Skip to main content

Category: Christian Education

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El Espíritu Santo es esencial para la vida y enseñanza cristiana. De hecho, no creo exagerar al afirmar que sin la ayuda y poder del Espíritu Santo todos nuestros esfuerzos tanto para agradar a Dios como para enseñar a otros a hacerlo carecen de sentido y, por lo tanto, los resultados son insignificantes. Desgraciadamente, en muchas ocasiones el Espíritu Santo es olvidado, minimizado o incluso relevado a solamente una teoría teológica que creemos porque se encuentra en la Biblia, pero que no tiene ninguna relevancia en nuestra vida diaria. De hecho, llegué a escuchar a un profesor de un seminario afirmar que muchos cristianos de forma práctica creen que la santa trinidad está compuesta por el Padre, el Hijo y las Santas Escrituras. De esta manera, la presencia del Espíritu Santo es totalmente olvidada.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Mentoring may be a “buzz-word” in the business world, but the practice of developing another person for specific purposes of skill or leadership development has been around since the beginning of civilization. It is evident throughout Scripture – especially in the ministries of Jesus and Paul. However, the integration of mentoring for ministry preparation within academic settings has built in problems. SO WHY BOTHER? For many reasons...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    He tenido el privilegio de ser profesor por más de veinte años. A los diecinueve años empecé a enseñar español y otras materias en una secundaria publica en Guadalajara, México. Esta aventura que empezó como un simple trabajo se ha convertido en mi vocación y he tenido la oportunidad de enseñar en varios países, instituciones y niveles académicos que van de la secundaria hasta el doctorado. La tarea de un profesor es ardua y siempre hay muchas cosas que aprender. De hecho, actualmente enseño en un programa doctoral que se enfoca principalmente en la tarea educativa y en los procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje en diferentes contextos cristianos.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “El que espera, desespera” dice un refrán popular. Esperar algo no es satisfactorio para nadie y en ocasiones las salas de espera en oficinas y consultorios se convierten en salas de tortura para muchos que, como yo, son impacientes y perciben el tiempo de espera como un tiempo perdido. Esta creencia común puede percibir a la esperanza como algo negativo y algo no muy deseado.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I want to announce a new resource, as well as make a shameless plug, for small group Bible studies and Sunday School classes. It’s a DVD providing four 15-minute sessions about the book of Psalms. It is part of the new Deepening Life Together video series published by Baker Books, LifeTogether and Lamplighter Media.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Formal education at educational institutions has become in many ways the most popular understood form of education that in general we have the tendency to equate our ability to learn with our GPA or success at school. In this way, if adults earned good grades at educational institutions, it is assumed they “know” how to learn because they were good students. For this reason, this kind of people perceive favorably words like “Bible study” or “Sunday school” and usually they like to be involved in them.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I was recently reflecting on my doctoral training and I realized that I learned a few things (ten, to be precise) beyond the actual subject matter of my discipline. For starters, I learned that footnotes can be overdone.

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    A church is a living organism. It's natural for an organism to grow. And it's natural for a church to grow. When a church is not growing it is quite likely that something is wrong. In the United States a healthy church will see between 5 - 12% growth in worship attendance each year.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The model established by God through God’s people can be describe as such: begin religious instruction in the family home as spiritual practices, add knowledge through the larger community of faith, and provide mentoring from key spiritual leaders for specific practices and duties. Perhaps the greatest picture we have of the desired result of a healthy and effective youth ministry is the one given to us in the Gospel of Luke when describing Jesus as a young teenager. This installment finishes the series by looking at the New Testament's implications for youth ministry.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    These days have been filled with contrasts for me. In a way, we all face these contrasts, but when they are too close to each other, the tensions they produce literally move us from joy to tears. One the one hand, my baby daughter is now two-months-old. My wife and I celebrate the joy of her life and are thankful for the Lord’s blessing upon us. We are tired and somewhat sleep deprived, but her smile brings joy to our existence and reminds us about the goodness of life. On the other hand, however, it was the second anniversary of my dad’s passing and I find myself missing him more every day. Dead is as real as life and both bring deep emotions that flow from the core of our beings. Why can we be so happy and so sad at the same time?

  • Klaus Issler — 

    Cinematic portrayals of Biblical stories can be a helpful means to encourage our Christian walk. Especially is this the case for me when I watch a movie about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Of course, not everything in a film will be theologically accurate—but no film can accomplish that task. A movie is the director’s and actors’ interpretation of the Gospel events. I have appreciated the following six movies about Jesus. There are sections in each film that touch me deeply and nurture deeper appreciation and love for our Lord. Perhaps one or more of these films will benefit you in the same way.

