Share: ~ Your name ~ Your position in the church ~ Your picture you chose and why you chose it
We will work with: History and future of Christian education Some theology and Bible Tools of the trade Care for yourself Questions not covered
The Beginning of Christian Education ~ There has always been some form of teaching. ~ It began as membership training for adults. ~ Then the teaching came from the pulpit, directed to adult congregants.
~ Stained glass windows were a part of the teaching, since the people generally couldn’t read.
Sunday school as we know it began in England in the 18 th century in the home of a Mrs. Meredith in England. Robert Raikes, editor of the Gloucester Journal, saw the need to prevent children in the slums from descending into crime. The first Sunday school in London opened at Surrey Chapel under Rowland Hill.
This was a school for children who worked six days a week and could not attend regular classes, therefore it was on Sunday. These first Sunday school classes essentially taught the basics of education, using the Bible as a textbook for reading.
~ Later we developed child labor laws and mandatory public education. ~ Sunday school shifted its emphasis from the basics of the Three R’s to religious training. ~ Sunday school became an option for all ages.
Vacation Bible School was developed as a concentrated study primarily with outreach into the community. In recent years we have added weekday learning opportunities as well as seasonal learning experiences. Some are done routinely and some as one-time events. Preschools and elementary day school components were also added.
Sunday school has geared its training to specific age groups. What are the pros and cons of this?
BUT….. Have we divided our educational experiences according to age levels too much? Children Youth Adults
When do your children, youth and adults have opportunities to learn together?
Multi-generational Resources ~ Side by Side: Families Learning and Living the Faith Together – by Delia Halverson ~ One Body: Integrating Teenagers into the Life of Your Church – by Sam Halverson ~ Faithful Generations: Effective Ministry Across Generational Lines – by John Mabry
Look to the Future Christian Education vs. Christian Faith Formation How are these two terms different?
We must think outside the box! Use 4 straight lines, and without lifting pen off the paper, connect all the dots. ooo ooo
What does the future of Christian Faith Formation look like?
Look at your church mission description. ~ Where do you see Christian formation fitting into it? Look at example.
Anywhere United Methodist Church follows Christ by reaching out to persons around us and helping them to recognize God, nurturing them into discipleship, and sending them out to live as disciples. Reach out to others Relate persons to God Nurture and guide Send out
~ We must bring about the spiritual formation of our members. ~ We must reach out to share Christ with others. ~ We must align our lives and mission with God.
Christian Formation of the Whole Church ~ Christian education has been relegated to its own little box too long. ~ We haven’t realized opportunities to work with different committees of the church, in full mission. ~ All committees need to give up protected ownership and see ministry as a whole.
Church committees we can help further faith formation: Administrative Committees Worship Committee Stewardship Committee Witness/Evangelism Committee Mission Committee
Administrative Committees ~ Help them see the total mission of the church. ~ Through age-level learning, share the connection of administration and mission. ~ Help committee meetings become opportunities for spiritual growth.
Worship ~ We must help with the training for worship, not only children but also with youth and adults. ~ We must help the people explore the themes of the sermons. ~ We must help meetings become spiritual growth opportunities for the committee members.
Stewardship ~ We must help this committee see themselves as part of the total mission of the church. They usually see themselves only as the “money- raising” arm of the church. ~ We must teach the congregation the true meaning of stewardship. ~ We must help folks understand how growth in the practices of stewardship contributes to their faith formation. ~ We must help people discover their “gifts” and challenge them to use these gifts as good stewards.
~ We must help children and youth be a part of the commitment emphasis. They can make posters expressing the things they like about the church or write litanies on ways we serve God through the church. Are there other ways? ~ We must help the stewardship committee create educational pieces about what our money is used for, not only in the local church, but also the use of funds that go to the denominational body.
Witness/Evangelism ~ We must recognize that the Sunday school is a primary entry into the church. ~ We must help to create a welcoming atmosphere for those who come. ~ We must follow Jesus’ example of gathering a group, teaching them, and sending them out to others. ~ We must involve newcomers in the ministry of the church even before they join, because this is a characteristic of today’s generation. ~ We must be a part of classes for potential members as well as confirmation classes.
Mission ~ We must help educate the congregation about the true meaning of mission. ~ We must share the various missions of the church, both local and those carried on through our denomination. How can we do it? ~ We must help educate those who go out to participate in “hands on” mission opportunities – not only “how to” training but spiritual depth that will help them see the mission as their calling to follow Christ.
Today's vision must go beyond status quo quality. "If it works don't fix it." vs. "If it works, review it and improve it to work better."
