Thursday, May 24, 2007

the end

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my children. They are ready for summer...indubitably.

But this week has been crazy. One got sick Tuesday, so of course another got sick Wednesday. So my children each missed two days of their last week of school...lucky them.

I've also been paying close attention recently to the kids, teenagers, and college students in my congregation as they've been preparing for the end of the school year. Why are they so ready to be done? I know the summer brings a bit a freedom and the end to certain responsibilities...but is the rest of the year really that bad?

I've also been thinking a lot about how we "do" discipleship in the Church. Instead of discipleship, we tend to call it "Christian Education." And we've molded our discipleship mechanism into an age-tiered system of Christian Education. Further, we've followed the public school model almost to a "T" in our implementation of this system.

So I'm wondering, if people are so eager to get away from school, are they also as eager to get away from our Christian Education system? I'm following a very straightforward pattern of logic here. If people dislike participating in System A (public educational system) then wouldn't they also dislike System B (any other system based off the System A model...including Church)? I'm asking because the question needs to be asked.

Discipleship is much bigger than an educational model. It's not something we walk away from during certain parts of the year or even certain parts of the week. It's also not something that places us at different levels of achievement and status, or that segregates us by age or social status. Discipleship is the art and practice of following Jesus' way of life and ministry. It's a pattern of behavior and thought that encompasses the totality of life.

So perhaps it's time for something new, or for reclaiming something ancient...

1 comment:

Doug Jones said...

Not perhaps... it is definitely time for something different. The Western Educational model has worn out it's usefulness - it is a fair way to deliver content - but when it comes to helping people follow a way of life, or encounter God through experience; the model breaks down.

May we take the time and the necessary steps as the Community of Faith to explore other ways of helping one another follow after Jesus in an on-going and growing relationship.