Sunday, March 21, 2010

What is the planning approach presented in the book?

ISRAEL: There are four components to the approach we present in the book. First, we urge congregations to take a community of faith approach to how they plan the Christian education formation program in the congregation. Second, the planning flows from an integrated structure through the Christian Education Leadership Team organization. Third, we present the use of the Christian Church Year as a natural and theologically informed framework for planning church education programs. Lastly, we include an important component not usually found in most congregational education programs, namely, a process for assessing the effectiveness of the church educational ministry.

MARTY: Also, the book advocates a collaborative, team-based, planning approach led by the lay leaders of the congregation. The purpose for the Christian Education Leadership Team (we call it the C.E.L.T., but it doesn’t’ matter what a church calls this group, “committee,” “team”, whatever) is to give oversight to all of the educational components of congregational life giving attention to needs for planning, budgeting, and ministry assessment and encouraging integration of ministries, cooperation, and collaboration.

Q: What about the role of paid staff, then?

MARTY: Oh, staff leadership remains an important part here. A clergy staff liaison serves on the leadership team along with the lay leaders who represent the program ministry areas—preschool, children, youth, adults, Sunday School, training, etc.

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