Equipping the saints for ministry is a primary work of the local church. However, the task of constructing equipping ministries requires theological and contextual reflection. This article argues that as theological educators, we must teach our students to exercise practical theological methods in order to develop an effective ministry of equipping. The article will first explore the underpinnings of practical theology, culminating in a closer look at the model posited by Richard Osmer. Engaging Osmer’s model, the article will engage a case study to show how practical theology aids the congregational leader in formulating theologically faithful and contextually relevant equipping ministries.
Key Words: practical theology; equipping; church ministry; case study
The use of developmental theory in Christian education, though invaluable, has led to several insufficiencies in practice, namely intergenerational fragmentation, a diverted focus from scriptural engagement, and the tendency to box people in according to their developmental capacity. We propose that the church’s historic method of educating believers, catechesis, is a preferable educational framework that re-centers Christian education around the historic faith, brings generations together, renews focus on Scripture, and rigorously challenges believers to continuously grow in their faith.
Keywords: catechesis, Christian education, human development, educational theory, theological education, social science, interdisciplinary studies.
Story has been shown in Christian education scholarship to be an effective pedagogical tool. However, story has become even more vital to Christian education in the postmodern world. This article explores how narrative pedagogy, a pedagogical approach that seeks to transform personal narratives with the narrative of the Christian faith, can prove to be an effective pedagogical approach that forms identities, strengthens communities, and transforms congregations. The article will also examine practical ways teachers can use narrative pedagogy in the church’s educational ministries and encourage scholars and practitioners to explore the possibilities of narrative pedagogy in Christian education.
Key Words: narrative pedagogy, postmodernism, Christian education, story, congregational studies
Annotated Bibliography on Transformational Teaching
Finding God in the Graffiti: Empowering Teenagers Through Stories. 2012. Frank Rogers, Jr. Pilgrim Publishing.
Teaching as a Sacramental Act. 2004. Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore. Pilgrim Publishing.
Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning. 2011. Edited by David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
The Teacher’s Way: Teaching and the Contemplative Life. 2005. Maria Lichtmann. Paulist Press.
Teaching that Transforms: Facilitating Life Change Through Adult Bible Teaching. 2010. Richard Melick and Shera Melick. Broadman and Holman Academic.
Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion: Illusions, Delusions, and Realities about Human Nature. 2009. Michael Jeeves and Warren S. Brown. Templeton Foundation Press.
The New Science of Teaching and Learning: Using the Best of Mind, Brain, and Education Science in the Classroom. 2009. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. Teachers College Press.
Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching: The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model. 2003. Mariale M. Hardiman. R & L Education.
Experience The Mystery: Pastoral Possibilities for Christian Mystagogy. 1994. David Regan. The Liturgical Press.
Effective Bible Teaching. 2012. James Whilhoit and Leland Ryken. Baker Academic.