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“Report of the Board of Christian Education” (report: Village Seven Presbyterian Church)

Village Seven Presbyterian Church
Colorado Springs, Colorado
September 1973
Board Chairman: Rev. Robert Case
(Note: This report was written primarily by me and distributed to interested congregations in the RPC, ES through Advance, a digest of ideas from the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod.)

“Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives. Watch out that no one . . becomes careless about God.” (Hebrews 12:15, 16 (Living Bible)

There’s a new word in church today, “body-life”, made popular in past months by Pastor Ray Stedman and the congregation of the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California. The word describes the effective, exciting ministry of Christians to each other in the church, made possible by the varied gifts of the Holy Spirit. These verses in Hebrews (and in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 & 5) describe this “body-life”. It is more than an occasional, casual ‘hello”, or a room full of people, or a program, or serving Kool-Ade and coffee after church. Dick Halverson, a college classmate, said it well: “It’s like grapes crushed to¬gether. It means sharing our lives with each other.” We are not spectators attending a game, sitting in the stands* paying the players, cheering them on. The church is like a team, where everyone plays and everyone participates:
Just as the human body is carefully designed (a body with limbs and organs haphazardly scattered would be a monstrosity) so the body of the church is designed with each member of the family as a vital, necessary part equipped by the Lord to fulfill its functions, and at the same time being served by the rest of the body.

Our emphasis on the church family as a body of believers is the Bible’s emphasis. We are not going to be problem-oriented, but family-oriented: We intend to be a Barnabas Club: Read Acts 9;26-27 to learn how Barnabas got acquainted with the ‘outsider’ Paul and introduced him to the body of believers At Jerusalem. We don’t want hey believers on the outside looking in. We want to be open for the body to share with itself, sharing from the Word, noting what it says about our attitudes, worshipping, working, playing, crying, and rejoicing together. A good outline of Ephesians 4 is the Disposition (vs. 1-2), Doctrine (vs. 4-6) and Deployment (vs. 7ff) of the believer in the body of Christ. When one fails all the body suffers. When one succeeds the whole body is blessed. One question each one of us should be asking regularly – children, youths. Adults – is: “I’m part of the body, what can I do to help the body?

This is exciting! This concept is growing at Village Seven Presbyterian. Let us love and help one another. This first year has been difficult and wonderful! Deuteronomy 4:37-38 assures us that God does not bring His children “out” unless He also brings us “in” And this refers, as I use it here, only to our leaving comfortable facilities to use temporary facilities this past year, not to the good relationships with our sister-church family. Let us all remember that a team is being built. There are areas where we are weak and others where we are strong. Where we are weak, or spread thin, let us be understanding, praying, offering ourselves to stand in the gap. God has brought us together, not only these days, but for all eternity, to serve, glorify and enjoy Him forever!”

xxx

This was Pastor Bill Leonard’s report to the congregation in February, 1973. Meeting extensively over the month of August, the Board of Christian Education has instituted changes in the Department of Education which we feel will bring us closer to the Biblical goals set forth in the Pastor’s Report.

Recommended Reading:
Body Life by Ray Stedman
Full Circle by David Mains
The Church at the End of the 20th Century by Francis Schaeffer
What Christ Thinks of the Church by John R. Stott
Company of the Committed by Elton Trueblood

NURSERY DIVISION (ages 0-2)

I. Objectives:
1. To provide a regular contact between the church and the family of the infant and to let the parents know that the church has an interest in their small child.
2. To provide care for those infants who are not with the family during the worship services, Sunday School and special events of the church.
3. To show (teach) the infants that they are loved, cared for and secure in God’s family and that God is someone to love, talk to and trust.

II. Implementation:
1. There will be a paid baby sitter for the infant nursery during the Sunday worship service and the Sunday School classes.
2. .The church roster will be used to include all members and regular visitors of the church in the infant nursery as well as the toddler nursery during the Sunday morning and Sunday evening worship services. Everyone will be expected to fulfill his obligation to the families of our infants by taking his turn in the nursery.
3. On special church occasions there will either be a paid baby sitter or the church roster will be used to satisfy the requirements.
4. A Cradle Roll Department will be used to keep in periodic contact with the families of the infants using a coordinated curriculum and personal visits,

III. Visitation:
1. The Cradle Roll chairwoman will make periodic visits to the home of the infant to personally tell of the church’s interest and concern
2. See Nursery Sunday School, IIc, for the Biblical basis for the parents’ role in the child’s education.

