Popular books and resources for children’s ministers are typically based on philosophical assertions, anecdotal evidence, or the experience of the author, rather than on empirical evidence. The present study seeks to advance the science of children’s ministry by validating a measure of children’s ministry praxis and determining whether different approaches to children’s ministry are actually associated with the outcomes they are assumed to produce. Statistical analyses of existing survey data collected from 201 Nazarene churches in the United States revealed three empirically distinct ministry models differentially associated with attendance growth, conversion rates, evangelism rates, and service participation. Practical implications are discussed.
The world of the Old Testament is one many students see as a “strange land” (Rodd, 2001). For those who teach the Old Testament as Scripture, this is a significant problem, for that land and its people are part of our faith story—something we need to identify with. The aim of this article, then, is to show how memory research might provide a way forward in helping students identify with Scripture. By leveraging false memory research in particular, it is argued that by carefully embedding sensory features within storytelling we can facilitate a pseudo-experience, thereby helping students to “see” themselves in biblical events. This seeing, in turn, accomplishes meaningful and long-term identification, for it shifts students’ memory of biblical events from the perspective of an observer to that of a participant. The book of Deuteronomy is used to show how this can be put into practice.
The “debt as investment” approach to education has increased the school loan rates for undergraduate students. This article looks at the true cost of school debt and calls for Christian institutions of higher education to take an active role in providing financial training for ministry students. A financial management curriculum outline of three 90-minute sessions is provided to facilitate financial training for ministry students to make debt choices for an education that will both enable graduation and secure sufficient income within his or her vocation.
Key words: Ministry students, Vocational Ministry, Finances, Financial Training
Students in college today are experiencing a life stage—emerging adulthood—that previous generations did not experience. Society has not provided clear social expectations and boundaries on this life stage yet. This has led to two different research-based characterizations of the reality students are experiencing: a time of exploration and opportunities (Arnett, 2004) and a time of lostness and struggle (Smith, Christoffersen, Davidson, & Herzog, 2011). This research uses data from 6,074 students at 22 Christian colleges to determine which of these descriptions better characterizes their experiences of emerging adulthood and what role different kinds of religiosity play in those experiences. Generally, students at Christian colleges find emerging adulthood to be a time of exploration and opportunity, and not a time of being lost and disconnected. Religiosity (measured in seven different ways) consistently is associated with decreased lostness, has no effect on exploration, and is associated with an increased perception of opportunity.
This article examines how the Synod of Dort further developed John Calvin’s ideas on the human depravity of the mind. The Synod of Dort carried forward Calvin’s teachings by explaining human depravity in more measured terms and by using more nuanced descriptions of the depraved mind. Though the corruption of the human mind affected humanity’s ability to properly learn spiritual truth, the Synod of Dort believed that the grace of God and faithful Christian education could overcome the problem. Dort understood that effective Christian education in homes, schools, and churches would lead to greater theological unity resulting in peace throughout the Netherlands in the early 17th century.
Missions and Christian education exist as isolated academic and ministerial siloes. In this article, a mutually-supportive perspective – an interactive dance – is presented as an analogy of the inherent connectedness of Missions and Christian education. This interactive dance is illustrated here through personal experiences and published resources, and throughout this Issue in divergent and profound ways.
Christian Education in an African Context” describes practical lessons learned in the development of a discipleship team of Malawian pastors who travel to churches throughout Malawi, discipling members and training teachers and elders. Distinctions between Western and African cultures and perspectives are emphasized. Problems the team faced, and their solutions to those problems, are explained by way of true stories and biblical principles. “What I have written here is my attempt to share some of the lessons that we learned along the way during our continuous pursuit to advance Christian education and discipleship among believers in Malawi.
This article summons Christian Educators to personally engage in Jesus’ worldwide discipling enterprise – “teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.” The interactive dance of Missions and Christian Education is underscored through a CE lens by way of personal mission experiences, practical advice, specific links to electronic resources, and “lessons learned” by this world-traveling Christian educator. This provocative overview stands as a fitting capstone to this Special Issue.
Equipping the Deaf Worldwide” describes recent efforts to apply the principles of indigenous church planting to the evangelization and equipping of Deaf people, and the organization of Deaf churches, throughout the world. This article underscores the Deaf as a language group, “oral learners,” bound together by common cultural bonds, capable of sharing the Gospel, planting churches, and developing leaders within the context of deafness. “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” John 17:18, NIV).
Decentralized Theological Education in Europe” describes tangible steps taken by missionaries to train and mentor “indigenous leaders who train and mentor others” through the Decentralized Theological Education (DTE) program in Europe. They prayed that God would empower this tool for the multiplication of churches and the development of indigenous leadership throughout Europe. “And we have been privileged to see Him do just that, to his glory.
