MARTY: The pastor is central to the effectiveness of this community of faith approach. Given the fact that the educational curriculum is “the course of the life of the church,” as Maria Harris, wrote, and that worship is one of the most effective forms of educating in faith, the pastor cannot be isolated from the Christian education efforts of the church. The book will educate some pastors towards a greater understanding of Christian education—how people are effectively educated in faith in congregational life; the structures and processes that bring about effectiveness; why it is imperative for the Christian Education Leadership Team to have the pastor’s support; and how critical it is for the team to be given authority that is commensurate with their responsibility in order to effectively carry their work.
Other pastors will find this model refreshing and helpful to his/her vision for the church and leadership of the church, because the Christian Education Leadership Team will participate in vision-casting, brainstorming, collaborating, planning, and assessing—all vital functions of effective congregational leadership. I think pastors will quickly realize how important this team is in comparison to other church leadership teams, such as Church Councils, that often do little more that calendaring and reporting.