In 1993 an interdenominational study of current and former educational ministry staff sought answers to five questions regarding educational ministry staff in local churches. The answers provide us with a clearer picture of the current state of the profession. This is the first of three articles growing out of the study.
What does it mean to be spiritual? The author suggests that just as there are multiple intelligences, there are multiple spiritualities. Yet it seems our schools and churches teach people how to be spiritual according to some traditional formula. The author presents a six-dimensional view of spirituality.
The author suggests that the present crisis in Christian Education can be reversed when leaders in the discipline reconsider their own personal lives and roles. His contention is that the Christian educator can learn from the roles of mentor and spiritual director and thus enhance her/his role as educator.
The author reviews the impact that societal changes are having on the process of curricula design for the local church. He suggests a six-step process for curricula design, providing a checklist to help ensure effective curricula design for the local church.
Christian educators are well aware that modern society faces complex and difficult issues that threaten its very survival. Yet most of us are confused about how to respond. During the past few years several major publishers have taken a serious look at these issues and published thoughtful materials designed to help Christians analyze current social issues in the light of the Bible.
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 author posits that when five major learning principles are applied to the Christian Education setting, growth areas become evident. A survey of five churches demonstrates the need to change from the traditional pedagogical model to an andragogical model. Adults desire Christina Education which meets daily needs and want to be part of the planning and implementation process.
The author and his students studied all 125 teaching situations in the four Gospels for insights into the process of teaching employed by Jesus. Employing five categories for evaluation, they identified the primary teaching procedure, the role played by the Holy Spirit, and the type of environment predominately used. The study showed that in about 60 percent of the teaching situations Jesus let the learner initiate the teaching situation. Five guidelines are provided for teachers who today want to follow the example of Jesus.
The author compares three approaches to decision making commonly employed in churches and Christian institutions. He reaches the conclusion that participatory tactics offer the greatest opportunity for leadership development among church leaders. Biblical reasons and practical suggestions are presented, with a view to encouraging greater use of participatory tactics in decision making.