How do we improve and review it? ~ Instead of trying one program and then another in a hit a miss fashion, look at the system. ~ What are some ways to evaluate the system? ~ How do you gather info.? ~ What sort of input are you getting? ~ Who decides/plans? ~ How is total church involved? ~ What other areas relate to the system?
Planning for Ministry 1. Listen to people's deepest yearnings. 2. Put together a system that will meet people's basic expectations of the church. 3. Improve that system so that it goes beyond people's expectations to delight and excite them. 4. Act -- through leaders -- to empower all the people to contribute to the effort. --From Quest for Quality in the Church, page 3 by Ezra Earl Jones--Discipleship Resources
Theology Being a progressive Christian Educator is not simply being okay with people believing whatever they want. A progressive Christian educator should be familiar with the theologies shaping the current trends in Christian thought and praxis. Some of these include feminist theology, liberation theology, and postmodern thought. -- workshop on Sunday afternoon Progressive Theologies and CE - Jonathan and Shannon LeMaster-Smith
Principles of Bible Study 1. Word of God is Jesus Christ. We look behind, in, and through words of the Bible for God’s word (Jesus Christ). 2. No Christian has a monopoly We all listen to one another as we seek to on understanding. understand. 3. Assume everyone has We’ll not accuse one another of being Christian integrity. unchristian. 4. Assume we will arrive at We are more disturbed with this than God. different understandings. 5. Few know Hebrew or Greek. We must use various English versions. 6. Accept differences between us. These differences are important and do matter. 7. Although we will end up with We can still be warm Christian friends different biblical understandings. -- from Teaching the Bible to Adults and Youth by Dick Murray, page 133 (Also used in Disciple Bible Study)
Bible Study Some folks can memorize, some can’t Learn general placement of books of Bible. (see handout) Develop age level goals for studying the Bible. (see handout)
Additional thoughts on Bible Study Read passage in the context of that day. Study the introductory paragraphs to each book. Be aware of your senses as you read. Paraphrase verses. Try journaling as you read. Establish a working Bible. Use study Bibles.
Faith Formation Emunah – Hebrew word for faith, A total trust and confidence in God. Faith = relationship with God. Belief = what I believe at this point. It is likely to change.
Draw an image or write in the inner circle: A figure or a word that tells about a time that you felt physically or emotionally warm. Discuss it briefly with those in your group..
Experienced Faith ~ awe and worship of God ~ experience grace and caring love of God through others How can teachers bring this about? How can parents bring this about? How can we help parents bring this about?
In next circle: Draw a figure or write a word that tells about a person who has influenced you in your faith. Name that person in your group.
Affiliated Faith ~ experiences with others as family of God ~ relationships with other generations ~ relationships with other cultures How can teachers bring this about? How can parents bring this about? How can we help parents bring this about?
In the third circle: Draw a figure or write a word that tells about a belief that you had earlier and has changed since childhood, or perhaps more recently. Discuss it briefly with those in your group.
Searching Faith ~ searching for one’s own answers ~ open to seeing all sides of a question ~ primarily with older youth and young adults How can teachers bring this about? How can parents bring this about? How can we help parents bring this about?
Leaders of young children are advocates of the faith. They: --share the stories of the Bible. --share beliefs they have in simple words. --do not reticule those with different beliefs. --share joy of seeing God in everyday life.
It’s important for older children youth, and adults to have an advocate of the faith: --someone who will not only share his or her beliefs, but also say, “Some people believe one way and some another – now you think about how YOU believe.” --someone who will LISTEN to questions and encourage them to answer themselves. --someone who doesn’t force his/her beliefs.
In outer circle: Write the name of a person that you believe has a very close relationship with God. It may or may not be someone you know personally.
Owned Faith ~ living the faith ~ owning it and acknowledging our beliefs BUT not insisting others must believe as you do
What happens to a tree when you take the center rings out? So we must always use all styles of faith once we’ve moved through them.
Just as an oak is an oak, whether a seedling OR a hundred-year-old tree, so we all have a faith and need affirmation in that faith, no matter what styles we function from.
John Wesley’s Quadrilateral Four ways to come to an understanding of God. Scripture – Using the scripture to guide us in our decisions as well as enriching our spiritual life. Tradition – Gaining understanding of God from those in the great cloud of witnesses of the past. Experience – Considering the experiences you have had and are currently having and looking for God in them. Reason – Having a open mind to how the scripture applies to us today.
Tools of the Trade Volunteers Knowing students Curriculum Classrooms Budgets Committee Meetings
Quality and beyond comes from locating and training quality leaders.
Finding and Keeping Volunteers Sharing the Call and Showing You Care Share with your neighbor something about your frustration as you work with volunteers.
