Too often the way programs within the church are structured is based on
- tradition .... the way you've always done it
- imitation .... the way another church or ministry does it
- limitation .... the way the leader knows how to do it
- stipulation .... the way the leader is allowed to do it
The best way to determine the structure is let it grow out of a ministry assessment. Some of the factors to consider include:
The Students: how many people participate in the program and the age breakdown of those people
The Workers: how many workers you potentially have and what type of workers they are (i.e., leaders, teachers, helpers, etc.)
The Curriculum: how rigid you must be in using a certain curriculum and how adept leaders or teachers are at developing materials or adjusting curriculum to fit your setting
The Facilities: how many rooms you have to work with and what is the size and flexibility of each room
Your answers to the above factors will guide you in determining which model would work best in a given program. The various programs may each use a different model. You may possibly find that a combination of models may work within a program.
Possible Models that Can be Used within a Program or Strategy in your Christian Education Ministry:
- Traditional Model:
People are divided by age groups and stay with the same teacher in the same classroom for the entire session.
- Large Group/Small Group Model:
All ages meet together in the beginning of the session for worship and a Bible lesson. People are then divided into small discipleship groups by age.
- Rotation Model:
The same lesson is presented over the course of 4-5 weeks with 4-5 different learning stations. Each week students go with a group of students their age to a different theme-based room to study the lesson from a different approach.
- Learning Centers:
Within a given session, students rotate around to different learning stations (i.e., arts/crafts, music, drama, games, computer, storytelling, prayer, etc.). A different lesson is presented each week. Get helpful tips for thinking through the logistics of using learning centers in this worksheet: Using Learning Centers
- Intergenerational Model:
Students are not broken down according to age at any point in the session but rather stay with their families in a group of 2-3 other families. Singles become part of a family unit.
Need a big picture perspective and biblical principles for coordinating the Christian Education ministry in the church? Order the Christian Education Ministry Manual.
Want to work at getting your Christian Education leadership team on the same page? Order the Christian Education Leadership Team Training.
Looking for some guidelines and resources to administrate the Christian Education ministry of your church? Order the Christian Education Files.
Better yet, order the Christian Education Ministry Bundle which includes all three of these resources.