Pre-School Division: Nursery Sunday School (ages 2-3) (time frame: 4 months)

I. Objectives: To teach the children their first knowledge of the Christian faith:

A. About God; God made all things.
*God loves me.
*God uses people to care for me:
*God hears me when I pray.
*I can sing and talk to God.

B. About Jesus: Jesus is God’s Son.
*Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
*Jesus was once a child.
*Jesus loves me.
*Jesus is my friend.

C. About the Bible:
*The Bible is God’s special book.
*The Bible tells about God & Jesus.
*The Bible tells me how to do right.

D. About the child’s home:
*God gave me my home
*God gave me my family.
*God wants me to help at home.

E. About reaching others with the Gospel:
*God loves all the children in the world.
*Some children do not know about God.
*I can bring gifts to help other children know about God.

F. About the Church:
*The church is God’s house.
*We have happy times at church.
*God’s helpers work here.
*I can help at church.
*I can bring gifts here to show that I love God.

G. About pleasing God:
*God wants me to be kind.
*God wants me to share my toys.
*God wants me to love everyone.
*God wants me to obey my parents.

II. VISITATION

A. The teachers should keep the parents of the children informed as to progress of the child and the ways in which the parent can teach the child at home.

B. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to help nurture the children in the faith.

C. It should be remembered that it is the parents’ responsibility and privilege to teach their children

the Word of God (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 4:9,10; 6:1-9,20-25; 11:19; 32:46; Psa.78:1-4; Psa.127: 3-5;

Prov.3:11-12; 13:24; 15;4-5; 19:18;22:6; 4:1f; 23:13-14; 29:15; Luke 2:41-52; Eph, 6:4; 2 Tim 3:15; 2 Tim. 1:5.).

Pre-School Sunday School (ages 4-5) (time frame: 4 months)

I. Objectives: To increase the children’s rudimentary knowledge of God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Church, Bible, home, their friends and themselves.

A. About God:
*God made all things.
*God made me.
*God loves me.
*God cares for me.
*God uses people to care for me.
*God hears me when I pray.
*God forgives me when I am sorry.
*God knows what is best for me, God is in Heaven.
*I can sing and talk to God.

B. About Jesus:
*Jesus is God’s Son.
*God sent Jesus to earth to be our Savior.
*Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
*Jesus was once a child, growing as other children do.
*Jesus died, but is alive again.
*Jesus is now in Heaven with God.
*Jesus loves me.
*Jesus is my friend.

C. About the church:
*The church is God’s house.
*We have happy times at church. This is my church.
*God’s helpers work here.
*We can learn about God at church. I can help at church.
*I can bring gifts here to show I love God.
*I can ask other boys and girls to come to church, too.

D. About his home:
*God gave me my home.
*God gave me my family.
*God wants me to help at home.

E. About pleasing God
*God wants me to be kind
*God wants me to share my toys
*God wants me to love everyone
*God wants me to obey my parents
*God wants me to obey what he says in the Bible

F. About the Bible:
*The Bible is God’s Book.
*The Bible is a special Book.
*The Bible tells about God and Jesus.
*The Bible is a Book of true stories.
*The Bible tells me how to do right.
*The Bible tells about people who loved God and pleased Him just as God wants me to do.

G. About reaching others with the Gospel:
*God loves all the children in the world.
*Some children do not know about God.
*I can pray for missionaries.
*I can give money to help other children know about God.

II. Implementation:

A. There will be a coordinated curriculum between the Nursery Sunday School class and the Pre-School Sunday School class (cf, David C. Cook material.)

B. There will be mixed classes taught by a teaching team.

C. The classes will be 30-40 minutes long with an additional 10 minutes for singing and 10 minutes for refreshments.

D. There should be a small offering taken each Sunday to teach stewardship and giving of one’s gifts.

III. VISITATION

A. The teachers should keep the parents of the children informed as to the progress of the child and the ways in which the parent can teach the child at home.

B. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to help nurture the children in the faith.

C. See: Nursery Sunday School, III-C for the Biblical basis for parents’ role in education.

CHILDREN’S DIVISION: Primary Department (grades 1-3) (time frame: 4 months)

I. Sunday School (Christian classes) Primary function: teaching doctrine and worship.

A. Objectives:
1. To familiarize the student with those men and events God used to unfold His redemptive plan.
2. To teach the student the basic Biblical stories without stressing chronology or sequence.
3. To teach the student rudimentary forms of worship.
4. To teach the student the basic means of Christian growth.

