CM 520 Final Exam
8 December 2013
2) How can church discipline be applied in your CE setting? What are the benefits for CE?
The setting for my church is a rural area in North Carolina. The church currently has a successful Christian school as a part of their outreach into the community, and thus a successful Christian education program. The school, which operates from Kindergarten through twelfth grade, has a student body of approximately one-hundred and fifty students. However, the by-laws of the school are written up in such a way that the school is a ministry of the church and falls under the leadership of the elders. This presents certain implications as it pertains to discipline.
The church elders are responsible for all matters related to church discipline, including the Christian academy. So, how can this administrative setup be applied practically as it pertains to discipline? The elders of the church are the supreme authority for discipline. Thus, when certain matters arise in the school that merit discipline, the elders are always consulted on the decision. The application of this discipline policy works very much like a military “chain of command”. The academy has a headmaster who is involved in the day-to-day affairs of the school. This headmaster is the most knowledgeable person about discipline issues and serves as the “first line of defense”. When an issue arises, however, that is beyond his normal scope of operations, he consults the elder board. The elder board is briefed about the problem, presented with multiple courses of actions and settle on a decision about what to do. Following this decision, the elders themselves are involved with the family affected by the incident. This is the normal formula for matters relating to discipline within our Christian education program.
How does this benefit those involved? I believe there is a very practical benefit derived from this methodology. The school, which is a ministry of the church, has direct interaction with the pastor and the elders of the church when a serious matter arises. I find this to be an extremely important variable in the equation of Christian education. If the church is to take upon itself the responsibility of Christian education, then those receiving the education must see the leadership actively at work when matters of discipline arise. These are extremely volatile times in a church, and most especially when dealing with the age group of teenagers and younger.
3) How would you go about recruiting and training and developing a leadership team for CE if you were starting out today?
In the assembling of a leadership team, recruiting and training are the first and most essential tasks of the leader. If were recruiting a leadership team, I would begin with the qualifications. Would the desire be for someone with a degree in Christian education? Would this be a screening criteria? What would be the determining factors for those comprising the team?
In the case of our church here, we have the Christian school that I mentioned. The screening criteria would certainly have to be, at a minimum, a degree from an accredited institution. The preference would certainly be for someone with this degree. The “invisible qualifications” for this position would be character references. How does this person act while under pressure? What is the history of this person in dealing with impressionable children?
In looking for these qualifications, I would make a list of bible schools and colleges with known and accredited education programs. I would make connections with them, inform them of the demographics of my area, and let them know who I am looking for. The hope in making this connection would be a lasting and consistent flow of excellent candidates for Christian education to come.
The leadership team would also need someone with great people skills. This person could come from a business background, but would more likely have a marketing background. This person would be the “face” of the program and provide all of the interaction between the community and the Christian school. Like the above criteria, one could go to colleges to find such a person to be recruited for the leadership team. However, connections could be made with other Christian schools as well in this effort, and methodology could be gleamed from them.
Now, as far as the business of training goes, this would require much more action on my part. The training would all have to be centered around the mission and vision of the Christian education program. This could be a group effort to determine the mission and vision, or it could simply be “handed” to them. In either case, the training should revolve around that. Once we know our mission and vision, then we can clearly train our leadership to execute the tasks for the accomplishment of that mission.
The task of training would likely take place over the course of one week. One week prior to the beginning of the program, the team would be assembled for training which would last approximately 40 hours. This training would consist of education in structure, responsibilities, daily tasks, and team coordination. Once this initial training is completed, there would need to be periodic “refresher” courses for the team to ensure maximum cohesion. The end result of all the recruitement and training would be efficient accomplishment of the mission and vision.
NG, LR, & NCU
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