At the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) Annual Event in Baltimore, Zeta Touchton Lamberson led a workshop on Adult Faith Formation. Believing that the role of the church is to walk alongside adults through their journey of faith providing resources, opportunities and conversations that will draw them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, the workshop led the participants through a process of developing an intentional comprehensive adult education program. Using the Stepping Stones on the Journey of Faith resource (available from Zeta Lamberson at firstname.lastname@example.org) four areas were identified as important: Biblical Knowledge, Worship & Sacraments, Stewardship & Mission, and Church History/Theology/Doctrine/Polity. The participants used a brainstorming process to identify resources that had been used in their churches in four areas. Following the event the list of resources were compiled and amplified and Zeta has shared them here and would love to know of other resources used successfully with adults.
With this list of resources churches are ready to develop a fluid five year plan. A four step process was recommended. First, each congregation needs to assess their situation with adult learning opportunities. Identify who adults are in your church (age, background, interest, time issues). Find out their questions and interests. Evaluate what has been offered in past (esp. past 5 years). Identify times and places for study and small groups. And identify potential leaders & facilitators. Second, leaders should develop an overview of what to provide over a 5 year period with options being sure to include these four different areas in the plan. Planning is key. Without careful planning many groups never expand into all these areas. Third, develop a process that helps each group identify a specific way to use what they have learned/studied to put their faith into action (mission/service/caring opportunities). For when we put hands and feet to our knowledge is when transformation really begins. Finally, evaluate every class or opportunity to improve options in the future.
Zeta Touchton Lamberson, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian and President of APCE