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Marlene LeFever

By Eileen Starr & Cheryl Fawcett

Protestant

Marlene LeFever (November 1, 1942 --) has worked for David C. Cook since 1970.  She served in several positions before becoming Vice President of Educational Development.  She is known for her creativity and commitment to making educational materials enjoyable and useable for church volunteers and professionals.  As an author, curriculum developer, and speaker, she has sought to apply Christian and secular research to the field of Christian education in North American and around the world.

Biography

Marlene LeFever was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on November 1, 1942, to Franklin and Naomi LeFever.  Her parents were converts to the Old Order Mennonite Church. She had one sibling, a brother, James M. LeFever.  When she was a child, the family moved to an independent church that split off the Mennonite Church.  Her father taught adult Sunday school classes, and her mother taught Child Evangelism classes for over 30 years.  About being raised in a Christian home, LeFever says: “I can honestly say I never knew a time when I wasn’t aware that Jesus loved me.  My salvation experience was not riveting, and that’s something I wish more Christians could say!”  She remembers recommitting her life to the Lord and His ministry several times during childhood and adolescence. Some of her responses, she admits, were based on fear—what God would do if she got things wrong. She said, “I don’t want today’s kids to make decisions based on fear, but on an understanding that God loves them, and joining with Him will bring great joy.” LeFever was inspired by her mother’s Bible teaching, which was “riveting, and life changing—certainly never dull.” 

LeFever graduated from Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA.  She was a Bible and English major at Barrington College, Rhode Island, from 1960-1964. Between her junior and senior years, she became the first short-term missionary under The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) to go to Venezuela. At the time, the short-term concept was new and its value still much debated.  Looking back, she can see God directing her career path. “My main job that summer was to convert flannel graph into flashcard stories. Flashcards were easier for volunteer Venezuelans to use. A method is only creative if it furthers the teaching goal and if teachers can use it effectively.” 

Between college and graduate school, LeFever worked as a feature reporter/photographer for The Lancaster New Era, Pennsylvania. “I learned to write on deadline. Looking back, I suspect God was preparing me for writing dated curriculum.” She attended Wheaton College, Illinois, 1965-1967, graduating with a MA in Christian Education under Lois and Mary LeBar and Larry Richards.  At Wheaton, the LeBars and Richards encouraged her writing, allowing her to write her master’s thesis in a popular style. It became her first book, Growing Creative Children (1981).

Following graduation from Wheaton, LeFever went to Japan as a short-term missionary teacher with Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (now SEND, International). As a teacher at the Christian Academy in Japan, 1967-1970, she taught seventh and eighth grade Bible and English, and eleventh- and twelfth-grade creative writing, contemporary literature, drama, and speech.  About teaching Bible as a graded subject, LeFever said: “A pivotal event in my life came the second day in Bible class. The young teens were wickedly verbal about how much they hated their little gray fill-in-the-blank Bible textbooks. So I passed the wastebasket and told them to throw their textbooks into it. (I was very young!) That left me trying to write a Bible curriculum that they wouldn’t hate, one that aimed at going beyond reciting the names of the 12 disciples to knowing what discipleship meant in their lives. It was the first time I’d seriously written curriculum. I stayed almost a unit ahead of the kids. The experience changed my life. I got hooked on teaching about Jesus in ways that demanded life responses.  Bible class, graded or not, should be kids’ favorite, not their most disliked class. I was teaching to make a difference in actions and attitudes, and I believe that is most likely to happen when students are smiling and engaged.”

In 1970 Marlene LeFever joined David C. Cook Publishing Company.  During her 42 years of ministry with the company, she has held a number of positions:   Bible-in-Life Junior High and Senior High Editor, Editor of Church Resources and Books, Developing editor of video curriculum, Company spokesperson for Christian education and spiritual formation, Vice President of Educational Development Leadership Team, and Vice President of Education Development Global Team.  LeFever directed Cook’s  college/seminary programs, the International Christian Publishers Institute, and was the senior editor of InterLit—International Magazine of Christian Publishing. In addition, she directed on-location workshops in editorial, marketing, sales, and leadership skills for publishers around the world. At many Christian education events, she was Cook’s plenary spokesperson for the Sunday school.  LeFever credits Cook leadership with encouraging her to work on new teaching ideas and providing the resources for research and innovation.

            In 1974 Marlene LeFever married Jack Risley.  Jack is the oldest son of Clate Risley, who, because of his leadership in the National Sunday School Association in the 1960’s, was known by many as Mr. Sunday School. 

            LeFever has been a champion for the North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE), acting as the liaison between David C Cook Publishing and NAPCE.  She built on the work done by Charles VanNess (Cook, retired), the man credited by Dennis Williams with keeping the organization continuing through its difficult early years.  Money given by Cook provided funds for research grants, conference meals, and mailings.  Howard Hendricks and LeFever were both plenary speakers at the Orlando NAPCE convention where the theme was creativity. She has also led a number of NAPCE research seminars.  LeFever received the Warren S. Benson Distinguished Educator Award from NAPCE in 2006.

