Christian Education: We tend to think of Christian Education in terms of programs, ministries, activities, and organizations Custom Paper

In reality, the primary focus of Christian education should be on people. When we instruct people, we teach to meet their needs and to make disciples for Christ.
In this unit we will identify key needs of any specific age group or specialized ministry. Also, we will discover how we can meet our students� needs in practical ways in order to minister to the whole person.
One of the best sources for identifying human need is through the Bible. �When we read and study the written Word, we discover the plan of God for man, the sinfulness of mankind, and God�s remedy for sin. As human beings, our students find themselves in the Word of God, and they can relate to many of the stories, illustrations, examples, and life situations of biblical times.�6
In our preparation to teach specialized ministry areas, let us learn from the example of our Lord: �And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them� (Mark 10:16). What better example of love and acceptance is given to the Church? Today, the Church is challenged to meet the special needs of children from single-parent homes; children of divorce; abused children, as well as children with parents.
�Those who minister in Christ�s stead in His church need to extend open arms to children and families. It could easily be argued that no investment a church makes has as great a dividend as that which is invested in the lives of young children and their parents.�7
From the primary grades, to junior and senior high, to college and career, to singles, to women, to men, to the senior citizens, to the married and unmarried, our churches must minister the truth in love and provide a nurturing place of security, light, and hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we must have a good understanding of each individual student, each specific age group � their personality characteristics; their patterns of growth and spiritual development; and their learning needs. And in Christian education, the most important needs are spiritual. In order to meet spiritual needs, however, we must meet all human�s basic need for affection, security, acceptance, and success.
We must treat each student as a special creation of God, and allow the Lord to guide us to bring out the best in every student. God has a special plan and purpose for everyone: �For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope� (Jer. 29:11). And only Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can complete God�s divine design for our lives.
We will also look at developing creativity through our teaching. As Christian educators, we must provide opportunities for creative thinking as well as creative doing by integrating them into our teaching-learning process. And we will consider the lesson aim and expected learning outcomes when we include these creative opportunities into our lesson plan. Creative assignments may very well be the �hook� to learn the �book� in order to discover what students �took� from applying the lessons taught.
In a wholistic Christian education program, one of the great satisfactions in the teaching-learning process is when your students� needs are being met and their lives are being transformed (cognitive, affective, and connotative dimensions or the �know-be-do� approach) in becoming more like Jesus Christ in their total behaviors.
Lastly, we will study the Seymour and Miller�s taxonomy of Christian education and apply them to our various specialized ministries as we discover our own teaching styles.
6 Robert E. Clark, Lin Johnson, and Allyn K. Sloat, eds., Christian Education: Foundations For The Future, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 242.
True Test of Teaching Effectively

1. In our textbook reading this week, we will discover how to teach to particular groups of students in specialized ministries.

2. What is the difference between Christian education and Christian formation?

Generally, Christian education is synonymous with the term and definition of "religious education." The pedagogical emphasis is placed on the teacher and is basically no different from any other kind of teaching. Truth, doctrine, and religious heritage are key themes transmitted by the teacher.

R.W. Pazmi�o, offers the following definition: Christian education is the deliberate, systematic, and sustained divine and human efforts to share or appropriate the knowledge, values, attitudes, skills, sensibilities, and behaviours that comprise or are consistent with the Christian faith. It fosters the change, renewal, and reformation of persons, groups, and structures by the power of the Holy Spirit to conform to the revealed will of God as expressed in the Scriptures and pre-eminently in the person of Jesus Christ, as well as any outcomes of that effort.
Christian formation, on the other hand, emphasizes spiritual development of the whole person. The pedagogical focus is upon the role of the learner and the spiritual maturity of individuals.

Dr. Alex Tang, in our posted document, defines Christian formation as the intentional ongoing process of the inner transformation of the character of a person to become like the character of Jesus Christ himself, of becoming with others a community of the people of God, and of becoming an agent for God�s redemptive purposes.

Modern educators such as Seymour and Miller, in their taxonomy of Christian Education, have developed five approaches through which contemporary Christian educators can develop the theory and practice of Christian education:
(1) religious instruction
(2) faith community
(3) development
(4) liberation
(5) interpretation.

Although they explore these five vital approaches with central metaphors such as education, community, person, justice, and meaning, they agree that the central theme is still the teaching of the Good News.

RESOURCES
Christian Education: Foundations for the Future, Chapters 16-19.
Christian Education and Spiritual Formation: Are We Talking about the Same Thing.doc
Two Taxonomies of Christian Education.doc
Contemporary Approaches to Christian education, editorial review.doc
Holy Bible

INSTRUCTIONS
Research and answer the following question in a 200-400 word explanation of your answer:

What is the true test of teaching effectively?

And how do you know when our students� needs are being met and their lives are being
transformed (cognitive, affective, and connotative dimensions or the �know-be-do� approach)
in becoming more like Jesus Christ in their total behaviors?

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