Igniting Excitement ~ Newsletter articles of events – before and after ~ Pictures on screen before services or in gathering area ~ Pictures framed nicely and displayed ~ Posters ~ Litanies/prayers from classes used in worship with credits ~ Include children in church-wide events ~ Teacher pictures outside doors ~ Pictures of children in classroom, outside doors
Calling Teachers to Serve Prepare to Search ~ When do we search? ~ Lay foundation of excitement. ~ Lift up ministry in prayer. – Prayers in worship for teachers – Prayer partners – Prayer list – particularly when filling positions
Criteria for Teachers ~ Caring person ~ Knowledge of age level of students ~ Good communication skills ~ Basic knowledge of Bible ~ Faithfulness to church ~ Theological perspective ~ Personal integrity
Teacher’s theological perspective Interviews Ask them to take Disciple Bible Study Reflections for Teachers (pp. 112-113 Nuts & Bolts (Consider using these questions when recruiting adult and youth teachers, recall that an inquiring faith is important for youth and adult teachers.)
Discover Potential Teachers ~ Personal interview ~ Personal information file ~ Talent cards/surveys ~ Staff contact data ~ Persons not involved in many other things ~ Call those previously declined ~ Ministry fair
Terms of Call (Sample) As you respond to Christ’s call to teach, __________________ Church covenants with each teacher that The church will:The teacher will: support through congregation spend time preparing provide curriculum materials be in the classroom before the session provide training experiences attend worship; be part of total church provide leadership and resource know persons in his/her class and persons recognize their needs provide supplies, audio-visuals, etc. attend and participate in planning provide clean, furnished rooms show and share his/her faith provide support and help from use curriculum approved by the pastor and staff church provide opportunities for personal attend training events whenever Christian growth possible --from How to Train Volunteer Teachers (Abingdon Press) by Delia Halverson
Delivering the Call ~ Create “Terms of Call” ~ Match talents with opportunities ~ Match teaching teams ~ Approach personally ~ If they say “no”, consider other areas of service
Models of Teaching/Classes Self-Contained Classroom Workshop Rotation Stretch-the-Story (self-contained classroom) Large Group – Small Group Intergenerational One-room Classroom Others?
Rotating Teachers ~ Why should we have two teachers in each classroom? (Safe Sanctuaries by Joy Milton) ~ What is the ideal policy for staffing teachers? ~ What other options are there?
SUMMER Team D – Lead Team A – Assist FALL Team A – Lead Team B – Assist WINTER Team B – Lead Team C – Assist SPRING Team C – Lead Team D – Assist CYCLE TEACHING
Training Models Regular Interval Training Course for Several Weeks Apprenticeship Master Teacher’s Classroom One-on-One Training Self-directed Study District and Regional Training
Group Training Times Weeknight training Saturday morning Sunday morning Sunday lunch Sunday evening
Showing Appreciation – a good way to keep them! Value of a volunteer 2 hours a week = 104 hours a year Minimum wage: $7.25 x 104 $754.00 4 hours a week = 208 hours a year Minimum wage: $7.25 x 208 $1,508.00 Cost of affirmations – small by comparison
Prayers for My Volunteers SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday Thank God for my call to ministry List 1/5 of teachers List 1/5 of teachers List 1/5 of teachers List 1/5 of teachers List 1/5 of teachers Pray for my church and allow God to work through me as I share God’s grace.
Other Appreciation Suggestions Dedication Service Printed and on-line helps Bible study or other enrichment classes Special opportunities for appreciation What other suggestions?
References Ready, Set, Teach: Training & Supporting Volunteers in Christian Education by Delia Halverson Nuts & Bolts of Christian Education by Delia Halverson How to Train Volunteer Teachers by Delia Halverson Teaching Today’s Teachers to Teach by Donald Griggs Ministry of Christian Education and Formation editor Linda Whited
Knowing the Students The better we know the students the better we can help them with faith formation. ~ Know as many as possible personally, but remember that your main responsibility is to your teachers and leaders. You must be able to work with the adults. ~ Know the characteristics of the students. You can help your teachers with this too.
Age Level Characteristics Think of a specific child or youth or adult in your church. p. 72 & 69 of Nuts & Bolts of Christian Education
Pray with me, reading the underlined parts: God, we have many types of students. You made each one special.
(Preschool characteristics) --for these preschool students, we thank you (Elementary characteristics) --for these elementary students, we thank you. (Youth characteristics) --for these middle & high school students, we thank you. (Millennium characteristics) --for these Millennium students, we thank you. (Generation X characteristics) --for these Generation X students, we thank you. (Baby Boomer characteristics) --for these Baby Boomer students, we thank you. (GI and Silent Generation characteristics.) --for these GI & Silent Generation students, we thank you.