            As Director of Education Ministries, LeFever frequently taught interim credit courses at schools such as Tyndale Seminary, Golden Gate Southern Baptist Seminary, North American Baptist Seminary, Princeton Seminary, Talbot School of Theology, Denver Seminary, Canadian Bible College, and Asia Graduate School of Theology.  Throughout the school year, LeFever often taught over 700 students in approximately 50 Christian education classes. About these one-hour interactive sessions she said, “I get to hear what hundreds of Christian education majors are thinking, their questions about spiritual formation, their feelings about the Sunday school today and what it might look like in the future. I get smarter when I mix it up with this highly creative generation.”

            In 2006-2007, she directed the “Landmark Study of Christian Education” which became the catalyst for new curriculums developed by David C Cook.

            As Vice President of Educational Development for David C Cook (2009-present), she developed the Trauma Kit Haiti, a print resource for both church leaders and volunteers in response to the 2010 earth quake. The resource in both English and Creole was distributed by over 125 Christian organizations, an unprecedented cooperative effort that she spearheaded.

            From 2010-2012, she developed a new curriculum model designed to reach orphans worldwide. It provides holistic training for children ages 8-11. Tested in India, it is now available there in English, Hindi and Telagu. It is being translated and tested in Spanish, Ukrainian, and Portuguese. A curriculum derivative for children-at-risk is being translated for Francophile Africa. It has been adapted by the Church of Uganda as their official children’s program.

            Marlene LeFever served on the board of Chapel on the Air (1981-1987) and the Center for Student Missions (2001-2011). She is on the Editorial Advisory board of Leadership Journal (2000-present) and the developer of the Christian Education Article Service, a free on-line magazine article service. She has also been a member of the Professional Association of Christian Educators (PACE) and the Association of Curriculum and Supervision International (ACSI).

Marlene LeFever has influenced the lives of many leaders and teachers in Christian Education, among them are the following:

Marshall Shelley, author, Editor in Chief of Leadership Journal and Vice president of Christianity Today International was given his first job by LeFever.  He says, “I considered her the most hard-to-please person I’d ever met. Nothing I produced was ever exactly right; everything needed to be improved in some way to be brought up to her standards. She taught me that there’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. How irritating! Couldn’t my work ever be done right the first time? But now I say, “How valuable!” Thanks to Marlene, I became a true editor, someone who reads with holy discontent. No matter what I read, I find myself asking, “How could this be done better?” After 37 years as an editor, I realize what a great boss Marlene was and what a priceless gift she instilled in me: the virtue of not being too easily satisfied.”.

Dr. Scottie May, author, researcher and Associate Professor Christian Formation & Ministry, Wheaton College, said,  “Marlene LeFever  hired me as an editor, launching me into the field of Christian education. She patiently tutored me in writing for volunteers in the church—tutoring that included phrases like “Kill the Educationalese!!!!!” Her comments encouraged me to follow an aim more clearly, to equip the volunteer teacher within each lesson plan, and to create effective scope and sequences.  I am very grateful to God for the way Marlene Lefever shared with me her remarkable gifts, launching me into what became my life’s work.”

Joel Youeel Tarabay, Executive Director of Grain of Wheat Lebanon was influenced by LeFever’s Learning Styles book.  “I attended a conference with Children’s Ministry in the UK and bought the Learning Styles book. At first I didn’t do anything about the book until I came back to Lebanon when one of my friends gave me a present which turned out to be the Learning Styles book, but the US one. I read it and found it helpful to me first. Then I did more research on the internet and discovered its importance. The book shifted my thinking from classical thinking about teaching into teaching with intentions in mind. The book inspired me to learn about the Brain and VAK. It also motivated me to go back to the university and study Education and give the theory of the book in a lecture to my classmates. The material I prepared in 2007 for my lecture was used latter on as training material and I took it to all over Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, UAE, Qatar, and Iraq and trained more than 5000 participants of School teachers and Sunday School teachers from different backgrounds.”

Eric Thurman, President of David C Cook Global expressed the worldwide influence of LeFever.

Marlene's greatest influence may be with people who will never meet her or know her name. Haitians who survived the devastating earthquake were further destroyed by recurring emotional and spiritual trauma. Thousands, however, have been able to overcome their fear, anger and hopelessness because of a unique kit of training for lay counselors that Marlene produced. She put that remarkable book together in record time. It showed leaders in more than one thousand ministry locations across Haiti how to help people who were emotionally paralyzed by the tragedy.

Not long after that, when Christian leaders in India asked for special materials to address the deep hidden wounds of children in the country's 18,000 Christian orphanages, Marlene crafted an intensive program. Only a few weeks after its release, we began hearing stories of orphans, who had suffered horrific abuse, finding release that changed their whole outlook on life. They are discovering new life in Christ and it is changing their personalities. We now receive a constant stream of such stories. Her series is so powerful that the 13-million-member Church of Uganda just signed on to make it the official children's curriculum throughout the country. 

It is no exaggeration to say that her work is changing the futures of millions of kids.


Contributions to Christian Education

         Marlene LeFever’s major contributions fall into three general areas: (a) the pursuit of creativity in teaching and curriculum development; (b) the understanding and applying of Christian and secular research to teaching; and (c) the motivation and the equipping of volunteers and professional Christian educators in the church worldwide.