  • Ben Shin — 

    The different tasks of leadership pose many challenges for a leader. It requires that the leader have a good sense of knowing the people well enough to relate to them but also for him to have a good sense of direction in terms of where he wants to lead them. Fundamentally, however, one of the most neglected aspects of leadership entails knowing exactly where the leader is in terms of self-awareness. In other words, the leader must have a good read on his own strengths and weaknesses in order to know how to best lead the people he shepherds over. This requires a strong sense of self-awareness of the leader in his giftedness, his personality, and his leadership style. This entry will examine the biblical encouragements for self-awareness and the hindrances that prevent his success in leadership.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The model established by God through God’s people to instill God’s Truth within the Next Generation can be describe as such: begin religious instruction in the family home as spiritual practices, add knowledge through the larger community of faith, and provide mentoring from key spiritual leaders for specific practices and duties. This model was utilized throughout the Old Testament era due to some foundational concepts about young people, a developmental stage that was not fully identified at that time outside of Scripture. However, God has specific principles to follow in ministering to this pre-adult age group.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of my professors in college was really old. I can hear everyone asking: “How old was he?” (No, his social security number wasn’t 7…). Let’s put it this way: he was the founder of the college at which I was studying (Multnomah in Portland, Oregon), and the school was celebrating the half century mark of its founding while I was there! In fact, Dr. John Mitchell was over the age of 90 when he taught the two classes I took from him. He continued to teach well into his mid-90s. Not surprisingly, he was getting forgetful about some things by the time I had him as a teacher, but what he definitely was not forgetting were the Bible verses he had memorized. His ability to recall Bible verses was astounding. I do not know this for a fact, but I would guess that he had all of the New Testament and large sections of the Old Testament committed to memory. All of his students were profoundly impacted by his immersion in the Scriptures.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    “Ancient Roots of Modern Day Youth Ministry” (Pt. 1 of a 3 part series) Adolescence is a relatively new phenomenon, but what does Scripture have to say about the model of youth ministry many churches insist is "right"? This 3 part series will look at the Biblical rationale that should inform our youth ministry philosophy, starting with a discussion on the historical roots of youth ministry that have influenced youth ministry practices today.

  • Rob Lister — 

    I love reading good children’s literature to my kids. I especially love it when a great narrative for kids comes packaged together with really good theology. Such is the case with Starr Meade’s Keeping Holiday (Crossway, 2008)—a book so satisfying narratively and theologically that we are re-reading it to our kids this holiday season. The best way I can describe it is to say that Keeping Holiday is part Narnia and part Pilgrim’s Progress for kids.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Several years ago I had a Latin professor who made us memorize a phrase that it has been in my mind ever since. The Latin expression is “magister meus doctus est” and means “my professor is instructed or wise.” Obviously, my Latin professor was teasing when he made us memorize that phrase, but in reality, those words describe an important and profound truth. Everybody expects that professors are wise enough to guide their students. It has been commonly assumed that only those who know more can lead others in the right path because we know that nobody can give something without first possessing it. I have been a teacher in different countries and settings for twenty years now and I can testify about the accuracy of this general perception.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The holidays are quickly being thrust upon us. The day after Halloween, my local shopping malls had already erected Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving has been pushed aside for the shopping holiday, Black Friday. All of this has left me pondering all the other things we celebrate.

  • Rex E. Johnson — 

    Imagine meeting weekly for 3 – 4 months over coffee or tea with someone who is eager to discover what a relationship with Jesus Christ is all about. Conversations focus on understanding the Bible, salvation, the Holy Spirit and resurrection, righteousness and justification, peace with God and the peace of God, the realm of grace, freedom from punishment and the freedom in discipline. They are true conversations, not lectures. You have a guidebook, your “Traveler” gets a Traveler’s Notebook. We have often found that the Traveler has not really begun the journey. He or she has never surrendered to Jesus, and we can help them understand better what salvation is, and commit to Jesus.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    We often face pressures to move our Bible teaching sessions along in church, sacrificing depth of teaching impact to save time and keep on schedule with the lesson plans. What do we lose when we do this, and how might we respond to these pressures to ensure greater depth of impact in our teaching?

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Jesus Christ faced a myriad of challenges when he walked this Earth; developing the leadership team to continue his mission of redemption, i.e. through the Church after his ascension back to heaven, is one that is easy to underestimate. A glimpse of the training methodology for his disciples is seen in the discourse recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 10:1-8.

  • Erik Thoennes — 

    There is always a tension between the purity and unity of the church. How do Christians decide how much weight to put on certain beliefs? Here is how I think we need to figure out how to plant flags wisely.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    One of the more important areas of preparing to teach for deeper impact that we all acknowledge is the need to pray about our teaching. I believe that all of us affirm this, but when it comes down to what and how to pray we are a bit vague and unsure what to do. Asking God to “bless” our teaching efforts is important, but not enough. In this month’s blog I suggest some ways we can be praying as we prepare to teach.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I have always had mixed feelings about the whole idea of sermons broadcast over the airwaves. And now with the internet we can listen to preachers from thousands of churches around the world without having to interact with a single human being. There are, of course, great benefits to the dissemination of all these sermons. But there are distinct liabilities, as well.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    A few months ago I introduced and explained a “coaching” model for teaching that I believe has greater potential for encouraging deeper, more transformative learning. Unfortunately, not many of us are teaching in this way and we need to begin changing how we prepare our lessons and how we use our time as we teach our students. Last month I began to share some ideas for how to begin moving from a “teaching for knowing” to a “teaching for growing” ministry. This month I will finish up these more specific ideas and give you some more questions for reflection. Beginning next month I’ll go back and spend more time on issues of how we prepare for our teaching, how we move beyond teaching for knowing in our use of time in the group, and how to develop a longer-term approach to promoting growth through our teaching. This blog picks up where the last one left off, with six more ideas for teaching more like a coach.