These can be found on: Pages72-80 and 69-71 in Nuts & Bolts of Christian Education. Pages 17-25 in 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher ~ Millennial Generation – I can email to you.
The Child/The Concept Concepts appropriate to specific ages: God Jesus Prayer Church Bible Chart on pages 26-27: 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher by Delia Halverson.
How Do We Learn Although we learn through multiple, they generally fall into three categories: Audio Visual Kinesthetic (movement) Review Multiple Intellegence handout.
Selecting Curriculum We so often refer to the printed resources that we use in the church as the “curriculum” when in reality the whole design or plan for the education program is the curriculum. What, besides printed materials, can we see as curriculum? Look at handout.
Types of Adult Classes Fellowship Style – ~ likes stability in teachers ~ enjoys informal discussion ~ places high value on relationships ~ desires curriculum relevant to life today ~ prefers a study with no preparation on part of student is required
Traditional Style – ~ Bible oriented with emphasis on beliefs ~ like regular teachers with lecture style of teaching ~ enjoy dated curriculum ~ enjoy a traditional classroom style
Study Style – ~ likes to study Christian faith and life application ~ prefers to choose a teacher who is a co-learner ~ likes good teaching aids ~ has a tolerate attitude toward belief positions other than their own ~ enjoys curriculum relevant to today
Social Action – ~ seems to be people-centered and service- centered ~ sees faith as a private matter and places more importance on social action ~ sees church as an opportunity to act for Christ and looks for ways class may do this ~ studies ways to carry faith into the world
Multiple Interest style – ~ sees views halfway between other groups, usually combining fellowship with another ~ respects others’ views ~ feels comfortable with a wide variety of teaching methods and curricula – adapted from LEADING ADULT LEARNERS (p. 21) by Delia Halverson
General questions about adult curriculum Is the material sound theologically, according to your church? How does the material carry out the purpose/goals of Christian education in your church and denomination? How does the material help the learners connect what they are learning with other aspects of the church, such as worship, stewardship, mission, and outreach? How does the material help the learners connect what they are learning with their lives? Does the material approach a variety of learning styles? (not just listening)
Does the material encourage informational or formational teaching? Informational = dwells on presentation with learner feeding back information. Unless care is taken this form of teaching can dwell on telling learners what to think without giving them encouragement to think for themselves. Formational = gives background information, but helps learners think through how materials apply to their lives and involves more interactions between learners. Presents various attitudes about a subject and encourages learners to think for themselves.
Big Question for ALL ages: Is the flashiness or popularity of the material convincing you to use it without looking at the theology?
What would you like to see in new curriculum from UMPH? Write suggestions on a paper for me.
Classrooms The environment of the classroom sends a message about just how important the students are and how important the teacher feels about what goes on in the room. (Review handout on classroom)
Other concerns about classrooms Classroom size for age levels – pp. 32-33 Nuts & Bolts Shared space – p. 35 Nuts & Bolts Supplies – pp. 25-28 Nuts & Bolts Fire escape plan – p. 35 Nuts & Bolts
What of Budgets? Look at budgets as a financial plan for ministry. Include the educational budget in the overall church because: It places education as an important aspect of the church. It backs the ministry of the teachers by saying “We as a congregation, stand behind you and thank you for your ministry. It enables you to plan with a clear understanding of your resources. It unifies the mission of the church instead of committees vying for funds.
The general rule of thumb is that education (excluding any staff salaries) should be allotted about two to five percent of the congregation’s budget. Specify exactly where each bill is to be accounted – such as supplies for VBS should be under VBS and not under “supplies”. Sample budget on page 93 in Nuts & Bolts of Christian Education.
Committee Meetings Committee meetings should bring a holy experience for those attending. Set up the meeting as you would a worship service: ~ Praise to God ~ Teling the story (where see God working) ~ Offering (agenda items) ~ Sending forth (how you will follow God’s calling)
Committee: _____________________ Meeting Agenda Date __________ AGENDA ACTION/NOTES Praise and Singing Telling the Story (Where do you see God working in self/church?) Offering (items to be planned, reviewed) Sending forth (How/when will we carry out our offering to God?) Copies to: ________________________________
Compare career vs. vocation AND Fixing a program vs. accomplishing God's will
Take care of your spiritual needs Keep a Sabbath time. Prepare for prayer P repare yourself R epeat simple verse or prayer A ccept God into your heart Y ield all that bothers you to God E njoy God’s presence R eview how your felt (perhaps by journaling) Journaling
Take care of your physical self – eat properly and allow time for enough sleep and recreation. Take care of your social life – setting aside time for family and time with people outside the church. Take care of your professional life – take continuing education classes, set aside time for reading professional books, magazines, etc. and take part in a support group (CEF)