Is it any wonder, then, that classes fall flat, attendance is poor, and results are non-existent?
Instead, we need to approach Christian Education with foresight and strategy, being certain to include these seven essentials:
1. Develop a balance of classes. The teaching body should be organized so as to teach a balance of classes at all times, and over the course of time, that complement and build on each other. For instance, balancing a doctrine-focused class with a practice-focused class, balancing topical studies with biblical book studies, balancing lecture-style with discussion-style classes, balancing basic studies with in-depth studies.
2. Mentor new teachers. New teachers should be intentionally and carefully mentored in their spiritual gift. All spiritual gifts require growth, education, and coaching - teaching is no exception. Mentoring should take place with an experienced teacher, in a safe environment, within a purposefully established relationship that allows for constructive critique and optimum growth.
3. Perform regular evaluations. It is imperative that each teacher evaluate him or herself on a regular basis with regard to personal holiness and effective ministry. Additionally, however, it is necessary that the teaching body as a whole evaluate itself with regard to their combined ministry to the church body, and whether or not as a whole they are upholding their calling and achieving their goals.
4. Choose topics with care. Subject matter should be chosen very carefully, taking three main points into consideration: first, what is a teacher's area of expertise and passion; second, what are the expressed needs and desires of the church body; and third, what is the Spirit's leading.
5. Provide diversity and opportunity. Encourage rotation among the teaching body so as to give all teachers opportunities to teach, and opportunities to rest. Such rotation also prevents "cliques" or "followings" from developing within the church body, and exposes the church to a variety of teaching styles, perspectives, insights, and subject matter.
6. Encourage discipleship. While not everyone feels comfortable or called to teach in front of people, we are all called to discipleship. Training should take place in this area, but in essence it is simple: encourage people to find someone they can learn from and someone they can help, and walk in those relationships. We all need to be learning from others, and passing on that which we learn. Such relationships will help make Christian Education a way of life for the church.
7. Be accountable. There should be clear leadership and accountability in the church among the teaching body. Such leadership will help balance classes, organize a teaching schedule, and oversee the corporate goals of the church.
With proper care, planning, and preparation in the area of Christian Education, we will see the Word of God go forth with power in our churches, and in each person's life!