Sunday, March 21, 2010

How might a Christian education leadership team or committee use this book?

ISRAEL: This is one of the main focuses of the book. One of the most common problems in the churches we work with is that of a dedicated and committed group of people willing to provide a meaningful educational ministry in their church, but they lack understanding about how to organize themselves into an effective group. Also, many of these groups lack a practical framework for planning and so too often flounder in putting together one activity after another, or, purchasing one curricular program after another, with little attention to what is most effective in actually helping their congregational members grow in faith.

MARTY: What I see too is many staff Christian educators taking sole responsibility for planning the education program and ministries of the church. It is often easier and quicker to do that, but this runs counter to the Christian educator’s responsibility as the resident educator of the church! In the book’s approach the Christian educator is not responsible for planning, in detail, and carrying out the educational ministries for the congregation, nor bailing out church leaders who do not effectively carry out their responsibilities! The Christian educator is responsible for empowering church leaders and members by enlisting, resourcing, teaching, training, equipping, and encouraging church leaders and members to carry out their ministries! The work of educating in faith is too large a task for any one person to accomplish. The Christian educator needs a Christian Education Leadership Team to give intentional and regular oversight to all of the ways the congregation is being educated in faith. This book provides a structure and process that the Christian educator needs and will follow in order to be effective in his/her work.

Q: Can you give me an example of what that might look like?

MARTY: As said earlier, when most leadership teams meet, they fall into the trap of planning the calendar, giving reports, dealing with problems, and occasionally evaluating events. But there is rarely enough time left at the end of the hour for visioning, brainstorming, planning and assessing. Many groups attempt to address planning, visioning, and assessing needs in a yearly planning retreat. A yearly planning retreat is a good thing, but these functions cannot be addressed effectively at an annual planning retreat. These are ongoing functions that need attention throughout the year. The central purpose of the Christian Education Leadership Team is to address these functional needs in monthly meetings. The CELT will use this book as a guide for that purpose making sure that attention to all areas of congregational life are considered.

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