In the realm of Christian education, the topic of adult spiritual formation has been broadly considered from the philosophical, theological, and practical viewpoints in order to aid spiritual formation practitioners in the design and execution of spiritual formation endeavors. Paralleling this body of literature is the vast topic of adult learning theory, examining the various ways adults learn. While the two disciplines seem to have potential commonalities, few works overtly identify them. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate connections between principles of spiritual formation and principles of adult learning theory found in the literature that have not previously been articulated, focusing on missional spiritual formation and the adult learning theories of andragogy and
Keywords: Spiritual formation, discipleship, missional discipleship, adult learning theory, andragogy, transformative learning theory.
Disciple-centered leadership is a philosophical approach to ministry training based on the idea that disciples possess assets that are critical to the teaching-learning relationship. After defining the construct, this article proceeds to relate it to the educational literature on learner-centered leadership. Paulo Freire’s work and Roland Allen’s work are then examined from an inter-disciplinary perspective in order to discuss key ideas relevant to disciple-centered leadership. The article concludes by examining this philosophy in light of the equipping responsibility of ministry leaders.
Key words: disciple-centered leadership, student-centered learning, teaching and learning, educational
ministry, ministry leadership, pastoral leadership
Today’s evangelical local church landscape has begun to experience a shift in its ethnic expressions. Multiethnic churches are a more common reality, and given current demographic trends they will likely become more numerous in the coming decades. This movement has caused many church leaders to question their methods and practices in order to best minister to their changing congregations. This article is a case-study exploration into seven multi-ethnic evangelical churches in the Boston area focused on their Christian formation and discipleship ministries.
Key Words: Multiethnic, Christian Formation, Discipleship, Church, Christian Education
Many Korean immigrant churches recognize the importance of educational ministry in raising the next generation in faith. However, most of them do not have a culturally appropriate philosophy of educational ministry that considers the distinct Korean-American context. With an intention to help education pastors understand the cultural specificities of Korean immigrant churches and to connect those cultural characteristics with educational practices, the author has provided an educational ministry model for Korean immigrant churches based on Frankena’s philosophy of education. Emphasis was placed on the specific contexts of Korean-American immigrant churches and the practical strategies for educational ministry within these churches.
Key Words: Korean immigrant church education, educational ministry model, Korean-Americanministry cultural context, Frankena’s philosophy of education
This article explores how parish members in the later medieval era in England learned the Christian faith through a variety of means (e.g., preaching, liturgical calendar, art, music, poetry, drama, confessional instruction, spiritual kinship relationships, catechetical instruction) with an eye on what we might learn from this era that could strengthen the church’s educational ministry efforts in the present.
Key Words: Middle ages, medieval, catechism, catechesis, preaching, religious art, religious drama, religious music, religious poetry, godparents, liturgical calendar, confession
Most children’s ministries focus their creative energies on the evangelization and discipleship of children. They offer excellent, well-planned events and programs that encourage children to form significant relationships, memorize Scripture, learn Bible stories in new and innovative ways, and experience deep and moving worship. Often overlooked is the importance of creating opportunities for children to serve. This article will argue that it is our biblical mandate to serve and that serving is spiritually forming for both adults and children. Various models of how churches are involving children in service opportunities will be explored, as well as the effects that it is having on children, their families, and our churches.
Key words: Children, Serve, Ministry, Spiritual development
There are many questions that are still yet to be explored regarding small group ministry, among these questions this article addresses how small groups equip group members for ministry. This article argues that ultimately it is through the learning process in small groups, with the goal of attaining Christlikeness, that group members are equipped for ministry. This article will examine how various learning constructs support the equipping of small group members, and then recommend two propositions for improving small group ministry efforts to equip group members for ministry.
Keywords: small groups, equipping, learning process, ministry
Jesus’ model for discipleship (John 15:1–16) is grounded within a context of human and divine relationships: abiding in Christ, fellowshipping with other disciples, and ministering to needs of others in the world and in the church. As the Christian community becomes increasingly reliant on digital technology and the Internet to provide an environment and resources for disciple-making, we must also be familiar with the available options and understand the benefits and limitations of using these methods as we seek to establish and enhance these essential spiritual relationships.
Keywords: discipleship, disciple-making, online, spiritual formation
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
Commonly prescribed vocational discipleship strategies have been devoid of teaching methods specifically designed for engaging the imagination. To fill this methodological gap, the author developed the 4D-R method for imagining the future and conducted a qualitative study to understand adult evangelical Christians’ experience of the method. The findings indicate that the 4D-R method for imagining the future could be a useful strategy for vocational discipleship, particularly in the area of vocational discernment. The findings further suggest a relationship between common vocational discipleship strategies and the 4D-R method for imagining the future.
