Category Archives: Member Community Center

What do we believe about nurturing faith?

I was very heartened that on a day tailor made for golf and other outdoor activities that a couple hundred administrators and church leaders sat together and discussed what they believed about the faith nurture of youth. I am speaking of the recent July CSI convention held in Michigan at Boyne Mountain and the work done on the Covenetwork Manifesto document. We sat together in table groups of 8-10 and worked on the “Whereas” and “Therefore” statements, suggesting revisions. After a time of discussion, we merged our comments and then 8 groups reported out their suggestions. Taking into account all of the suggestions made by the convention attendees and doing some wordsmithing we present the final document below:

A Covenetwork Manifesto

Covenetwork – relationships that work between home, church,
and school, term coined by Miller in The Millennium Matrix

Manifesto – public declaration of policy and aims, declaration, platform

Whereas:
  • We value all of our youth as image bearers of God and uniquely designed for Kingdom purposes,
  • We desire to nurture a personal faith walk with Jesus Christ in youth,
  • We affirm that Scripture mandates nurturing faith in youth,
  • We believe that youth is a critical time for faith development,
  • We recognize that current realities in culture and institutions (government, business, media, etc. and sometimes in family, school, and church) mitigate against faith development,
  • We believe that the family fosters initial faith development and that parents, church, and school each have unique and complementary roles to play in the maturation of that faith,
  • We reject the concept that the head (worldview), heart (values, beliefs, attitudes), and hands (decisions, actions, behaviors) of each child can fully develop independent of each other, and we encourage methods that engage youth in a continuous, consistent, and coherent manner,
  • We believe that the importance of the kingdom of God requires that home, church, and school work in concert on faith nurture,
  • We believe that relationships are foundational to faith nurture,
  • We believe that adults who engage with youth over extended periods of time have a significant impact on their spiritual formation,
  • We affirm that young people need the desire, ability, and opportunity to articulate what they believe,
  • We believe that faith nurture encompasses the individual and all of creation.

Therefore:

  • We commit to working together around the faith nurture of our youth in order to complement each other and maximize effectiveness,
  • We commit to investing time, attention, and resources toward the faith formation of youth,
  • We will strive to maintain healthy dialogue with our faith nurture partners,
  • We will seek to explore best ways to communicate, collaborate, or co-plan,
  • We will encourage the development of spiritual disciplines in our youth,
  • We commit to knowing our youth at a personal level, knowing them at a developmental level, and understanding their changing cultural context through better communication between church and school,
  • We will seek the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit for direction and leading as we nurture faith development in our youth,
  • We will provide learning experiences that will develop youth engagement in cultural redemption and reconciliation,
  • We commit to model and encourage Christian discernment and lifestyle,
  • We commit to pray faithfully for our youth.

The intention of this document is to promote dialogue between those responsible for the nurture of the faith of our youth. What are ways you could use this document in your setting to help focus on faith nurture? Please take a moment to report back how you are using this document to engage others in this dialogue – we will report this information in upcoming blog posts along with looking at parts 2 and 3 of the Covenetwork Manifesto.

 

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Filed under encouraging the heart, image of God, kids/culture, Member Community Center

Recent Member Community Center forum questions

• Curriculum mapping software – what program are you using to do this?
• Student non-academic guidelines for awards – does anyone have a sample set of guidelines they would be willing to share?
• Worship – how do other schools handle chapel planning? Is this a paid staff position or student led? Teachers given released time?
• Career and calling – who has done recent work in this area? What resources are available and helpful?

Please take a moment to share with your colleagues in regards to one or more of these questions. CSI members can access the Member Community Center by clicking here. Thanks – we are all lifted up and get stronger when we share our ideas and resources!

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In case you missed it – new and recent MCC items

Discussion forum

  • Responses to Bruce Hekman’s financial sustainability question by Jason Zylstra, Dave Koetje, and Jennifer Richmond
  • A question from Mike Hendrikse from Whitinsville, MA on graduated, ability to pay tuition plans and a response by Jim De Young from Calvin Christian, MN
  • A question about Bible Memory programs and a request for samples
  • A question from George Guichelaar from South Christian, MI about wording and policies on church membership requirements for teachers, coaches, board members, and parents
  • Information about how to get technology plans approved
  • A question from Jim DeKorne about best books on Reformed perspective in education

Resources area

Community

Philosophy, Mission, and Goals folder

Athletics folder

Governance in the Christian School

Curriculum

Bible Memory Program Samples folder

Faith Integrated Learning, Essential Understandings/Questions

Staff

Staff Development folder

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Describing What is Distinctively Christian About Christian Education

Over the past several years I have been wrestling with ideas and words that would provide a succinct and easily understood definition of what is distinctively Christian about Christian education.

I would submit that distinctively Christian education happens through the means of Curriculum, Classroom, and Community. The diagram below gives further explanation of what is meant by these words.

I think that if we can use common language it will provide helpful handles for describing what we do to others and for ourselves. You may have noticed that I have already been using these terms in parentheses behind some posts as organizers.

Click on Diagram below for a larger view:

otsisais.jpg

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Filed under classroom, community, curriculum, distinctively Christian, Member Community Center

In case you missed it – new and recent MCC items

mcclogosm.jpg

Discussion forum

– a new post by Bruce Hekman on the financial sustainability of Christian schools

– a new post re: Dan VandePol’s master’s thesis work on non-tuition revenue sources for Christian schools.

Resources area

Community

Philosophy, Mission, Goals folder

– student outcome statements from Rehoboth, Christian Academy in Japan, and SCSBC (Society for Christian Schools in British Columbia)

Community

Athletics folder

– three articles by Ron Polinder – The Outrageous Idea of Sportsmanship, Let’s Play Ball, and Basketball Lessons
– policies from Calgary and Toronto District

Curriculum

Faith Integrated Learning folder
– Use Questions and 99 Questions by Michael Essenburg

Technology Integration folder
– Biblical Perspectives for Technology – Powerpoint by Robert Koole

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