About us —and— what we’re about
If you’re reading this page, you may be one of two kinds of people: You either already know about us and are just browsing the site; or, you don’t know about us and are hoping this page will tell you more. In either case, we hope this page has something to say for both of you.
First, let us speak to the “about us.” And do it in just a few words, which is quite a challenge for a family of writers. We’ll start at the beginning of the Clarkson family story. Clay and Sally met and dated while on staff with a campus ministry after college. They married in 1981 while Clay was pursuing an MDiv at Denver Seminary. They went on to serve with a church in Austria, on two church staffs in the US, and then take a step of faith in 1994 to start Whole Heart Ministries, a ministry to give help and hope to Christian parents (for the longer story see the About Us on WholeHeart.org). They would go on to create and teach a home education model, write 20+ books on biblical parenting, offer countless church workshops for parents, sponsor more than 60 hotel conferences for moms, and launch numerous online and streaming media ministries. And 25 years later they’re still at it.
In the midst of all the ministry, they raised four wholehearted children using their WholeHearted Learning model of home education—focusing on discipleship, real books, and real life. To make a long story very short, the model worked. As you can see on this site, each child is following God into their own arenas of life and ministry to make a mark for the kingdom in their respective areas of giftedness and opportunity. After years of exploring their own individual desires and drives, pursuing the best educations they could find, and beginning to hone and share the messages that God put on their hearts, they and their parents are now all “coming back home” in a sense, and discovering a unity of shared vision and values in the diversity of their pursuits. Gathered together in the family home for Christmas 2018, we all realized together that our family experience is something special and unusual. That shared gift of unified hearts was the impetus to create this website, not to promote anything, but simply to say, “We’re all in this together!” We want to be known not just as individuals, but also as a family.
And that brings us to the “what we’re about.” For over 25 years, Clay and Sally tried to keep their heads and hearts focused together on the two “great” teachings of Jesus. First, we were focused on his final words, his Great Commission—“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). We wanted, as a life priority, to consider how we could be disciple makers. That meant, above all, that we needed to be better disciples of Jesus ourselves, both as people and as parents. And then we wanted to raise our children to be his disciples—to find their purpose and direction in life in him, from us. We wanted to help Christian parents—mothers and fathers—to be better disciples, so they would raise their children to be disciples. We wanted, somehow, to reach parents internationally to help them be better disciples.
And we have also tried to stay focused on the other “great” teaching of Jesus, his Great Commandments—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … [and] Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-39). If we did nothing else, and taught our children nothing else, we would please God if we truly followed his Spirit to “love God and love people.” Perhaps that sounds too reductionist, too simplistic, and yet it is the very core and heart of Christ’s teaching and the teaching of the apostles after him. Love—for God and people—must be the central defining characteristic of anything done in Jesus’ name or else it becomes something other than biblical Christianity. Now we are seeing those same two commitments in our children, and we are all, as a family, discovering a new sense of unity in our various ministries in the name of Jesus.
So that’s a brief attempt at “about us” and “what we’re about.” Hopefully it gives you at least a little bit of perspective on why we offer this “Clarkson Family” website. It is something we all felt we wanted to do not just as individuals but also as a family. We pray what you find here will be inspiring, encouraging, edifying, and uplifting in your walk of faith with Christ. We’re glad you’ve found us.