Toolkits: Resources Your Church Can Use  

Karen DeBoerEducators Making the Future

My church meets in a community center. We sit on folding chairs most often arranged in a semi-circle but occasionally placed around tables so that we can talk and pray together during worship. We have more babies and toddlers than floor space in the nursery so families are encouraged to bring their wee ones with them into worship. I once saw a baby lovingly passed from one person to another down the row, across the … Read More

Even a Little Card Game

Jason Brian SantosEducators Making the Future

Imagine for a moment that you’re standing in the expo hall of the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, an event that boasts an attendance of close to 5,000 teenagers from all over the country. The atmosphere is charged with the drone of several hundred teenagers as they travel among the various booths. Like bees buzzing from one flower to the next, they hover at each table for only a moment, because they too are on the … Read More

Word Teasers

Michelle Thomas-BushEducators Making the Future

Year after year, young people entered Confirmation without a vocabulary to talk about faith. It is not unusual. At the first meeting, I would empower the parents to have deeper faith conversations. Like most good educators, I would give them questions on card stock to place on their dinner table. At the parents’ meeting a few years ago, the blank looks on parents’ faces indicated a lack of their own faith vocabulary. I knew if … Read More

I Love to Tell the Story

Krista LovellEducators Making the Future

“I love to tell the story, ‘twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.” Raised by Christian parents who were Baptist-Presbyterians, I was offered many opportunities to share God’s story with others in a variety of ways—from flannel-graph to flip-books to puppets to clowning and more! Yes, the sharing of God’s story has been a central theme of my 35 years of educational ministry.  I love … Read More

Mission and Christian Education: True Partners

Joyce MacKichan WalkerMission and Faith Formation

Over my forty years of serving churches as a volunteer, Ruling Elder, Certified Christian Educator, and now as a Teaching Elder, I have always known and claimed the importance of educational ministry and mission working hand-in-hand. Hand-in-hand to form disciples – followers of Jesus who consciously model their lives on the servant Christ. Hand-in-hand to shape apostles – a church that knows itself to be sent by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, … Read More

New Discoveries about Young Children’s Faith Formation

Karen-Marie YustFaith Formation

For decades, we have operated with certain developmental beliefs about preschool faith formation. Now, with the advantages of new research methods, it is time to reexamine our assumptions. Yale University’s Paul Bloom and Harvard University’s Paul Harris have made exciting discoveries that invite us to retool our preschool ministries. Let me share some of their findings and suggest ways their work might reframe our own efforts. Paul Bloom studies young children’s moral development, and he … Read More