B. Implementation:
1. There will be a coordinated curriculum throughout the Primary Dept. (Great Commission material).
2. There will be 3 mixed classes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades.
3. The class duration will be 45 minutes long with a 15 minute ‘Opening Exercise.”
4. There will be team teaching in all 3 classes.
5. There will be no offering in Sunday School unless it is for a special project. The children should tithe with the rest of the family during the main worship service.

II. Social Times.

A. Objectives:
1.To teach the children to play together in the name of Jesus Christ.
2.To give them a time when they can bring their class-mates to a church-sponsored event, thus teaching them outreach.

B. Implementations:
1. The Sunday School teachers will be responsible to organize these social times (preferably in Department Division).
2. There should be no less than one social time every other month.
3. These times should appeal to both non-Christians as well as Christians.

III. Prayer Time

A. Objectives
1. To teach the children to pray out loud.
2. To teach the children the importance of talking to God.

B. Implementation:
*The children will be given the opportunity to pray in Sunday School classes and in the brief Opening Exercises, as well as with the family as home.

IV. Visitation:

1. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teachers to visit the home of all new students in the teacher’s class.
2. It will be the teacher’s responsibility to send a “Missed You” card every time a student misses a class.
3. The teacher should keep the parents of the children informed as to pro¬gress of the child and the ways in which the parent can teach the child at home.
4. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to keep in contact with each student on, a personal level.
5. See Nursery Sunday School, III-C, for the Biblical basis for parents’ role in education.

CHILDREN’S DIVISION: Junior Department (grades 4-6)
(time frame: 4 months)

I. Sunday School (Christian classes) Primary function: teaching doctrine & worship

A. Objectives:
1. To teach Bible history with its chronology and sequence. To emphasize the development of the history of redemption.
2. To teach the student that redemption in the Bible applies to him/her.
3. To continue to teach the basic means to Christian piety.
4. To begin to teach the student to form his/her own Christian creed.

B. Implementation of objectives:
1. There will be a coordinated curriculum throughout the Junior Dept. (Great Commission material).
2. There will be 3 mixed classes: 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.
3. The class duration will be 45 minutes with a 15 minute “Opening Exercise”
4. There will be team teaching in each class.
5. There will be no offering taken in Sunday School unless it is for a special project. The children should give their tithe with the rest of the family during the main worship service.

II. Social Times:

A. Objectives:
1. To teach the children to play together in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. To give them a time when they can bring their classmates to a church-sponsored event, thus teaching them outreach.

B. Implementation:
1. The Sunday School teachers will be responsible to organize these social times (preferably by Department or Division).
2. There should be no less than one social time every other month.
3. These social times should appeal to both non-Christians as well as Christians.

III. Prayer Time:

A. Objectives:
1. To teach the children to pray publicly.
2. To teach the children the importance of a consistent prayer life.

B. Implementation:
1. The children will be given the opportunity of praying in their Sunday School classes and in the brief -‘Opening Exercises’.
2. The children should be given the opportunity to pray with the family at home.

IV. Visitation:

1. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teachers to send a “missed you” card every time a student misses a class.
2. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teachers to visit the home of all new students in the teacher’s class.
3. The teachers should keep the parents of the children informed as to the progress of the child and the ways in which the parent can teach the child at home.
4. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to keep in contact with each student on a personal basis.
5. See Nursery Sunday School, IIIc, for the Biblical basis for parents’ role in education.

YOUTH DIVISION: Junior High Department
(time frame: 4 months)

I. Sunday School. Primary function: teaching doctrine.

A. Objectives:
1. A comprehensive indoctrination of the students in the absolute truth of the Scriptures and how the Scriptures view the world in which we live.
2. A basic outline of Bible history, Bible figures and Bible themes.
3. An appreciation of the Bible as the text-book for their lives.

B. Implementation of Objectives:
1. Drop “Opening Exercises” in favor of a 45-50 minute class. The Gathering will be 10-15 minutes, consisting of prayer, a couple of songs from “Sing n’ Celebrate” and announcements.
2. Curriculum will be Great Commission Publications for all classes.
3. There will be no offering unless it is for a specific project decided upon by the students.
4. There will be 3 classes: 7th, 8th and 9th — all mixed.
5. There will be team teaching (2 teachers) in each class.
6. A total evaluation will be made at the end of each semester. (December, April, August).

II. Social Time: (Reach-out) Primary function: teaching outreach & unity.

A. Objectives:
1. To reach out into the Junior High community of the northeast area with a message of reconciling love and concern.
2. To have a time, sponsored by the church, which will promote fellowship and friendship among the Junior High students of Village Seven Presbyterian.

B. Implementation of objectives:
1. Be flexible in scheduling social events, both as to time and activity.
2. Encourage activities which lend themselves to enjoyment by both Christians and non-Christians.

