The Mission of Christian Education

Care, Share, Grow  and Serve

Care Care for people in Christian Love. In describing Care it all begins with God. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) God reaches out and adopts us in Baptism even before we can really know and love God. God calls upon us to care enough to reach out to others.
Share Share the good news of Jesus Christ.  As God sent Jesus to us, Jesus sends us to others. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) We share Christ’s love by how we live our daily lives. In caring relationships we share the love, the forgiveness, the blessings, the way we have experienced God because these gifts are given by God to share with others. We invite others to encounter Jesus Christ with us as we journey together in worship and growth opportunities.
Grow Grow in relationship with Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). Spiritual maturity is a lifelong journey. God gives us opportunities to grow spiritually throughout life. God is not done with us yet. Together we grow in relationship with Jesus Christ throughout our lives through worship, prayer, study and the support of small groups.
Serve Serve others in the name of Christ.  Jesus came not to be served but to serve others. He modeled a life of service. We are called and sent to serve God and others. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5). “No one can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24) “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). We serve God and others by helping people identify their God-given spiritual gifts and find ministries where their gifts can be used most fully and effectively. Stewardship is about who we serve and how we serve.
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Christian Education Ministry

Many tools will be used in providing this foundation for our lives…Teaching, Learning, Mentoring, Witnessing, Serving, Modeling, Nurturing, and Sharing Faith are a few of the tools that can be used to provide a biblically based spiritual foundation.

This page provides an overview of the Christian Education Ministry.  More details on specific aspects of this are provided on theChildren’s Ministry pageYouth Ministry page, and Adult Ministry page.

Christian Education Ministry is a combination of the following:

  • Christian Education Planning Team – This team helps to develop and plan new activities that would be of interest to all.  You may be requested to help lead various special classes depending on your area of knowledge.

  • Youth Ministry Planning Team – Programs and activities appropriate for students in grades 6-12 are developed by the team that provide a biblically based foundation that will lead the student to become a fully devoted follower of Christ.

  • Children’s Ministry Summer Program Planning Team – This team is responsible for overseeing and developing programs and activities for the summer months that would supplement the family in giving all God’s children a spiritual foundation in a caring, loving environment that will lead the child to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

  • Children’s Ministry Teachers and Assistants   These leaders or assistants prepare and lead/shepherd a small group of students, usually of one grade, each week.  Class time is approximately 30-40 minutes.  Teachers work in pairs and can set class structure suitable to their talents.

  • Youth Ministry Teacher – These leaders prepare and lead a group of students each week for 40 minutes.  They prepare appropriate lessons for the week which are developed through the Youth Ministry Team.

  • Adult Ministry Leader – This leader facilitates an adult class topic that is of interest to you.  The series of classes led may range from one week to several weeks, depending on the topic or materials chosen.  Classes are held from at 10:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.

  • Church Librarian and Assistant – The church library is located in the Fireside Room and is available to serve the entire congregation.  The librarian and assistants select books, periodicals, and audio-visual (tapes and videos) and prepares them for circulation and are responsible for encouraging the  use of these materials.

  • Cradle Roll –  The Cradle Roll is one of our “Stepping Stones of Faith” where children from infant to age 3 receive materials in the mail every month encouraging the parents to teach their children at a very young age about Jesus through reading, suggested activities, etc.  The material produced by Augsburg Fortress entitled, Splash! – Birth to Three Faith Formationincludes 12 monthly newsletters, called Parent Pages, and a music CD.  Each month a newsletter is sent to the parents (age appropriate) filled with ideas and inspirations for families to worship, pray, to play together, and eat. With the music CDs kids will learn songs they will  hear in Christian Education.

  • Mentor for Confirmation Student – Mentors meet as a group and individually with Confirmation students about 6 times a year.  Discussion guides and support is provided to facilitate the building of a faith relationship.  Click here to learn more about our Confirmation Program and Mentoring Ministry.

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The Stepping Stones of Faith at Zion

As a part of Christian Education, the church is implementing a series entitled, “The Stepping Stones of Faith.”  This series helps to create a strategy that celebrates each child, gifts each family and calls parents back to the promises of baptism on the child’s faith journey.  Zion has introduced  five stepping stones:  Baptism, Cradle Roll, First Bible – Word of God, First Communion and the Rite of Confirmation.

Below are the “Stepping Stones” we currently implement.

 The First Stepping Stone is BAPTISM.

God’s gift of life is celebrated at Zion through Baptism.  It is a natural desire of all Christian parents to bring their child into the Kingdom of God as soon as possible.  Baptism take place during our regular service of Worship.  As the child is officially received in God’s loving family the congregation is present and joins in the celebration.   We, all together, renew and refresh our own commitment to God…along with the parents and godparents of the newly baptized child.

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 The Second Stepping Stone:  Cradle Roll 

After infants are baptized and preparing to enter Children’s Ministry they are put on the Cradle Roll.  They are sent special newsletters on a monthly basis as a reminder to parents of their partnership and promises of their baptism.  As this stepping stone in further introduced in the future, it will mean even more to the parents.

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The Third Stepping Stone:  FIRST COMMUNION is offered to 1st Graders and up..

Children and youth  in 1st Grade and up who do not yet receive communion receive instruction in the spring.  This includes a family project and baking bread as a class.  First Communion is held when a group of children feel they are ready.

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The Fourth Stepping Stone: BIBLES are presented to the Third Grade Class

Bibles are given to each 3rd Grader at the beginning of the school year.  The parents are encouraged to write a special message to their child and present the Bible to their own child during a special ceremony as they fulfill their own baptismal promise to “place in their hands the Holy Scriptures.”

Pastor Roger hosts a special introduction to the Bible night with 3rdGraders and their parents early in September.   At this special meeting, bibles are given to the children and begin to learn about their own new bible and some of the passages contained in it.   The bibles are then presented by the parents to their children at worship on a special Sunday (usually the last Sunday in September.)

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The next Stepping Stone of Faith:  CONFIRMATION

Students begin planning their own Confirmation service at a mini-retreat the first Sunday in October.  Parents and mentors participate in the “laying on of hands” at the festive service (usually the October.)

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In Conclusion… 

Christian Education Mission Statement

To give all God’s children a spiritual foundation in a caring, loving environment that will nurture their relationship with God through Jesus.

It is our goal to teach our children what our mission of Zion is:  to help people become more fully devoted followers of Christ.