This is a great video that challenges current models of education and proposes a different, more organic way to educate children.  Watch the video!

Here are a couple of quotes that I love:

•    “So I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture.”

What is the metaphor for your Christian education model?  Are you attempting to manufacture little followers of Christ with a linear system?  How open is your programming (to change, to the Holy Spirit, to individualization)?

•    “We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process, it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development; all you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”

When I heard this, I started thinking about an intentional change we are making this fall to orient our ministry more towards spiritual formation and giving kids space to respond to the God they have encountered.  I’m also reminded of some advice from the creators of Flickr who suggested that community does not just happen, it must be hosted.  There is an environmental element to our ministries.  In other words, leaders in children’s and family ministry need to be concerned with the environment where children and families encounter God.  We need to be intentional about creating the “conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”  How much time have you spent crafting your small group or large group environment?

•    “It’s about customizing to your circumstances, and personalizing education to the people you’re actually teaching. And doing that, I think is the answer to the future because it’s not about scaling a new solution; it’s about creating a movement in education in which people develop their own solutions, but with external support based on a personalized curriculum.”

This reminded me of the words of Walter Wangerin, who taught me that teachers are shepherds.  Shepherds take sheep from where they are to where they need to be.  How personal is your ministry?  How flexible is your ministry program?