Saturday, January 02, 2010

Emerging Trends In Christian Education

I was asked the other day what I thought some of the emerging trends in Christian Education are.

I thought about it some, and I realized that what we are getting up to in 2010 at St. Andrew UMC is one of the emerging trends. I shared a brief bit about why I think it is an emerging trend. And I add to this the way in which we will be addressing Christian Education in the context of training new leaders at St. Andrew UMC.

During 2010 we will be focusing on Job Descriptions, fed primarily by the Guidelines, and Job Descriptions and Leadership Training in the United Methodist Church 2009-2012: A Leader Development Guide by Betsey Heavner. Additionally, we will look to the basic Job Descriptions for United Methodist Christians. From the United Methodist Discipline, our Mission statement: "Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Scripture also instructs us in Matthew 28:

The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina]" style="line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

And now to my original response:

I think there are a couple of emerging trends coming from some of the same problem. We have a shortage of leaders in the church. As such, there is an increasing trend to train pastors for the years to come. Some of the places where this is coming out is Church of the Resurrection, and in the increased sense of urgency in many local congregations to train up pastors. The second is training leaders. We are beginning to watch the passing of many of the local church leaders who have been stalwarts and managed our churches for many years. As we see them die, or become incapable of continuing we are found lacking for people to come into leadership to fill those voids. We are having to train people to do those jobs, and then we are already beginning to look down the road and ask those leaders to then train the next generation behind them, beginning now.
Some places are obviously ahead of the curve, but most of our
local churches are just now entering the curve.
To that end, we are realizing that Christian Education is more than just
Sunday School and Bible Studies. It is teaching people to lead with the Spiritual Gifts God has granted them to lead the people of God in this time.

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