By Susan Dickerman
Associate Conference Minister for Leadership Development
Educational ministry in the local church is essential for growth and vitality, and I strongly believe that laity should be called, equipped and affirmed as partners in that ministry. But I wonder if challenging pastors to be more directly involved in this ministry is ALSO essential.
Local church pastors – which of the following are you doing or have you done in the last year?
Serve as a participant in formal training for small-group ministries.
Partner with and encourage laity to participate in formal training for small-group ministries.
Teach a long-term Bible Study.
Teach regularly in Church School.
Teach a special short-term class or study for young adults.
Teach or lead a new member class or confirmation class.
Read five hours of Christian education philosophy or attended a leadership education program.
Participate as part of a teaching team for a quarter or a particular teaching opportunity.
Help to teach persons to grow in extravagant generosity by writing or teaching Church School lessons on stewardship, including education components in the annual stewardship drive.
Share your story of how the clergy are called to be “ a pastor and teacher” to the local congregation.
Incorporate the celebration of Christian Education into worship.
Provide opportunities for discovering spiritual gifts within your church.
Develop a plan and criteria for calling individuals in the teaching ministry according to their gifts.
Provide opportunities for spiritual enrichment and diligent study of scripture for teachers and lay leaders.
Started a new ministry that focuses on the needs of the community that includes an educational component.
Develop and/or implement a Safe Church policy for your congregation.
Demonstrate how your congregation undergirds its education ministry with prayer.
Understand and share that the primary role of Christian education is faith formation for the entire congregation.
Demonstrate how your education program provides radical hospitality to visitors and new members.
Involve the church school in hands-on mission in the community and beyond.
How did you rate yourself from this list? What would you add? Where were you most challenged?
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