Cause and Effect in Christian Education
Diana Dell maintains a website called “Teaching and Learning with Technology." She says this about cause & effect:
Looking for the reason why things happen (cause/effect) is a basic human drive.
So, understanding the cause/effect text structure is essential in learning the
basic ways the world works. Cause and effect is the relationship between
two things when one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat
too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight. Eating food without
exercising is the "cause;" weight gain is the "effect."
There may be multiple causes and multiple effects.
Cause and effect is the relationship between two things when one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight. Eating food without exercising is the "cause;" weight gain is the "effect." There may be multiple causes and multiple effects.I’d like to address this to Christian educators:
My analogy is when we provide Christian education programs and Sunday school for children but do not include parents, we create a drop-off syndrome. Implementing programs in the congregation without helping parents understand their crucial part as faith role models for their children is the “cause”, the drop-off syndrome is the “effect.”
The question is, “How can we expect parents to participate if we’ve never really empowered them to do so?”
To determine the cause it is said we should ask, “Why did it happen?”
I think the why for parents in the context of Sunday school is because we haven’t been very good at telling parents they truly are the number one faith role model for their children. Even I, as a young parent, felt the pastor or the Sunday school teacher was the only person who could teach my children about faith. A child needs multiple faith role models in their lives, but we, as parents are number one. Who has ever told us this?
To determine the effect it is said we should ask, “What happened?”
The what is answered by greeting parents with a smile and telling them what class room their child goes to and what teacher they have. We very rarely think to provide special opportunities for parents to gather together, get to know one another, and form support groups. And seldom provide opportunities for parents and children to learn together.
I believe this cause and effect has had a huge impact on our Sunday school programs and the way we do Christian education. How do we seek ways to get parents on board? I suggest we stop pointing fingers at parents and complaining about the situation we’ve gotten ourselves into and come together in prayer for our children and their parents.
Our children are a precious resource and the future of the church. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate a parent’s role and empower them to join us and experience the joy of being a Christian educator. Can you imagine the end result?