            Creativity in the classroom is very important to LeFever.  As an upbeat spokesperson for the Sunday school and other church ministries, she communicates to volunteers and Christian educators the value of creative and participatory Bible teaching.  Her book Creative Teaching Methods (updated in 2004 and scheduled for update in 2012) and translated into Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish) is a practical book to stimulate creativity in teachers. It contains tools teachers can use to involve their students in the learning process. D. Campbell Wyckoff, Professor of Christian Education Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary, said about Creative Teaching Methods (from book cover, 1985):

Marlene LeFever makes the principle of learning through creative

participation come alive for Christian education. Creative methods

are vividly and invitingly explored for their potential for deepening

the spiritual life through new ways of hearing the Word of God and

using heretofore untapped personal resources in responding to it. 

Unique in its assumption that in Christian education creativity is just

as essential in work with youth and adults as it is in work with children. 

The book is popular with pastors, as well as Christian educators, who often require it as a methods textbook.

A favorite LeFever saying: “It’s high time we teach students the way God made them, not the way we wish He’d made them, and not the way we used to think He made them.”  LeFever has explored the differences in the ways people learn and how we can teach so that everyone has an opportunity to reach their learning potential.  Her book entitled Learning Styles (1995) is based on collaborations with Dr. Bernice McCarthy, designer of the 4MAT System.  Dr. McCarthy’s states:

Marlene took my learning style research and my work with the 4MAT

Natural Cycle and blended it with her work in Christian education.  4MAT

is a synthesis of research in how people learn encompassed by a framework

for teaching anyone at any age or level how to process through the learning

act.  Her understanding of the underlying theory of the 4MAT natural cycle

is insightful and creative.  Her book, Learning Styles: Reaching Everyone God Gave You to Teach, is a delightful adaptation of the research and the design framework.  The book is elegantly simple to use and the Sunday school lessons she devised are wonderful examples of how to reach all learners.  (back cover comment)

Learning Styles has been published in Korean, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish.

Dr. Howard Hendricks, director of the Center for Christian Leadership, believes that LeFever has made a significant contribution to Christian education through her learning style research.  He states, “Few people see others in terms of their learning capability.  Fewer still dedicate themselves to the study of how understanding occurs.  Marlene long ago grabbed my attention and admiration with her teaching skills.  Her insights deserve thoughtful reading by every teacher and meaningful discussion in every teacher-training meeting.  Learning should stir up pleasure and she shows us how” (from LeFever book cover, 1995).

         For many years, LeFever spoke to approximately 20,000 lay and professional church educators annually.  She has a unique ability to make research understandable and practical, helping leaders use it in classroom and church ministry.  Her research on such topics as how volunteers from different generations differ in their teaching expectations, key Sunday school patterns, and attitudes of college/seminary students toward Sunday school has provided significant data for Christian educators.  In every context LeFever is passionate about making Christian education enjoyable and life changing. She believes effective teaching is rewarding for both students and teachers. 

            LeFever continues to make significant contributions to Christian education both in the western world and worldwide through her speaking and writing.  Dr. Ron Habermas, McGee Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Formation, John Brown University, summarized LeFever’s contributions:  “Marlene LeFever has been an accomplished author, a curriculum developer, a top-notch communicator, a respected teacher, a prudent administrator/advisor, and a valued committee member.”

            Michael Lawson, Chair of Christian Education at Dallas Theological Seminary, said, “Over the last several decades, Marlene has been the most all-around consistent contributor to the field of Christian education in the United States. Her writings on learning styles and creative teaching provided substantive resources for professors and students in the field.  The practical nature of these books moves them off the shelves and into actual classroom experiences.  Her persistent love for the Sunday school permeates her messages to countless weary workers and returns them refreshed to their task. ”

In her international role, LeFever challenges international publishers to produce excellent books that are focused on their countries’ specific needs.  In 2007, LeFever directed a landmark study focused on the future of church-based Christian Education in the United States and Canada.  In 2010, LeFever developed international curriculum.  The Trauma Kit is used by leaders in Haiti to heal the wounds of trauma.  The Club program curriculum for Christian orphanages focuses on Bible lessons, character development and life skills.  The Club curriculum is being used in many countries.

LeFever’s passion continues to be directed at the cutting edge of Christian education.  She says: “With Christ’s help, I want to encourage Christian leaders to investigate strategies that help them do their jobs better.  But far more than that, I want to challenge them to think bigger about their ministries and in the process, allow God to do a new, deeper work through them.”  Marlene LeFever’s contributions to Christian education continue though her research, writing, and speaking. She is committed to finding effective, practical ways to equip Christian educators and publishing leaders around the world. 

References

All quotes in this article were taken from personal correspondence with Marlene LeFever, Ron Habermas, Mike Lawson, and Bernice McCarthy between April and June, 2004. Quotes from Marshall Shelly, Scottie May and Joel Youeel Tarabay came from e-mail correspondence January & February, 2012.

LeFever, M. (1981). Growing creative children. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

LeFever, M. (1985). Creative teaching methods.  Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries.

LeFever, M. (1995). Learning styles, reaching everyone God gave you to teach. Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries.


Bibliography

Books:

W. Peter Blitchington; Marlene LeFever. (1983). Sex roles & the Christian family: Leaders' guide. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale Publishing House.