Compiled by Rick Yount, with Input from “Special Focus” Authors New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Allen, Roland. (1997). The spontaneous expansion of the church. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. (Original work published 1927)
Allen, Roland. (2011). Missionary methods: St. Paul’s or ours? [Kindle Version]. Retrieved from (Original book published 1912)
Fiedler, Klaus. (1999). Christianity and African culture: Conservative German Protestant missionaries in Tanzania 1900–1940. Zomba, Malawi: Kachere.
Garrison, David. (1999). Church planting movements: How God is redeeming a lost world. Nashville, TN: International Mission Board, SBC.
Garrison, David. (2004). Church planting movements. Midlothian, VA: WIGTake.
Hesselgrave, David J. (1991). Communicating Christ cross-culturally: An introduction to missionary communication (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Hiebert, Paul G. (1985). Anthropological insights for missionaries. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
Lederleitner, M. T. (2010). Cross-cultural partnerships: Navigating the complexities of money and mission. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
Light, Vernon E. (2012). Transforming the church in Africa: A new contextually relevant discipleship model. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Lingenfelter, Sherwood G., & Mayers, Marvin K. (2003). Ministering crossculturally: An incarnational model for personal relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Moreau, S. (2012). Contextualization in world missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel.
Morris, Wayne. (2008). Theology without words: Theology in the Deaf community. London, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
Steffen, Tom A. (2007). Reconnecting God’s story to ministry: Cross-cultural storytelling at home and abroad. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Terry, J. O. (2009). Basic Bible storying: Preparing and presenting Bible stories for evangelism, discipleship, training, and ministry. Fort Worth, TX: Church Starting Network.
Wendland, Ernst, & Hachibamba, Salimo. (2007). Galu wamkota: Missiological reflections from South- Central Africa. Zomba, Malawi: Kachere.
Wilson, Amy, & Kakiri, Nik. (2011). Best practices for collaborating with Deaf communities in developing countries. In Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli (Eds.), Deaf around the world: The impact of language (pp. 271–286). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Woodward, James. (1982). How you gonna get to heaven if you can’t talk with Jesus: On depathologizing deafness. Silver Springs, MD: T.J. Publishers.
Yount, William R. (1996). Created to learn: A Christian teacher’s introduction to educational psychology. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
Yount, William R. (1999). Called to teach. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
Yount, William R., & Barnett, Mike. (2007). Called to reach. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
Slack, Jim. (2010). Practices in orality: The existence, identification, and engagement of a people’s worldview. In S. Chiang, S. Evans, R. Gillchrest, M. Lawson, L. Fortunak Nichols, J. White (Eds.), Orality breakouts: Using heart language to transform hearts (pp. 73–80). Hong Kong: International Orality Network, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Korea.
Steibel, S. (2010). Christian education and spiritual formation: One and the same? Christian Education Journal, 7(2), 340–355.
Stringer, Stephen. (2010). From storytelling to church. In S. Chiang, S. Evans, R. Gillchrest, M. Lawson, L. Fortunak Nichols, J. White (Eds.), Orality breakouts: Using heart language to transform hearts (pp. 67–72). Hong Kong: International Orality Network, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Korea.
Central Intelligence Agency. (2016). The world factbook: Malawi. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mi.html
Selected Decentralized Theological Education Materials Booth, S. M. (1999). Decentralized theological education: Old Testament 1. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Booth, S. (2001). Decentralized theological education: New Testament 1. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Capps, R. (1999). Decentralized theological education: New Testament 2. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
DTE Curriculum Development Team. (1999). Decentralized theological education: Facilitator’s manual. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Hunter, S. T. (2002). Decentralized theological education: Pastoral leadership 1. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
International Mission Board. (2000). Decentralized theological education: A training program for European Christians [Brochure]. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Jordan, E. L. (2000). Biblical hermeneutics: How to interpret the Bible in interactive study. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Pearce, P. (2014). Christian doctrine 1: The doctrines of revelation, God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Richmond, VA: International Mission Board.
Faith forward: Re-imagining children’s and youth ministry (Vol. 2). Edited
by David M. Csinos and Melvin Bray. Kelowna, BC, Canada: Copper-
House. 2015. 191 pp. $13.20. paper.
Review by Colleen Derr, Congregational Formation and Christian Ministries,
Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN.
Every child welcome: A ministry handbook for including kids with special
needs. By Katie Wetherbee and Jolene Philo. Grand Rapid, MI: Kregel.
2015. 176 pp. $14.99. paper.
Review by Dawn R. Morton, Practical Theology, Ashland Theological Seminary,
The power of children: The construction of Christian families in the Greco-
Roman world. By Margaret Y. MacDonald. Waco, TX: Baylor University
Press. 2014. 255 pp. $49.95.
Review by Sharon Warkentin Short, Online Educator in Christian Formation
and Ministry, Renton, WA.