MARTY: Some persons may think we have overstated the dire state of affairs of Christian education. After all, who we are, what we do, and what we know as Christians, is the result of our current and past experiences at church. This is true, however, research by the Search Institute has revealed a Christian education enterprise that is benign and in need of repair.
Additionally, the majority of today's church members have an adolescent faith maturity level according to developmental psychologist, James Fowler. This a a stage that is characterized by conformity to an ideology that comes from "authorities" (usually parents) with little personal reflection and internalization of those beliefs. Many Christians die at this stage (stage 3 of 6 stages, according to Fowler).
Most congregations have not helped church members advance into deeper levels of faith maturity. We do not feel that the current state of affairs in Christian education are overstated. The alarm has been sounded and congregations that are concerned about this must become intentional in addressing this spiritual formation need.