Englebretson, Rosann, Marlene LeFever, Steve Wamberg. (1998). Reach everyone you teach. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishers.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1967). Helping children reach their creative potential in their home. Wheaton College M.A. Thesis. Wheaton, IL.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1973). Turnabout teaching. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene. (1979). Toward freedom: A teacher’s guide to helping teens. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1979). Creative methods. In Zuck, R., and Benson, W. (Eds.), Youth education in the Church. (pp.406-421). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

LeFever, Marlene. (1981). Growing creative children. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

LeFever, Marlene  D. & R. L. Strauss. (1982). Leader’s guide for famous couples of the Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

.LeFever, Marlene D. (1984, January). Creative hospitality. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

LeFever, Marlene D. & T. Grendahl. (1984). The best of Leader Ideabank. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1984). 62 activities for kids. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing     Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1984). Creative Kids Book Series, Volumes 1 & 2, Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1985). Creative teaching methods: Be an effective Christian teacher. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Company.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1987). God’s special creation- me! For junior campers. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1988, January). Survival kit for growing Christians: Tips from David and Esther: for junior campers. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1991). Is your to-do list about to do you in? Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1991). Understanding learning styles. In Clark, R., Johnson, L., & Sloat, A. (Eds.), Christian education: Foundations for the future. (pp.333-350). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1995, June). Learning styles: Reaching everyone God gave you to teach. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1996). Helping parents with at-risk children. In Gangel, K., and Wilhoit, J. (Eds.),  The Christian educator’s handbook on family life education. (pp. 201-212). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1997, March). Creative teaching methods. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co. Published in Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1998). Learning Styles: Reaching everyone God gave you to teach. Eastbourne, UK: Kingsway Publications.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1999). Learning Styles. In Anthony, M. (Ed.), Evangelical dictionary of Christian education. (pp. 417-419). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Books.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2001). Learning styles. Reaching everyone God gave you to teach. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co. Published in Arabic, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Spanish.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2002, August). Flowers from God: Thank-you notes for Sunday School teachers. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co. 

LeFever, Marlene D. (2002). Flores de Dios. Colorado Springs: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2002, September). Parties with a purpose: Laying the groundwork for discipleship & evangelism (Single Ministry Resources). Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (2002) Estilos de aprendizagem. Como ensenar a todos los que Dios nos confio. Miami, FL: Editorial Patmos.

LeFever, Marlene D. & Copywrite Associations. (2002). Een stap verder: ledereen bereiken d ie God u heft gegeven orm te onderwijzen. Best: Stichting Kinderwerk Timotheus.

LeFever, Marlene D. & Wu, R., & Zhang, S. (2002). Yin boa xue xi very match. Tai bei shi: Ji du jiao Zhong guo zhu ri xue xie hui.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2003, January) Estilos de aprendizaje.  Biblioteca del Educador Cristiano. Spanish Editiona.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2004, May) Metodos creativos de ensenanza: Como ser un             maestro eficiente. Miami, FL: Editorial Patmos.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2007). Landmark study in Christian education, Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Ed.) (2010) Trauma kit Haiti, Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook. English & Creole.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2011). Preaching, teaching, and leading. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Global. In 2012 in ten Indian languages.

LeFever, Marlene D. (2011) David C Cook orphan initiative. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co. Curriculum in Telugu, Hindi, Brazilian.

LeFever, Marlene D. and David Mains. (2011). Reaching, teaching leading.  Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook. Printed for leadership across Africa, India, China and Cambodia.

Richards, Lawrence O., Marlene LeFever, (1982). Nurturing my students: God's overall plan for Sunday School students' growth. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

Starr, Eileen. (2004). Women leading evangelical Christian education in the later 20th century: six women making a difference. Christian Education Journal, Series 3, 1(3), 24-29.

Other materials:

LeFever, Marlene D. (1980). Case studies: Interaction methods. El Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1982). Understanding the normal adolescent. El Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties.

LeFever, Marlene D. & National Youth Workers Convention. (1984). How to talk to people you work with. El Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Ed.). (1984-1985). Innovations for the Christian Leader. Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1984). Curriculum: 50 days to welcome Jesus to my church. Chapel of the Air 50 Day series for children.

LeFever, Marlene D. & National Youth Workers Convention. (1985). Creativity and the learner. El Cajon, CA. Youth Specialties.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1986). Curriculum: 50 days to open my home to Jesus. Chapel of the Air 50 Day series for children.

LeFever, Marlene D. & National Youth Workers Convention. (1986). Understanding adolescent development. El Cajon, CA. National Youth Workers Convention.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1987). Curriculum: 50 days to welcome Jesus to my school. Chapel of the Air 50 Days series for children.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1987). Learning styles: Their effect on faith development. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Tape Service.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1988). Curriculum: 50 days for Jesus to visit my neighborhood. Chapel of the Air 50 Days series for children.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1988). Dealing with the stresses of leadership. El Cajon, CA. Youth Specialties.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1989). Curriculum: 50 days to love my country with Jesus. Chapel of the Air 50 Days series for children.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Ed.). (1988-2001). Teacher Touch, quarterly Sunday School teacher’s         affirmation letter, Colorado Springs: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1996, February). Operating from your learning styles. Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Chapel address series. 33 min.

