With boomers and busters already showing lower reading rates, we have effectively entered the era of the electronic/oral culture, contends the author. Yet most Bible study materials and methods currently being utilized are designed for the literate culture, thus effectively excluding to some degree most Americans and most of the inhabitants of this planet. It is time to consider how to minister to traditionally oral people as well as the electronic/oral people in our churches.
A congregation has a variety of styles from which to choose. In this era of rapid change, the author suggests, the most effective style is that of a teaching church, provided the congregation evolves into a vital learning community with a shared mission, shared knowledge, and shared leadership.
The objective of Christian Education is congruency--a balance of thinking, feeling, and behaving in the lives of those who follow Christ. Congruency can therefore be described as the unifying theme of many Christina Education models and emphases that may initially seem dissimilar. The author provides a foundation for understanding congruency in several expressions of Christian Education.
A popular metaphor for the Christian life is the spiritual journey. In this perspective, curriculum can be described as maps, with renewed roles for religious educators as map-makers (curriculum designers) and journey guides. This opens up an exciting vista for Christian education.
Too often the curriculum is understood by religious educators to be merely the "quarterlies" and other printed materials. This definition is too narrow. A broader definition includes the intended and unintended teaching and learning designs for the learners. If religious educators are to fulfill their role as curriculum designers, we need to analyze the curriculum debate within the church.