This article examines how the practice of leadership in the context of church education must be energized by a sense of mission.
Baby Boomers desire stability in their family life but have need for a strong theology of family that underscores Christian commitment. Their strong valuing of individualism must be balanced by an understanding of Christian community. And finally, churches must pay attention t the stresses in family life today, and minister to families with Christian compassion.
As more women and second career students enter theological studies, it is timely to investigate the experience of women and adults over forty in Christian educational ministries. This article describes both gender and age differences in the areas of: educational preparation for ministry; current ministry experience, including part-time versus full-time status, church size, and denominational affiliation; task analysis; level of ministry satisfaction; felt needs regarding ministry preparation; and those aspects of ministry that have yielded most enjoyment.
Because man is emotional as well as rational, the effective educator must not ignore this dimension in the learning environment. Fear, stress, and anxiety are often generated and heightened by the classroom experience, but the classroom can also become a vehicle for overcoming these emotions. Assurance and courage can be modeled in the classroom, and fear can be confronted and diminished. When educators thoroughly equip the learners with the necessary coping skills and provide a supportive learning environment, fears and anxieties are reduced and learning is enhanced.
The foundations of an effective church ministry with older adults are a personal relationship with God and personal relationships with the older adults in the church. The general and particular needs of these older adults must be assessed, prioritized, and then met through goal-setting, strategizing, and careful implementation. The older adults themselves must be an integral part of their own ministry, sharing the dependency on God's leading and blessing, and working through each element of the ministry process, as facilitated by the church leadership.
Children develop their concept of God in direct relationship to their present level of emotional, mental, and moral development. It is crucial that the Christian educator have a general understanding of the developmental patterns in these areas that he may develop curriculum and present the truths of God to the child in a manner that is both meaningful and accurate. The studies of Elkind, Piaget, and Kohlberg are useful tools in accomplishing this task. Viewing the child as a whole becomes invaluable in educating our children to God's precious truth.