LeFever, Marlene D. & Evangelical Training Association. (2002). Learning styles. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Training Association. (Video)

Magazine articles: (Note: not all in APA format or with complete information)

Bradshaw, Charles; LeFever, Marlene D. (1984, Spring). Your worst teaching method is likely the one you use all the time. Youthworker, 1, 85-86.

Habermas, Ron; LeFever, Marlene D.; McNabb, Bill; St. Clair, Barry. (1990, Summer). “Is Sunday school obsolete?” Youthworker, 7, 40-47.

LeFever, Marlene D. (n.d.) Quien Quiere Ser Lider. Entre Ninos. Issue 1/Vol. 1

LeFever, Marlene D. (n.d.) Wonder where the wonder went. Virtue Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1971, March 1) A first in the audio-visual field. The Sunday School Times and Gospel Herald.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1971, November). Cyndi’s city world, Trails Magazine.

LeFever,  Marlene D. (1971, December). Lasting lies I have told. Looking Ahead.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Feb 1972). The decision panic. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (April 1972) Two Fridays. Trails Magazine. Fiction award Evangelical Press Association.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Apr 1972). Two Fridays, Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov 5, 1972). Marvin—A parable. Looking Ahead.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Feb 1973). Gran—A parable, Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 1973). Batter up, Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1974). Parchment flowers. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 1975). A very healthy way to be. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1976). Most important page. The Institute of Children’s Literature.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 1976). Right runners. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (July 1976). Picture power. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 3, 10-12.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1977). The case of the chrysanthemum rocks, Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1978). Abigail leafy plant—A parable. Looking Ahead.

LeFever, Marlene D. (May 1978). Send out those invitations. Moody Monthly, 78, 39-      41.

LeFever, Marlene D. (May/Jun 1978). The wedding day. Reflection.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov/Dec 1978). Wisdom cards for 20th century Christians. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1979). Lessons from limericks. Bible Adventures.

LeFever, Marlene D. (May/Jun 1979). Toby—A parable. Reflection.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jul/Aug 1979). They—A parable. Reflection.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1979). Dandy dodge—A parable. Reflection.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept. 21, 1979). Is Sunday School losing its punch: Not so, say       Christian educators. Christianity Today, 23, 16-21.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 1979). Of skates and stuff. Trails Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 1980). A potential parable.Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1980). A Gem parable. Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1980).  Creative hospitality. Today’s Christian Woman

LeFever, Marlene D. (June 1980). Go ahead! Ask us! Moody Monthly, 80, 72-76.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Oct. 1980). For the love of Lorilee: Cope with teenagers. Christian Life, 42, 88-90.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept. 4, 1981). Beyond the divorce of faith and act: Refiner’s fire. Christianity Today, 25, No 15, 82-83.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1981). Lazy Sylvester—A Parable. Looking Ahead.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 1981). Nature crafts. Journal of Christian Camping.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1981). Alphafest or Fat Sam Day—A parable. Christian Living.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov/Dec 1981). Two trees—a parable. Reflection.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1982). “Fanning the spark within: Creativity.” Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1982).  “What my parents are doing right.” Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1982). “Creative hospitality.” Sunday Digest.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Apr 1983). Mirror mirror—a parable. The Youth Leader.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1983). The Phariteen & the Publiteen—a parable. Christian Living.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1983). A pair of parties. Christian Living.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Feb 12, 1984). A Valentine love feast. Bible-in-Life PIX. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar. 1984).  Homegrown creativity. Moody Monthly, 84, 72-73.

LeFever, Marlene D.; Bradshaw, Charles. (1984).How to teach the “visual” child. Youthworker, 1, 76-77.

LeFever, Marlene D.; Bradshaw, Charles. (Summer 1984). “Modeling” is more than Cheryl Tiegs’ occupation. Youthworker, 1, 100-101.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1985).  And the score is . . . parents rate youth workers. Youthworker Journal, 2, 26-30.

LeFever, Marlene D. (January 1986). Creative teaching methods. Group, 12, 82. Reviewer Baker, P.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1986). Tales from the path: Eight youth workers talk about spirituality. Youthworker, 3, 34-38.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring/Summer 1986).  Learning styles: Not all kids learn in the same way. Foundations.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1986). The creative dare. Foundations.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jul/Aug 1986). Worlds apart: Marriage & work. Today’s Christian Woman, 8, 28-30+.

LeFever, Marlene D. (November 1986). Creative teaching methods. Moody Monthly, 87,   64.

LeFever, Marlene D. (January 1987). Let it snow. Today’s Christian Woman, 9, 41-42.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1987). Creative teaching methods. Christian Education Journal, 7, 90-91. Reviewer: Gorman, J.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov/Dec, 1987). Be a faith-stretching teacher: Challenging your children to grow spiritually. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 14, 8-10.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 1988). Adapting camp Bible studies to individual Learning Styles. Journal of Christian Camping, 20, 14-18.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1988) Solid rock or shifty sand? Today’s Christian Woman, 10, 27-29.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jul/Aug 1988). Opposites distract. Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1988). Help for the hopelessly uncreative. Discipleship Journal, Issue 48.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 1988).  Bible in our students’ lives. Insight. Hagerstown, MD.