Key Words: vocation; discipleship; qualitative research; teaching – methods
To fill a methodological gap in vocational discipleship methods, the author developed the 4D-R method for vocational discipleship. The author then embedded the 4D-R method in a reflective journal and conducted a qualitative study to understand adult evangelical Christians’ experience with the 4D-R method. This article presents findings related to the design, development, and use of the 4D-R method.
Key Words: vocation; discipleship; qualitative research; teaching – methods
Augsburger, David. (2006). Dissident discipleship: A spirituality of self-surrender, love of God, and love of neighbor. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos.
Barna, George. (2003). Transforming children into spiritual champions. Ventura, CA: Regal.
Bass, Dorothy C., Ed. (2010). Practicing our faith: A way of life for a searching people (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Dykstra, Craig. (2005). Growing in the life of faith: Education and Christian practices (2nd ed.). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
Mallory, Sue. (2016). The equipping church: Serving together to transform lives. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Mallory, Sue, & Smith, Brad. (2001). The equipping church guidebook. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
McKinney, Lora-Ellen. (2003). Christian education in the African American church. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.
Osmer, Richard. (2005). The teaching ministry of congregations. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
Parrett, Gary A., & Kang, Steve. (2009). Teaching the faith, forming the faithful: A biblical vision for education in the church. Downers Grove, IL: IVP.
Wilhoit, James C. (2008). Spiritual formation as if the church mattered: Growing in Christ through community. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Yount, William R. (2010). Created to learn: A Christian teacher’s introduction to educational psychology. Nashville, TN: B&H.
The invisible bestseller: Searching for the Bible in America. By Kenneth A. Briggs. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 2016. 255 pp.
Review by Sharon Warkentin Short, Ph. D., Online Educator in Christian Formation and Ministry (Various colleges and universities), Renton, WA.
Children’s perceptions of the role of biblical narratives in their spiritual formation. By Annie George. Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Langham Partnership. 2017. 280 pp.
Review by Colleen Derr, Associate Professor of Congregational Formation and Christian Ministries, Wesley Seminary, Marion, IN.
Dedicated: Training your children to trust and follow Jesus. By Jason Houser, Bobby Harrington, and Chad Harrington. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2015. 191 pp.
Review by Stacey Davis, Adjunct Professor of Christian Ministries and Leadership, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.
Owning faith: Reimagining the role of church and family in the faith journey of teenagers. By Ron Bruner and Dudley Chancey. Abilene, TX: Leafwood Publishers. 2017. 308 pp.
Review by C. Ethan Linder, College, Young Adult, and Connections Pastor, College Wesleyan Church, Marion, IN.
Christian education and the emerging church: Postmodern faith formation. By Wendi Sargeant. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications. 2015. 236 pp.
Review by Joo Chang Jang, Ph.D. Candidate, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.
The history of theological education. By Justo L. González. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. 2015. 176 pp.
Review by Benjamin D. Espinoza, Ph.D. student, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.
The Christian college and the meaning of academic freedom. By William C. Ringenberg. New York, NY: MacMillan. 2016. 319 pp.
Review by Stan Meyer, PhD Student, Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.
Created & creating: A biblical theology of culture. By William Edgar. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. 2017. 272 pp.
Review by Daniel T. Haase, Christian Formation & Ministry Dept. / Center for Global and Experiential Learning, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.
The cruciform faculty: The making of a Christian professor. By M. H. Heinemann, J. R. Estep Jr., M. A. Maddix, and O. J. Esqueda. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 2017. 76 pp.
Review by Shawn M. Lindsay, Dean of Online Learning and Professor of Christian Education, Ozark Christian College, Joplin, MO.
“Return to me.” A biblical theology of repentance. By Mark J. Boda. New Studies in Biblical Theology 35. Leicester, UK: Apollos; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. 2015. 212 pp.
Review by Octavio J. Esqueda, Professor of Christian Higher Education, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.
Love your God with all your mind: The role of reason within the life of the soul. 2nd rev. ed. By J. P. Moreland. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress. 2012. 244 pp.
Review by Nishanth Thomas, Associate Professor and Director of Spiritual Development, Pillar College, Newark, NJ.
Work matters: Connecting Sunday worship to Monday work. By Tom Nelson. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2011. 204 pp.
Review by Jane Carr, Professor of Christian Ministries, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.
Lead like Jesus revisited: Lessons from the greatest leadership role model of all time. By Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, and Phyllis Hendry. Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group. 2016. 317 pp.
Review by Hans Googer, Doctoral Student in Leadership, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.