Christian education lost in a haze
Christian education in American churches has become desperate. It’s in a quandary. It has lost its focus, it is without direction. Its significance is diminishing, participation is lacking, and its credibility is without merit.
So what’s happened? Simply put, it has lost it’s way. In more specific terms, as a teaching tool, the curriculums used for teaching about the Christian faith do exactly that; they teach students about Jesus but fail to teach students what Jesus is about.
Upon review of the present literature (The Sunday school curriculum from many sources) one can easily understand the problem. The teaching curriculum are without goals; instead they are meanderings about what’s in the bible, a litany or abbreviated bible stories suitable for telling children, and a whole host of simplistic activities designed to keep students busy. Even the best of the best do little more than to dumb down the biblical teachings to make them age appropriate.
There was some effort recently to revamp the basic methodology of Christian education. The intent was to relate the content of the faith to practices of the faith. This all proved to be too esoteric for the masses to comprehend and has bitten the dust for lack of understanding.
Basically, as I see it, it all boils down to our inability to relate teaching content of faith perspectives to relevancy. More specifically we have failed to determine clear and specific goals for the Christian education process. We do not know what it is we want students to know as a result of what we teach them. If bible knowledge is our ultimate goal, then bible knowledge will be all that is learned. If producing functioning Christian is our goal, then we have not the slightest idea of how to go about do that. Knowing about Jesus does not produce functioning Christian. Knowing what Jesus is about is an entirely different matter and a disciple that does matter.
That’s part of my story and I’m sticking with it. Let me know what you think.