LeFever, Marlene D. (November 1988). Creativity: Help for the hopelessly uncreative. Discipleship Journal, 8, 26-30.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 1988). The color puce. Marriage Partnership, 5, 118-119.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Autumn 1989). The creative dare. We need to break patterns and be creative teachers. Key to Christian Education, 28, 2-3.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1989). Flowers from God for a busy teacher. New England Church Life, Mac.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept/Oct 1989). Confessions of a compulsive time manager. Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 1989). Finding God in a bug. Today’s Christian Woman, 11, 24-26.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1989). Why your spouse doesn’t make sense. Marriage Partnership, 6, 36-38.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1989). I saw God at work today: Helping children grow    by discovering God in every part of their life. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 16, 10-13.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept/Oct 1989). Pictures and words and hummingbird wings. Virtue.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan 1990). Bibles for children. Chicago, IL. Moody Monthly.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1990). Why women leaders are essential. Youthworker Journal, 4, 32-36.

LeFever, Marlene D. (March 1991). How to play like resurrection kids. Christian Parenting Today, 3, 43.

LeFever, Marlene D. (July 1990). Mime – the quiet teaching tool: How to use mime effectively in your classroom. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 17, 12-15.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jul/Aug 1991). God is love. Decision Magazine, 32, 34-35.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1991). Birth order clues about your students. Youthworker   Journal, 7, 92-95.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Apr 1991). Above all love. The Church Advocate.

LeFever, Marlene D. (May/Jun 1991). Can a child disciple himself? Preparing children to grow spiritually when you aren’t there to guide them. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 18, 8-11.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 1991). Make your group a family through cooperative learning. Youthworker Journal, 8, 31-35.

LeFever, Marlene D. (July 1991). Seven benefits of cooperative learning. Youthworker Journal, 8, 35-36.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1991). 21 elements of learning. Youthworker Journal, 7, 92-93.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1991). Waste no minds. Youthworker Journal, 8,    96-100.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept/Oct 1991). What’s your child’s style. Today’s Christian Woman.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1991).  Why they don’t remember your lesson. Youthworker Journal, 7, 90-91.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov 1991). Eighteen great ways to light ‘em up! Christian Parenting Today, 4, 46-47.

LeFever, Marlene D. (November 1991). 100 ways to take the yawn out of your relationship with God. Discipleship Journal, 11, 30-32+.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1992). What is the Christian life: Improve the child’s vision of Christianity. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 19, 8-10.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 1992). How our children learn. Today’s Better Life.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1992). Programming with a capital c ‘Creativity’ Youthworker Journal, 9, 34-38.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1992). What your job will look like in 10 years. Youthworker, 9, 36-37.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 1992). RoxiWheels: parable for the church. Wheaton Alumni Magazine. Wheaton, IL.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1992). Attention deficit disorder: Calling a dysfunction sin. Youthworker Journal, 8, 90-95.

LeFever, Marlene D. (March 1993). Eight questions to ask on your next birthday. Discipleship Journal, 13, 66-68.

LeFever, Marlene D. (January 1993). The child’s responsibility in the body of Christ:      Action ideas for Christian children. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 20, 13-15.

LeFever, Marlene D. (January 1993). Roxiwheels. Moody Monthly, 93, 51-52.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Feb 1993). The child’s responsibility in the Body of Christ: Action ideas for Christian children. Evangelizing Today’s Child, 22, 13-15.

LeFever, Marlene D. (March 1993). A walk through Easter week. Christian Parenting Today, 50, 30-34.

LeFever, Marlene D. (1996). How do we explain the ringing of the bells to this generation. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1993). Sunday School grandparents. A Better Tomorrow.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 1993). The Apostle Peter principle. Decision Magazine, 34, 33.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 1993). Why your spouse doesn’t make sense. Decision Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (July/August 1994). 38 ways to wake up your class. Discipleship Journal, Issue 82.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jul/Aug 1994). Is Bible your favorite subject? Children’s Ministry.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 1995). Resurrecting Easter. Virtue Magazine.

LeFever, Marlene D. (May 1996). Learning styles. Youthworker, 12, 58. Reviewer: Kohring, S.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Mar 1997). The cycle of learning. Kids’ Stuff.

LeFever, Marlene D. (April 1999). The natural learning cycle. The Catechist’s Connection.

LeFever, Marlene D. (June 1999). Ministering to secular generation X. National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors News.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Feb 2000). The millennium generation. Interlit: International Magazine of Christian Publishing.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jan/Feb 2000). Growing up with God. Christian Parenting Today, 12, 38+.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter Spring 2000). Dig up your roots; Plant a seed for Christ. Just Between Us Magazine: Brookfield, WI.

LeFever, Marlene D. and Boden, Dawn. (2000). Carrying, feeding, loving volunteers. Strategic Adult Ministries Journal, 16, 4-5.

LeFever, Marlene D. and Boden, Dawn. (2000). The millenium generation. Strategic Adult Ministries Journal, 15, 2-3.

