WHAT IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION SUNDAY AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
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Posted on Mon, Sep 6, 2021
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION SUNDAY IS SEPTEMBER 19TH THIS YEAR
The Purpose of CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
God loves us for who we are, not for what we do…. That grace is freely given by God….Teachers are called to create the space where persons can hear God’s promises and claim them as their own, space where they can wrestle with what it means to live those promises in their daily lives. Those who teach are to claim and live the promises of God in their own lives, then share the promises through their teaching and their living.
From Diana L. Hynson at GBOD
The 1908 novel, The Blue Lagoon, presents a story about two children who survived a shipwreck. The one adult survivor taught them some survival skills, but soon died himself, leaving them alone on the tropical island. Their formal learning ended while they were childish enough to believe in Father Christmas. Without the stimulus and experience of others, they stumbled into their growing up years, maturing physically, but not intellectually. What they knew, or thought they knew, could not enhance their lives away from their island.
“Christians” who have never attended Bible study or who “graduated” from Sunday school in their elementary years also live in a kind of blue lagoon. While growing and maturing in terms of their formal and social education, they are left to wrestle with life’s affairs of the soul equipped only with a child’s theological knowledge and reasoning. Both the apostle Paul and the writer to the Hebrews bemoan the apparent circumstance that while their readers should be ready for “meat” they are still only taking “milk”—the faith food of babies, not of the mature (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Hebrews 5:11-14).
Jesus felt it was vital that his disciples know what he taught and what it meant. He promised them that he would send the Holy Spirit to “teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Thus prepared, he sent them to teach the word of life in all nations (Matthew 28:16-20). As disciples, this is our call, too. The wisdom of the Spirit equips us as lifelong learners for the life-giving and life-sustaining work of discipleship.
Diana L. Hynson is Director of Learning and Teaching Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, TN
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