How do you know that what you are doing in your educational ministry makes a difference? This is the question at the heart of assessment. Many churches seem to perpetuate the same ministries and programs, because “we’ve always done it this way.” But, are the programs and events we are doing really making a difference in the growth of faith within our congregations?
Our school systems live in perpetual assessment mode with standardized testing, common core curriculum standards, and report cards. I’m not suggesting that we should move in this direction, but churches are notoriously on the other end of the spectrum, spending little if any time reflecting on current practice.
Linked to this post, you’ll find a series of articles on assessment in educational ministry (particularly oriented to children’s ministry, but certainly a broader topic) that appeared in the online journal @This Point back in 2010. Connected to them you’ll find lesson plans and resources designed for adult education on this topic. In an upcoming post we’ll explore this online journal in depth, but feel free to explore the archives for other relevant resources for your ministry as well as the current issue on biblical interpretation. This is a free resource that is not as well known as it should be, but may benefit your adult classes.
Here’s the link to the issue on assessment.
Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Columbia Theological Seminary