LeFever. Marlene D. (Fall 2002). Joyful noise. Christian Parenting Today, 15, 24.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 2002). The eternal power of music. Christian Parenting Today, 15, 24.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 2002). God’s Great Big World. Christian Parenting Today, 15, 26.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 2003). Building a dream team. Christian Parenting Today, 16, 26.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 2003). Targeting truth. Christian Parenting Today, 15, 24.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 2003). Respecting differences. Christian Parenting Today, 15, 26.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 2003). Living in another world. Christian Parenting Today, 16, 23.

LeFever, Marlene D. (September 2004). Leadership: Generation X get a job at the church. Single Adult Ministry Journal, 155.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Dec 2004). Harnessing the big T (technology) word. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C           Cook.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 2004). No laughing matter. Christian Parenting Today, 17,   49.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 2004). Sharing faith. Christian Parenting Today, 16, 32.

 LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 2004). Making room for daddy. Christian Parenting Today, 16, 21.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept. 2004). The not-quite academic book. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Fall 2004). Bridging the cyber gap. Christian Parenting Today, 17, 22.

LeFever, Marlene D. and Boden, D. (January 2005). Carrying, feeding, loving volunteers. Single Adult Ministries Journal 157.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar. 2005). Employee care. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Sept 2005). The author—An important distributor. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Dec. 2005). God in the secular. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 2005). Daddy secret addiction. Christian Parenting   Today, 17, 12.

LeFever, Marlene. (March 2006). Ethics: are you Solomon. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Jun 2006). Colors on the Publisher’s Canvas. InterLit, International Magazine of Christian Publishing. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 2006). Creative teaching methods. Christian Education Journal, 3. 210-211. Reviewer: Wozniak, G.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 2006). Learning styles. Christian Education Journal, 3, 213-214. Reviewer: Wozniak, G.

LeFever, Marlene D. and Karen Mains. (Spring 2006). Eight questions to ask on your next birthday. Just Between Us, 16, 6-7.

Lefever, Marlene D. (Jan 2008). Mind the generation gap. Children’s Ministry.

LeFever, Marlene D. (Mar/Apr 2008).  Connecting kids through drama. Teach Kids!

LeFever, Marlene D. (Nov. 10, 2008). VS-YES! Christian Retailing.

Lowrie Roy & LeFever, Marlene D. (Winter 1988).  Vote the future in Christian schooling. The Christian Management Review.

Rosell, Garth M.; LeFever, Marlene D. (Summer 1987). Teaching by the case. Leadership, 8, 34-36.

Risley, Jack & LeFever, Marlene D. (Spring 1988). 15 ways to celebrate your anniversary. Marriage Partnership.


Excerpts from Publications

CHILDREN

Creative Kids Book (Series) LeFever, Marlene. (1981). Growing creative children. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

When adult drawing standards are the only ones Amanda sees, how is she ever to know just how wonderful her drawing of a dog really is? This is where the Creative Kids Book comes in. It’s not a coloring book filled with adult drawings. Instead it’s an adventure in creativity. In this book, children will find just enough structure to spark their own ideas. What gifts can a child bring to Jesus? What does their conscience look like? What was the funniest thing God creative? No two children will draw their pictures in exactly the same way. And, every child is right. Every picture is exactly the way it should be—an expression of the child’s creativity and independence.

CURRICULUM

The Big Amazing Story of the Whole Bible. (2011) David C Cook Orphan Initiative. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co. Curriculum in Telugu, Hindi,  and Brazilian. (Based on orality principles for orphaned children ages 9-11)

Shake your head up and down really fast if you think you can tell God’s big, amazing story of the Bible as far as we’ve studied it. Remember! This is the most exciting story in the world, and we should be able to tell it with enthusiasm. Today we will tell stories from Jesus’ life on earth. He called Himself, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is our way back to a friendship with God. Through Him, God can be our Heavenly Father. Jesus came to give us life in His Family forever.

TEACHERS

Flowers from God: Thank-You Notes for Sunday School Teachers (Aug 2002). Colorado Springs: David C Cook Publishing Co.

Flowers from God! I get them. You get them. Every volunteer whose story is told in this book gets them. But sometimes we’re too busy to realize that flowers have arrived. We miss the precious moments in the Sunday rush to get the puppets out and the paste put away and the potty breaks in before it’s really too late and the answer we must give to that question we weren’t prepared for and . . .  And . . . And . . . There is no greater calling than teacher, no more important job in the church. This book celebrates Christian education volunteers like you and me. May God use the stories of real teachers to make us more aware of the flowers He wants us to receive!

TEACHERS AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION LEADERS

Creative Teaching Methods—Be an Effective Christian Teacher (Mar 1997). Elgin, IL: David C. Cook      Publishing Co. Published in Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese.

The potential within a creative teacher is like a dare—a dare to think new thoughts and try new things, not because newness in itself is something to be coveted, but because he or she is following the Master Teacher who used interactive methods to prepare His small band of students to change history. What’s unique about creative teachers? They have the ability to make the most of every situation. They have a receptivity to change that allows them to greet new opportunities with glee rather than panic. They are curious.

Learning Styles—Reaching Everyone God Gave You to Teach (Jun 1, 1995). Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishing Co.

