Christian Education

11 Reasons Your Congregation Should Memorize Scripture Together

"During my current interim pastorate, I’ve challenged the church to memorize Scripture together. It has been such a fun experience that I wish I had done that during my 14 years of full-time pastoral ministry. Now more than ever, I see value in this approach to corporate memorization" - Chuck Lawless

395 reads

Teaching Church History in Our Churches

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

History is boring! How many times has that been said, mostly by schoolchildren who have to learn names, dates, and events for an exam? History can be boring, but it doesn’t need to be.

I have been a vocational historian of Christianity for the past two decades and have had the joy of teaching aspects of the subject to men and women around the world, in classroom settings as well as church settings. One of my goals is to teach history in a way that makes the story come alive, stirs interest, engages the listeners, and demonstrates its relevance to my hearers. Of course, to do this, to make history alive, engaging, interesting, and relevant to others, it has to be all of those things to me. I can’t teach others to love what I find boring or uninteresting.

Therefore, while I taught seminary, I tried to give my students a love for history. Sometimes it worked. A few years back, a student who had struggled a bit in class called me from his first pastorate to tell me he had been visiting a retirement center and had run into a retired priest who probed the young Baptist pastor about church history. The former student was elated that he felt he could go toe to toe with the retired gentlemen. Admittedly, I found this story satisfying, for I had evidently accomplished my goal.

So even if we are not vocational church historians, why should we teach church history in our churches? How will stories from the past profit churches today? What purpose might it serve to provide believers with occasional or regular lessons or illustrations from church history?

2557 reads

Exposing Hidden Curriculum: Choosing Ministry Tools with Care

A few years ago I decided that using my wife’s kitchen shears to edge around my house’s sidewalks was not only embarrassing my family (my neighbors made comments), but it was also highly impractical. So I went to the local home improvement store to buy a trimmer—a process that was far more perplexing than I had anticipated. The number of trimmers to choose from delayed my usual in-and-out approach to shopping. I finally settled on the one that would best meet my needs, and it has served me well ever since.

Choosing between ministry tools can be as confusing as choosing between trimmers, because we have so many choices. As ministry leaders, we need to choose our tools wisely, for they influence our people in ways that we may not have even considered. We ought to look for tools that reflect our doctrinal beliefs and allow us to minister effectively.

It’s not just what we say; it’s what we say and do!

When we choose ministry tools that do not support our convictions on key doctrinal issues, we communicate more than we think. We communicate a curriculum that is taught by our actions, not by our words. This curriculum is hidden; it is the ideas we teach as a result of our actions. Hidden curriculum is never what we intend to teach, but it has a lasting impact.

1513 reads

We need more sound biblical doctrine taught in the American Church

"We’ve all heard and seen the numbers that show how biblically illiterate Christians are in America..... Why are over 90% of Christians unfamiliar with the Bible and incapable of articulating the doctrines of the Christian faith?" - Jason Jimenez

513 reads

How will evangelical schools teach about the Capitol attack?

"Today, homeschooling in conservative evangelical communities is a key conduit for ideas that feed into Christian nationalism. In March, Charlie Kirk, a conservative Christian activist who has publicly downplayed the events of Jan. 6, rolled out a new education initiative that offers curricula and training that promises an 'America-first education' for K-12 students." - RNS

709 reads

Why All Christians Should Care about Systematic Theology

"...systematic theology leads to worldview formation as we seek to set the biblical-theological framework of Scripture over against all other worldviews and learn “to think God’s thoughts after him,” even in areas that the Bible does not directly address." - Stephen Wellum 

654 reads