Karen Gilbert, Missional Church Consultant and long-time minister in Fellowship life, offers guidance on what it means for a church to not only educate its congregation but educate its educators as well.
Where do I start with this unit? How will I present this concept and help children get it? What’s another way of teaching about a food pantry? Have you heard these questions before? Resourcing and helping teachers with ways to teach the curriculum and to learn about the personnel and their work is an on-going process. The resourcing becomes its own game of trying to find new ways and ideas of helping teachers communicate the information. As one who resources teachers, here are some ideas that might be helpful.
- Quarterly teacher meetings are very helpful to preview the next 3 months of study. It’s hard to find the time to meet but it’s important time together. It may only be 30 minutes prior to the teaching time once every few months to introduce the new material, to suggest a few resources for each unit and to hear how things are going in each classroom. This begins to keep the information before the teachers so that as they go through their daily routines, they can begin to identify new resources that can be used in the classroom.
- CBF mission work has several major themes that will always need new resources and ideas. Working with the poor, the marginalized, the homeless, and internationals will always be present in the mission curriculum. Keeping these themes in mind when looking at magazine articles, websites, blogs or browsing through the toy section of any store will provide ideas for ways to teach the mission unit.
- fellowship! magazine is a free publication of CBF with mission stories, testimonies, ways to connect and ways to engage with the work of CBF. Send the names and addresses of all of your mission teachers to be included on the master mailing list so they will receive this publication at their home. Encourage them to use it as a resource for their own preparation and teaching.
- Encourage teachers to read the Prayer Associates, the blogs and websites of CBF Field Personnel and the CBF mission teams. These will give information about the personnel, the work, the culture and ways for engagement as well as ways to pray for the personnel and their work. It might be that the Prayer Associates could be emailed to all your teachers every month. This is one more way of resourcing teachers as they work week in and week out to prepare themselves to teach about the work of CBF.
- Build a resource library/room for missions education to include resources used often. This might include music, books, games, puzzles and so much more.
There is such great satisfaction when working with children and helping them to grasp God’s love for God’s people all around the world and to help them begin to know people working to share the love of God in all parts of the world. I wish for you great joy as you find ways to resource the teachers teaching the children in your congregation about God’s love and CBF mission work.