Did you see the cartoon of a Sunday school teacher with her class of young children? The teacher is announcing, “Okay, kids, have these verses memorized by next Sunday or you can kiss your snack time good-bye!” We all laugh, but many teachers have the same mindset. They think, If I just teach the content of the Bible, its facts, stories and principles, my children will have learned. Wrong! Students may be able to repeat the facts, stories, and principles—although even that is doubtful—but they won’t have learned how they might use those facts today. Students—children and adults—learn best when we teach around the natural cycle of learning. Real learning requires each student to success in his or her preferred style and participate in the other styles as well.


Turnabout Teaching. (1973). Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co. pg 7-8.

This book deals with seven distinct areas of active learning including role play, reading a play, mime a message, discussion, games, creative writing, and art projects. Each chapter is filled with a series of ideas to help make the students active learners. There are steps to construct your own activities. “Methods never take the place of Biblical content. Rather, methods help students clarify and use the Biblical principles they have studied (Pg8).”

 Growing Creative Children. (1983). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishing Inc., pg. 7.

“All children can be creative and every parent can help” (back cover). This book offers guidance for parents to help children pick and choose from, to adapt, to tuck away for future use, to get you thinking creatively. Its chapters include “welcoming to our creative home – some ideas on setting the climate,” “the creative worlds of reading,” “paint me a picture,” “step from creative speech to creative writing,” “the song in my child,” and finally the chapter on “creative devotions.” 

Christian Education: Foundations for the Future. (1991). Chicago, IL: Moody Press, pg 333-350.

“A learning style is like a fingerprint-different, individualized for each student. Students of equal intelligence learn in dissimilar ways. If we are to become successful teachers we must adapt our teaching to the ways our students learn. We should not expect them to adapt to our preference (pg 334).” This chapter summarizes the elements of learning including sound, light, temperature, design, motivation, persistence, responsibility, structure, perceptual, intake, time, mobility, global/analytic, hemisphericity, and impulsive/reflective (pg 336-338).

 Learning Styles: Reaching everyone God gave you. (1995). Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co., pg 8-10.

This book has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish. It gives an excellent explanation of the four kinds of learning styles including imaginative, analytic learner, common sense learner, and the dynamic learner. In part one it describes the four kinds of learners. Part two gives stories of students in each one of these styles. Part three gives sample lessons that demonstrate how a lesson plan moves through each of the four learning style quadrants. Part four focuses on how ninety percent of Christian teaching is directed to the twenty percent of our students who learn by hearing. Then the book gives helpful ways to reach the other eighty percent by giving methods that are applicable to them. In part five use what you know to recruit volunteers and get more people actively in worship service. Finally section six of the book considers the twenty-one additional elements of learning and overviews how right and left brain preferences affect learning styles.

Creative Teaching Methods: Be an effective Christian Teacher. (1985). Colorado    Springs, CO: David C Cook Publishing Co. pg 6-7.

“This study incorporates and enlarges many of the ideas included my book, Turnabout Teaching,” shares Marlene. It is translated into Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish. It opens with a three chapter description of the “creative dare,” the “creative process,” and the “creative person.” In the creative process chapter it gives a five step process of preparation, incubation, illumination, elaboration, and finally verification. Included are chapters on using drama in the classroom, role play, mime, simulation games, telling a story, discussion, case study – a chunk of reality in the classroom, creative writing, joyful noises and art. In each chapter are many examples of using that style of teaching along with specifics about practice. “This book is designed to help teacher and students work together in work, less ego stoking, and greater affirmation that life learning is taking place. For the students, the processes will help them discover unique ways they can grow in their understanding of what the Christian life is all about. More importantly, they will learn how they can live out that understanding their Monday through Saturday lives (pg 9-10).”

The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Family Life Education. (1996). Helping Parents with At-Risk Children. Chapter 16. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House    Company. Pg 201-212.

“Attention Deficit Disorder is just one problem Christian leaders need to be aware of. As we examine this disorder, use it as an example of all at-risk students. Don’t make assumptions. Investigate symptoms. …In almost any Christian education program that includes twenty-five children, at least one child will have Attention Deficit Disorder. That child is eight times more likely to be a boy than a girl. …Briefly Attention Deficit Disorder is characterized by serious and persistent difficulties in attention span, impulse control, and sometimes, though not always, hyperactivity (pg 202-203).”

Flowers from God: Thank-you notes for Sunday School Teachers. (2002). Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communication Ministries. pg. 8.

“Flowers from God! I get them. You get them. Every volunteer whose story is told in this book gets them. But sometimes we’re too busy to realize that flowers have arrived. We miss the precious moments in the Sunday rush to get the puppets out and the past put away and the potty breaks in before it’s really too late and the answer to that question we weren’t prepared for and… There is no greater calling than teacher, no more important job in the church. This book celebrates Christian education volunteers like you and like me. May God use these stories of real teachers to make us more aware of the flowers He wants us to receive (pg 8).” 


Author Information

Eileen Starr

 

Eileen Starr, Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL. Serving in educational ministries with SEND International since 1971.  She is a past professor of Christian Education at Alaska Bible College. 

Cheryl Fawcett

 

Cheryl Fawcett, Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL. Serving as the Youth Ministry Specialist for Association of Baptist for World Evangelism, Harrisburg, PA, since 2005.