What would the perfect faith formation curriculum look like? Would it have videos with engaging speakers? Would it be usable, shareable and adaptable? There seems to be a lot of options; however, none of them seem to be the right fit, why is that?
It’s frustrating, you spend all this money trying different programs, but none of them work. Well, that’s because the answer isn’t necessarily in the content. To grow disciples and have an effective faith formation you need to:
WORK AS A TEAM
If the children’s program works separately from youth ministry then you’ll constantly struggle. Faith formation needs to be looked at as a path from early childhood to adulthood. That means everyone in charge of discipleship (Including the pastor) need to sit down to tackle the problem together.
By working together you’ll come up with a streamlined and effective process. Communication will improve because what you do impacts everyone else and you’ll break down on silos.
SHARE A COMMON VISION
When a child grows up in your church and becomes an adult what is your hope? Too often we focus on what we want to teach without knowing why? Yes, it’s important, but what does knowing what you are teaching matter?
An effective faith formation program is one that knows where it’s taking it’s disciples. It’s not perfect, but it has a clear understanding of what a disciple does.
To develop this common vision a team not only has to work together but identify the characteristics of a disciple. How would you define a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Once you’ve identified a disciple it’s important to communicate it to your congregation. Don’t assume that they know what it means to follow Christ. As leaders in the church it’s your job to:
- Preach about it on the weekends.
- Teach them during your programs.
- Provide opportunities where they can practice different habits (i.e. Service projects to promote mission work).
- Offer resources that help them embrace the characteristics (i.e. Devotionals to promote quiet time prayer).
Be clear with what you want people to know and what you want them to do.
PERSONALIZE THE CONTENT
Outsourcing can be a great thing, especially when you are limited with resources. But, don’t rely on resources to define your programs. To personalize your content you need to know:
- How your community learns.
- What occupies their time and attention.
- What motivates them.
Get to know who you are trying to reach and find content that you can piecemeal, supplement and adapt. You need to do that so it can be relevant and compelling.
The market for content is getting better, but it’s never going to be perfect. If you want to save hundreds of dollars you need to know what you want people to know and where you want to take them.
It’s a process but over time it’ll become more clear. You just need to make the effort to work as a team and clarify the vision of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Question: How are you creating content that grows disciples of Jesus Christ? What resources have you found helpful? You can leave a comment by clicking here.