches who encouraged and pushed me, put up with my silliness and loudness, and patiently guided me to lead. Other coaches, Kent Kehr and Steve Bradley, left their mark. And Terry Johnson, well, I don’t think he even knows how much his encouraging words, especially after basketball games, meant to me, Becky said. “In the classroom, Ila Klemm fostered a love of writing and encouraged my often-over-the-top spirit—she loved me even though I was obnoxious. Eddie Jones made Biology much more bearable because of his sweet spirit and sense of humor. Tim Baldwin brought history to life, telling stories, which became the main way I taught my own children history. We love history because of that. Betsy Tyvoll and Kathy Eichelberger made music fun and poured incredible energy into late musical rehearsals. And Florence Lewis—what a gift she was. I remember when she started the Spirit Club and WCA had its first Spirit Week. What fun! Mrs. Lewis knew I had a lot of school spirit and asked me to be Spirit Club President going into my senior year. She put up with a lot of nonsense from me but did it with grace and gentleness.”

“My senior year, our Wednesday afternoon senior service was impactful. I worked in the special school district, and I know part of what the Lord was doing in me was expanding my view of Him as Creator and growing my understanding of the value of all life. I was taught at school what I was being taught at home. The two matched up and gave me an incredible foundation deeply rooted in the Word of God.”

These days, as a mom of six and grandmother of one, Becky knows firsthand how difficult it can be to instill godliness in our children while the world tells them otherwise. It can feel like a tug-of-war, as parents pull one way while society pulls the other. “Culture is becoming more and more difficult to navigate. The voices of untruth and half-truths are becoming louder and harder to distinguish. Parents need encouragement, they need ideas, and they need reminders. Families need to be in the Word to grow in knowledge and wisdom so they come to know and love the Lord more and more every day. You do not have to have a seminary education; you do not even have to have a high school diploma (ask my grandmother) to read His Word and teach it to your children.”

Becky and her team have followed the Lord’s lead from leading in-home Bible studies to witnessing for Him on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Training a child in the way they should go is a big responsibility, but fortunately, ministries like FamiliesAlive are available to pull alongside parents. The bottom line is that parents—no matter the life circumstances—can all use a helping hand. “We are broken, fallen parents raising broken, fallen children. Our family has been hit by brokenness we didn’t see coming, and it is a daily crying out to Him to restore and lead us as parents,” Becky said. “One of the biggest truths we want believing parents to be encouraged by is we have a faithful, covenant-making, covenant-keeping God whom we can trust. He is at work in our families, even when we can’t see it. He is at work, and He calls us to rest in Him as He works and to join Him in the work. What an amazing God we serve!”

For more on FamiliesAlive: www.familiesalive.org
To reach Becky directly: Becky@familiesalive.org

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