Soon after GACS was organized, the desire for competition in Bible, fine arts, and academics resulted in what is now annual state competition in these areas. The first "Fine Arts Festival" was conducted in 1976.
One of the important tasks of the Christian school is to train leadership. The GACS Fine Arts Festivals help to provide the framework to accomplish that task. Students work, train, and prepare that they might compete in this Festival—not just to win, but to give of their best that the Lord might be honored. It is in this early arena of competition that students begin to really sharpen the talents and skills which they will later use as adults in their service for Christ.
The purposes of competition among the students in GACS member schools in the areas of Bible, fine arts, and academics include the following:
- To serve as a vehicle for the development of God-given talents and abilities.
- To provide an opportunity of fellowship in areas of mutual interest for the students in GACS schools.
- To provide beneficial activities to GACS member schools and thus help to achieve the goal of excellence in Christian education.
- To aid in the teaching of Christian character in students in GACS schools through the development of discipline, perseverance, appreciation and respect for others, courage, poise, maturity, and other traits which can bring glory to the Lord.
- To glorify God by serving as one aspect of the training and education to which our Christian schools are committed.
State winners on the senior high level compete in the national competition conducted each year by the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS). National competition attracts approximately 3,000 students from the many AACS state associations. Over the years, GACS has produced a number of national winners.
GACS Elementary and High School State Competition Manuals are available which explain all categories and rules of competition These may be ordered by member schools from the GACS office. An AACS National Competition Manual may be purchased from the AACS National Office.
The competition is open to all member schools and is an excellent opportunity to enable students to develop their talents and abilities to be used for the glory of the Lord. The elementary level of competition is for grades 4- 6. The junior and senior high competition includes grades 7 - 12. Because of the large number of students participating, elementary, junior high, and senior high activities are conducted on separate days.
Purpose of the Elementary Festival
Elementary Fine Arts would more appropriately be called "adjudication" rather than "competition", since ratings are given to students instead of the first, second, and third places that are awarded on the junior and senior high levels. The basic reason for this is to avoid unnecessary stress of competition at this age level and emphasize to the elementary students that they do their best in preparation and presentation without actually competing against other students. All elementary students who enter receive a participation certificate.