Christian Education Ministry involves the administration and coordination of programs or strategies to facilitate the spiritual growth or discipleship of believers into Christ-likeness.
Philosophy Behind It:
A church needs to develop a sound philosophy for Christian education based on the Word of God. A sound philosophical statement is not enough, however, to experience the transformation of lives. What is on paper must be put into practice for it to make a difference. Too often an incongruence exists between what is on paper and the actual operative philosophy of the church's leadership.
We all have a philosophy by which we do ministry. We may not be able to verbalize it. We may not have it written on paper. But, key elements of belief tend to drive us to serve the way we do.
A person or ministry could have a philosophy written down on paper yet operate from a different set of beliefs. That which is in the heart and mind tends to preempt that which is on paper unless the person or ministry comes under strict accountability to abide by the written code. Even then, hints of what is truly inside will surface in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways. The source of many conflicts in ministry stem from an incongruence between philosophies.
Some of the key elements or core values at the basis of a philosophy for the Christian Education ministry of the church include the following. People involved in that ministry will fall somewhere on a spectrum within these elements. The effects will become evident in the way tasks are approached and the way people are treated.
The Christian Education ministry of the church is not a one person job. It takes many people working at different levels and in different capacities. When working as a team, key leaders of the various areas will have a much greater effectiveness than if they focus only on themselves and their own areas of responsibility. A Director of Christian Education certainly can provide pivotal leadership. Without the support of the pastor and other church leadership, this person can only go so far.
Building a team could be one of the most important tasks apart from the discipleship process itself. If you have the right people involved in this ministry, the likelihood of seeing lives changed through the various strategies and programs will increase.
Levels On Which It Happens:
Listening to a sermon in the corporate worship service is not enough to facilitate true growth. Discipleship also needs to be happening on the personal level, one-on-one with fellow believers, in small groups, and in midsize groups. Each of these levels offers a different dynamic to the growth process.
Groupings In Which It Happens:
While breaking people into groups according to age, needs, interests, or abilities can be helpful, we must be careful not to totally fragment the body. In whatever we do, we must line up with body life principles.
Strategies/Programs Through Which It Happens:
Traditional programs have served the church well in the past. Many churches, however, are experiencing a decrease in attendance and commitment to some of these programs. Should they be abandoned? If so, should they be replaced with something else?
Models That Can Be Used Within the Various Strategies:
Before abandoning a program, perhaps we would do well to examine the structure used in it. As with strategies, we often default to the traditional formats for these programs. Perhaps it is time to examine some other models to see if they would better fit your particular church's profile and needs.
Other Factors Needed:
To carry out strategies, decisions must be made about curriculum, facilities must be evaluated, a budget must be proposed, policies must be developed, and scheduling must be coordinated.