Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some adult education thoughts

The GPS representatives met on Sunday, Sept. 25, with people who attend the Covenant and Bible Speaks Today adult education classes.

Here's what they thought Second Church does best:

* Food and fellowship.
* Welcoming newcomers
* Preaching
* Local mission
* Music
* Preservation of our art, architecture and our whole building.
* Our office management team seems well lined up now.

We asked people attending to dream aloud about how to make adult education at Second better. Some of their thoughts:

* We need a comprehensive, long-term Bible study program. (Think of such models as the Bethany, Alpha and Kerygma material.)
* Some Bible study should be clergy led, some lay led and some located outside the walls of the church.
* Consider a "progressive" model that moves from home to home.
* We should figure out how to make good Bible study available online with occasional meetings of the groups following the study program.
* Passion for Bible study -- and all of adult education -- must come from the people in the pews.
* Let's look into using Bible games, whether in-person with printed materials or online.
* Let's ponder the Village U model (from Village Presbyterian Church) to offer leadership training, Bible study, book study and speakers.
* Help people listening to sermons by using more graphics during the sermon.
* Prepare adults to engage sermons more fully by giving them material ahead of time to study.
* Focus adult education offerings on people's current needs and make these offerings relatively short-term.
* Don Fisher could take a more active role in helping to create adult education offerings beyond the Witherspoon Class.
* A crucial part of all adult education efforts should be fellowship.
* Let's create more mission trips for adults and create a strong educational component to such trips.
* The current third-floor classroom locations for the Covenant and Bible Speaks classes make it difficult for newcomers to find the classes. Let's rethink these locations.
* Let's try six-week series of Bible studies. Well-focused, well-prepared but limited in terms of time commitment.
* Many adult education offerings can be lay led but should have strong inspiration and leadership from the church staff.
* Let's draw on local seminaries to use some of the professors to lead some classes or speak occasionally.
* Let's find at least part-time space on our staff for a local seminary student to help us with adult education.
* Adult education offerings need to have much stronger staff support in the area of communications and marketing so people inside and outside the congregation know what's coming up.
* Let's more intentionally link adult education to upcoming sermon series so we can be more coordinated in what we offer.
* Why not create online chat opportunities in which anyone could connect to one of our pastors for an hour or so once a week to talk about the Bible, theology or any issues about which those who connect have questions. But let's not forget that not all of our members use the Internet.
* We need to train our people much more thoroughly to lead small groups and be leaders of adult education classes.
* Let's offer various adult education resources, such as Bible study material, on the Web site. Maybe even a blog about what people are studying there.
* We should make sure that the education hour for both youth and adults does not get interrupted by other things. Keep it sacrosanct.

1 comment:

  1. People who go back to school should be proud. It takes courage to enroll in school after years of not attending. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Does anyone know where someone can go to receive adult education in St. John's?