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Christian Education for the 21st Century

Christian Education for the 21st Century



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Published by: Rev. Alcenir Oliveira, MDiv, MBA, BBA & BPA on Feb 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Education for the 21
CenturyCase Study
Submitted toAnn E. Streaty Wimberly, Ph.DMichael T. McQueen, D. Min.by
Alcenir R. de Oliveira;S. Alexander Minor, IAllen Page, IIICarl E. Patten, II
forCAM 801 - Foundations of Christian EducationInterdenominational Theological CenterAtlanta, GeorgiaApril, 15, 2004
S. Alexander Minor, I
Christian Education can be seen as a way to grow and mature in one’s faith journey. Itserves as a main stream of the church’s ministries that involve form and transformation. “It isnot just a matter of education; there must be an emphasis on nurture. Christian Education is
than learning Bible stories, doctrine, and all else that contributes to one’s faith heritage.Christian Education involves people of mature faith nurturing others who are growing infaith.”
 Group # 8’s assignment was to provide relevant documentation/data from our research conducted on eight churches. Research results and chart analysis have been includedto constructively show diversity in the churches’ structure. Our effort throughout this paper will be, “to raise awareness about the issues a church needs to address when it is makingdecisions regarding what it will teach.”
 All of the eight churches visited, Holsey Chapel CME Church, Whites Chapel CMEChurch, Whatcoat United Methodist Church, Vision of Hope Church, PresbyterianChurch/USA (Spain), Presbyterian Church/USA (Portugal), Cathedral of Faith Church of God In Christ, and Zion Hill Baptist Church are engaged in Christian education activities.Rev. Allen Page, III of Holsey Chapel CME Church, and Rev. Oscar Hall of Whites ChapelCME Church revealed that the Christian education (CE) activities have contributed to thesuccess of their respective Churches. These two community churches, Urban and Rural inlocation, respectively, have similar educational goals due to their denominational ties.Whatcoat United Methodist (151 Years old) has Rev. Alice J. Ervin as Senior Pastor.It is a large Urban Church with a strong CE program. Both the Pastor and Director of CEhave strived tirelessly to keep the flames of Christian Education burning. Their formaltraining is a blessing for WUMC. Vision of Hope Church, located in a Suburban community,is 9 years old with approx. 3,000 members. The Director of Christian Discipleship, under thesupervision of Rev. Francis Allison, Assistant Pastor effectively utilizes his CE/Church Musicdegrees to make the educational program viable. Both Presbyterian Churches (PCUSA/Spainand PCUSA/Portugal) are small churches with 42 and 96 members respectively. The Pastors,Oseias and Cleonor Tenorio and others volunteered members teach the CE classes.At Cathedral of Faith Church of God in Christ, Elder Kenneth Johnson was quick toinform us that the Associate Ministers along with the Coordinator and Departmental Heads
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain,
The Teaching Church: Moving Christian Education to Center Stage,
(Nashville: Abingdon Press. 1993), 11.
Karen B. Tye,
 Basic of Christian Education:
(St. Louis: Chalice Press. 2000), 65.
lead the CE activities. Interestingly, the CE program focuses on the church’s MissionStatement:
 Everyone is important.
This is a large Urban Church with over 1,000 membersand a vibrant CE program. We were pleased to meet Melissa Woodforlk, head of Zion HillBaptist Church. With over 30 ministries and auxiliaries, the Ministers, Deacons,Deaconesses, and Laypersons lead the CE activities.Four aspects that could serve as valuables, and/or help map our Christian Education -transformation, faith community, spiritual growth, and religious instructions. Accordingly,“these four themes can help leaders direct their congregation into a fuller developed Christianlife.”
Assessment of Christian Education Ministry
Allen Page, III
The purpose of this section will be to assess the data collected during our study of theeight churches. The information to support our conclusions is represented in two appendicesof this paper: Appendix I – outlines the actual responses from the interviews performed;while Appendix II – provides a statistical analysis, with supporting charts, of the information provided. Our discussion will follow the outline of the questions explored with each church’sleadership. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of information obtained, andfinally offer three suggestions for immediate improvement regarding the Christian educationministry.
What are the Christian Education activities?
Our study asked the church leaders to sharewith us the various activities included in the Christian education program. We discoveredthat Christian education programs were very supportive of traditional disciplines.
Strengths -
100 percent of our churches educational structure included Sundaymorning church school, with class offerings for various age groups. 75 percentincluded weekly Bible Study and prayer meeting as another pillar of their program.63 percent offered new membership or discipleship training; while 38 percent provided leadership training and workshops. The remainder of our investigationsdiscovered that Vacation Bible School, home-study group, and annual health fair were held at 25 percent of our churches. Only 13 percent of our churches included anontraditional form of education, such as liturgical dance.
Jack L. Seymour,
Mapping Christian Education: Approaches to Congregational Learning,
(Nashville:Abingdon Press, 1997) pp. 19-22

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