Christian Education Ministry at Various Levels
Providing both Content and Context for Spiritual Growth
Christian Education Ministry involves the administration and coordination of programs or strategies to facilitate the spiritual growth or discipleship of believers into . . .
The Word (Jesus) became flesh and
made his dwelling among us. We have
seen his glory, the glory of the One and
Only, who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth. (Jn. 1:14)
If we want to help people become more Christ-like, we must go beyond cognitive learning (truth). While Jesus Himself is Truth (Jn. 14:6), He is also full of Grace. He does not lay aside truth for grace or vice versa. He is always full of truth. He is always full of grace. The two go hand in hand. Everything about Jesus can be summed up in truth and grace.
Christian Education Ministry must therefore wrap around both truth and grace. Perhaps we can think of it this way:
Truth = content
Grace = context
Herein lies the rationale for why Christian nurture on the personal level and/or on the large group corporate level are insufficient as the sole means of growth into Christ-likeness. Both of those levels primarily focus on content. The context of grace is relational.
On the personal level, you have your relationship with God but not with other believers.
On the large, corporate level, there are too many people to effectively interact relationally during the message or training time.
To provide grace its fullest expression, truth must be presented at different levels.
- Small Group
- Mid-Size Group
- Large Group
Involvement of the individual decreases the larger the group. The mid-size and large group settings are best for the more content-oriented teaching and for giving the big picture perspective. The smaller group is best for working with the content because of the greater potential for interaction. A combination of these levels is a good strategy.
Content can be given in the large group setting through lecture, media, or drama. That same content can then be personalized in small groups through learner-involvement activities such as discussion, case studies, role play, and more. The ideal would be for one-on-one relationships to grow out of that with people who need further clarification or accountability being matched with those who will come along side to mentor or disciple.
Not only will you see a difference in student involvement in each of these levels but also, resultantly, a change in the type of methodology. Each level affords teachers and leaders a different span of influence and consequently for logistics sake, an alteration in their role in the classroom and required gifting.
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