Christian Education and Outreach
I believe that Christian Education—educating people to know Christ as our Lord and Savior—is important from the crib to the grave. My desire is to see not only children and youth, but adults, to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s love for us.
Scripture tells us “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). In order for us to discern what those works are that we are called to do, we need to have a relationship with Christ.
I see Christian Education best described in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
A Christian Education Ministry should serve the community and meet the Great Commission by looking at the four areas outlined in this Scripture:
We need to teach the children placed in our care not only through programs (such as Sunday School, Mid-week programs, and VBS) but through people: specifically by equipping parents and teachers with what they need.
We need to equip parents with support, knowledge and fellowship to help them become the primary teachers of the Word that they are. We have 2 hours at best within the church walls to teach children. The teaching needs to extend past the classroom.
Our teachers and volunteers also need support and training. They are a crucial part in any Christian Education Ministry’s ability to reach and teach children and their families.
Small group studies help the members of the group to understand God’s word and help to develop and strengthen their relationship with Christ. The fellowship that naturally happens in a small group creates a unity that is very special and unique to Christian fellowship. Small groups help edify the church and help spread the Gospel as the Word is shared in homes with family and friends.
We are all relational. Focus on helping people to build relationships outside of the four walls of the church helps to deepen and strengthen those relationships. We all need to be involved in the lives of others in order to meet them and reach them.
Christian Education Ministry team members (teachers, volunteers and leaders) have the greatest opportunity for outreach. We have the honor of not only teaching children and youth, but also of getting to know the families of the children who we teach and serve. Each team member can, in some way, become involved in the lives of their students and in the lives of each other rather than only seeing each other on Sunday mornings.
Prayer-corporate and private, is so very important. This Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) points out that our days should begin and end in prayer and thanksgiving to Him. Praying with and for our community is a necessary part of a healthy Christian Ministry.
I believe these four areas- Teaching, Bible study, Outreach and Prayer- when working in harmony with one another- build up the church body and the community. I see Christian Education and Outreach as a team approach. Each ministry team member has their own unique, God-given gifts and talents.
We should be using these gifts collectively to build up Christ’s church and fulfill our responsibility as Christians to go and make disciples and teach them to obey His commands (Matthew 28:19-20)
In His service,