Moment for Mission
"He answered, 'Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.'" — Matthew 15:13, NRSV
The storms of life can be strong. Difficult moments come. The mistakes of others can profoundly affect us. Like a plant whose roots are not strong and have not reached deep enough into the earth, so it is in the spiritual lives of those who have not been rooted and grounded in Scripture and surrounded by a community that will encourage and build them up in the faith.
One Sunday each year, on Christian Education Sunday, we recognize the importance of Christian education in The United Methodist Church. Our aim with Christian education is to do the work of planting, tending and nurturing a deeply rooted faith that will withstand the difficult seasons, inspire us to faithfulness, and move us to compassion for the least and the lost.
In every season of our lives and spiritual development, we need to nurture that faith and the growth that is to come. Christian education begins with new babies experiencing the love of a faith community and continues through adulthood. Whether it is studying and searching Scripture or in the practice of putting faith into action alongside members of our congregations, Christian education is an important part of growing and making disciples.
Christian education is carried out in so many ways. It involves clergy and laity working together to provide opportunities to put down spiritual roots.
Gracious God, you sent us Jesus who taught us to pray, showed us how to live and demonstrated what love looks like on the cross. You are still sending those who teach us Scripture and who encourage us to live according to your word. May we ever be students in the way of Jesus. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost – God of blessing, your mercy knows no bounds! You have expanded your everlasting covenant with your people Israel to include people of every nation, to all whom you love. We were like dogs who were glad for the crumbs under the table, who now delight in feasting as sons and daughters with Christ. Send your Spirit to guide us to bring all you call to rejoice in the midst of your congregation. We dedicate these tithes and offerings in Jesus' name. Amen. (Matthew 15:10-28)
One Sunday each year, each annual conference sets aside a date to celebrate Christian Education Sunday.
Across The United Methodist Church, Christian education is carried out in many ways. Some churches use a traditional Sunday school model, while others host small groups. Some churches hold Bible studies by topic on different days during the week. Other churches offer a combination of Christian education opportunities for a variety of ages.
Christian education is a lifelong process, beginning in childhood and continuing through all of life's stages. It is important for children who form their moral foundation by age 8 or 9, for teenagers who are wrestling with their identity, and for adults as they experience the challenges related to aging.
No matter the method, the goals in Christian education in The United Methodist Church are to provide opportunities for people to experience God and the good news of Jesus, be encouraged to live the life of one who follows Jesus, and to go and make disciples.