111. Wednesday Night Prayer Time:

A. Objectives:
1. To teach Junior High students to pray conversationally.
2. To teach Junior High students to share needs and answers to prayer with each other.
3. To help develop the experiential aspect of their faith.
4. To continue to build friendships among the Junior High students.
5. To continue to build a Christian view of the world.

B. Implementation of Objectives:
1. Campus Crusade’s “Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity”, done together on Wednesday nights. 20-30 minutes.
2. Sharing and prayer together afterwards. 30-40 minutes.

IV. Advantages of this Structure:

1. We have clearly defined goals and implementations and time frame and, therefore, have clear criteria for evaluation.’
2. We begin to teach the Junior High students to think about basic Biblical theology and how that theology applies to their daily lives.
3. The Junior High students will be exposed to modern teaching techniques that parallel their secular school education.
4. The teachers and coordinators will have a better dies of what is expected of them and where they can go for assistance.
5. We begin to encourage the Junior High believers to use their gifts and talents for the public edification of the Body of Christ here at Village Seven Presbyterian Church.

V. Terminology:
1. Teachers: those adults teaching classes on Sunday morning.
2. Coordinators: those adults coordinating the activities of the students during their social time and on Wednesday night.
3. Reach out: name of Social time
4. Gathering: the 10-15 minuet period before the Sunday School classes when all the students are together.
5. Tri-semester: time frame for the junior high program.

VI. Visitation
1. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teachers to visit the home of all new students in the teacher’s class. This will be done at the teacher’s discretion.
2. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teacher to send a “Missed You” card every time a student misses a class.
3. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to keep in contact with each student on a personal level.
4. See Nursery Sunday School, III-C, for the Biblical basis for parents’ role in education.

YOUTH DIVISION: Senior High Department
(time frame:, 4 months)

I. Sunday School. Primary function: teaching doctrine.

A. Objectives:
1. To introduce the high school student into the Christian adult world.
2. To continue building their Christian philosophy of the world.
3. To continue to reinforce the fact that the Bible is the text-book for the life of a Christian.

B. Implementation of Objectives:
1. There will be electives (Adult Education classes) for the high school students, as well as their own class if they so choose.
2. The high school class will be concentrating on doctrine out of the Scripture.
3. The curriculum will be the Orthodox Presbyterian Senior High Curriculum.

II. Social Time. Primary function: teaching outreach and unity.

A. Objectives:
1. To have a time, sponsored by the church, which will promote friendship and fellowship among the high school members of Village 7 Presbyterian.
2. To reach out into the high school community of the northeast area with a message of reconciling love and concern.

B. Implementation of Objectives:
1. Be flexible in scheduling social events, both as to time and activities.
2. Encourage activities which lend themselves to enjoyment by both Christians and non-Christians.

III. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. Primary function: teaching worship & unity.

A. Objectives:
1. To introduce the high school students into the adult Christian world.
2. To help develop the experiential aspect of the high school student’s faith.
3. To continue to build friendships among the high school students.
4. To begin to build genuine friendships with adult members of the Village Seven Presbyterian Church.
5. To continue to build a Christian view and philosophy of the world.

B. Implementation of Objectives:
1. There will be high school Wednesday night activity for the high school students, however.
2. The high school students will be invited and encouraged to attend an Adult Prayer Meeting, thus enriching the praying Body of Christ.

IV. Advantages of This Structure:
1. We have clearly defined goals and implementations and a time frame, and therefore clear criteria for evaluation.
2. We continue to teach the high school students to think about basic Biblical theology and how that theology applies to their daily lives.
3. We begin to build an adult Christian value grid through which to view the world.
4. We begin to incorporate the students into the mainstream of the church.
5. We provide a structure whereby high school believers can contribute their gifts and talents to the rest of the Body here at Village Seven Presbyterian Church.

V. Terminology
1. Teachers: those adults teaching classes on Sunday morning
2. Coordinators: those adults coordinating social activities of the students
3. Tri-semester: the time frame for the Senior High program (September-December; January-April; May- August)
4. Hi-life: Senior High social time.

VI. Visitation:
1. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teachers to visit the home of all new students in the teacher’s class. This will be done at the teacher’s discretion.
2. It will be the responsibility of the Sunday School teacher to send a “Missed You” card every time a student misses a class.
3. In general, the Sunday School class will be the teacher’s little flock and he/she will be responsible to keep in contact with each student on a personal level.
4. See Nursery Sunday School, III-C, for the Biblical basis for parents’ role in education.

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