Christ Offers Hope
As Christians, our answer is found in the reality and truth of God in Christ, the Christ revealed in the Bible and revealed as the living Christ in the minds and hearts of women and men throughout the ages. Our hope is in the One who ate with sinners, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and set the captives free. Christ offers hope to all who live in fear, despair, or discouragement. God’s Spirit strengthens and encourages us in our Christian lives.
However, the Christian life and the assurance one has in and through Christ cannot automatically be achieved. Individuals must grow in their faith. It is only wishful thinking to believe that children, youth, and adults become Christians without careful thought and planning. We cannot leave faith to chance. As Christians, we are called to teach others the faith. Christian education is the guided process of helping persons grow in faith.
While it is important for persons to know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, sin, salvation, and the Bible, Christian education invites persons to be transformed by God’s love. Christian education helps persons come to know God personally through Jesus Christ, to accept God’s love, and to grow in faith as disciples. The life in Christ is the goal of Christian education.Christian education teaches children, youth, and adults the truth of Jesus Christ and equips them to be in ministry both within and outside the church. As people’s lives are transformed by Christ’s love, they understand the responsibility of using their gifts for the good of all people.
The need for Christian education has never been more urgent than it is today. Adults are searching for a life that has meaning. Youth are searching for identity and acceptance. Children are searching for love and security. The need for Christ is real.
Christian education is more than the Sunday school program. Christian education must be a central commitment of the congregation. It should permeate the life of the community of faith.
Of particular importance to Christian education is the teacher — whether pastor, professional staff, or volunteer. The teacher, who is growing in Christ, helps children, youth, and/or adults know what Christ did, who Christ is. How the teacher models and lives out her or his faith is as important as what he or she teaches.