Read my classmate post. Think and write your thoughts and feelings about his post. (1 page)
Curriculum and Teacher Training
Curriculum selection is a very popular topic for many churches today. Personally, I am only two years removed from transitioning to a new ministry position with a new congregation. In the process of searching for a different congregation, I had many discussions among church leaders about a variety of topics. I noticed that this topic was one of the primary concerns among these churches. My speculations for this reality are twofold. First, churches have come to understand the value of a good education program. Not only can it make a significant difference in the growth of its members, but also serves as a valuable tool for outreach and retaining current members.
Second, many leadership teams feel unequipped to select and maintain a given curriculum properly and effectively. This is an easy trap to fall into within the sphere of education. Questions like, “What is the best program?” can paralyze a church from moving forward. Or just the thought of feeling like there is a better way available can create indecision. Regardless of the reasons, churches desire someone who can provide guidance on curriculum selection and implementation.
I thought Lawson (2008) handled the chapter on curriculum in an interesting way. Up to this point in our text, I felt the information offered in our book has been practical and there were always lessons that I could apply to my ministry. I am not sure that is the case with this chapter. Church leaders could read this chapter and be no closer to understanding where to go with the selection of curriculum.
As always, it is a good practice to search for helpful thoughts within any writing. In this case, Lawson (2008) provided a good example of what a curriculum should accomplish by illustrating 2 Timothy 4.7. It was compared to “Life’s Race” (Lawson, 2012, p. 364). Within the life of a congregation, especially, this is an effective way to think about curriculum. A curriculum plan should include more than just the purchased materials for our Bible classes. There is much more that we can do to enhance the overall success of our Bible classes and member growth and maturity. Lawson (2008) notes the ideal goal of Christian teaching within the scope of our curriculum. “The goal of Christian teaching – the development of well-rounded learners – is the guiding principle here” (p. 369). As we evaluate the sequence of study, balance, and comprehensiveness of the curriculum, well-rounded Christ-like members who are continually maturing should be our aim.
The material by Yount (2008) on equipping teachers was interesting. I appreciate the effort given to meet with teachers on a continual basis. I was amazed at the high percentage of participation for the various teacher training models described. I cannot imagine a scenario where I could achieve over fifty percent participation with a weekly teacher training meeting. However, the chapter caused me to revisit plans for teacher training which I had begun to develop before Covid. Part of my responsibility as a minister with this church is teacher training. Covid has expanded my ability to minister to others in some ways. I am currently trying to plan something that is more virtual than in-person. However, as noted by Yount (2008), nothing can take the place of face-to-face interaction.
I have learned that it is not possible to spend too much time or give too much appreciation to our teachers. Teaching demands significant amounts of time. Classes are one of the best places to develop relationships with one another. My children have always had a special place in their hearts for their teachers. Thankfully, they have been blessed with teachers who have invested in their lives. This has a greater impact than just the classroom. It has impacted my children’s perspective of Christianity. A vibrant Bible School program that stimulates growth and develops relationships is vital to the success of a church. We have an opportunity to influence this by investing in our teachers and always showing our appreciation for their work. This is an area that I can certainly improve in and look forward to putting together more plans through the remainder of this course.
Leading an education program is both rewarding and frustrating at the same time. It is frustrating because it is not possible to give to it all that it deserves. Therefore, one inevitably lets others down in something. However, it is one of the most rewarding ministries to be involved so closely with this group from a church. I am grateful for the opportunity and this week’s reading reminded me of the fact that I am lacking in some areas.
Lawson, M. (2008). Selecting and evaluating curriculum. In W.R. Yount (Ed.), The teaching ministry of the church (2nd ed.) (pp. 363-380).
Yount, R. (2008). Equipping teachers. In W.R. Yount (Ed.), The teaching ministry of the church (2nd ed.) (pp. 381-396).