Category Archives: Along the Journey

From our Center of Lifelong Learning.

For the Bookshelf: The Craftsman

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Every so often I am reminded that I live in a different world than that of my father—and am amazed at the accelerated pace of change that has taken place from one generation to the next. During my formative years, when my father went to work, he toiled, returning home with grease and grime under his fingernails and embedded in the deep crevices of his rough workman’s hands. During my own children’s formative years “going to work” for their dad meant, more often than not, going downstairs to the study in the den, risking a blister on the finger from furious typing on a keyboard or a paper cut (at best a long shot at that). Continue reading For the Bookshelf: The Craftsman

Preach This, Tweet That (Part II): The iHomiletic™ How-to Guide

By Dominique A. Robinson, Staff Associate for Contextual Education

As mentioned in Preach This, Tweet That (Part I), Black Millennials find themselves in a peculiar socio-cultural predicament that renders them spiritually disjointed. Black youth have been suffering from a fatal prognosis for many decades and the iHomiletic is a recommended prescription for realigning Black youth and young adults with the Black Church. Continue reading Preach This, Tweet That (Part II): The iHomiletic™ How-to Guide

Does Your Church Need a Children’s Ministry Missions Statement?

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I have been surveying mission statements of children’s ministries in preparation for some new courses (the majority of congregations surveyed don’t have one). I have been intrigued by the use of “mission statements” by children’s ministry programs in congregations. I’ve got mixed feelings about mission statements in general. As someone who has been involved in creating them in the corporate business setting and in congregational settings I’m skeptical that they are ever much more than an end product of the few who happened to participate in their creation. Soon the “mission statement” intended to be a guiding or defining force reflective of the entire organization becomes not much more than a pretty framed plaque or poster on the church foyer wall. Continue reading Does Your Church Need a Children’s Ministry Missions Statement?

Preach This, Tweet That (Part I): What Black Millennials are Looking for from the Preacher

By Dominique A. Robinson, Staff Associate for Contextual Education

Preaching has always been a lively communal dialogue between the preacher, God and the congregants within the Black Church tradition; however, technology and social media have invaded this dialogue for Black Millennials. Their idea of interactive preaching goes beyond the “preacher, music and frenzy” that W.E.B. DuBois refers to. Black Millennials want church as they know it to reach beyond the four walls of the sanctuary. For them, preaching is no longer what happens when the preacher stands behind the lectern but preaching happens when one’s truth is shared no matter the medium or mode of communication. Continue reading Preach This, Tweet That (Part I): What Black Millennials are Looking for from the Preacher

What Church Educators Can Learn from Infomercials

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I’m a fan of late night infomercials. Given I am a bit of an insomniac that shouldn’t be a surprise. I got hooked when I saw the first  Pocket Fisherman  infomercial by Ronco, an early (and still popular) product from informercial pioneer and mainstay Ron Popeil. Since then Ron Popeil and company have shaped the infomercial phenomenon with a steady stream of products. Using a successful format for pitching products, which included the teaser, “But wait! There’s more!” Popeil has sold his inventions, from the  Veg-O-Matic, Mr. Microphone, the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler to the wildly successful Ronco Rotisserie Oven—that last due in no small part to Ron Popeil’s memorable pitch, “Set it and forget it!”

When it comes to church education programming, most pastors seem to use the Ron Popeil approach to Christian Education, namely, the “Set it and forget it” approach. They’re happy with the fact that no matter what you do (or don’t do much of), people will just show up to Sunday School and classes. Other than recruiting willing teachers (or warm bodies), equipping a room with suitable furniture, making an attendance roster, and buying curricular resource material, what else is there to Christian education in the church? Continue reading What Church Educators Can Learn from Infomercials