Teaching and church planting: the same thing?

(Photo courtesy Worldwide Christian Schools)

(Photo courtesy Worldwide Christian Schools)

International (MNN) — Educational Care is a six-module teaching course recently begun by Worldwide Christian Schools. It trains teachers in a Biblical manner regarding discipline, learning styles, school management, and more.

Each module is taught in a four-day training session, which is followed by 4-6 months of application, an action plan, and time for interaction. Dale Dieleman, Educational Care Institute Executive Director for WWCS, says the course bears a close resemblance to the training church planters receive. In fact, he says, “The origins of Educational Care came out of a training program called Timothy Leadership Training which is for pastors and lay church leaders. The training format was the foundation for Educational Care.”

As the ECI program has been introduced throughout parts of Africa, SE Asia, and South America, teachers are responding enthusiastically to the training. The most common thing Dieleman hears is, “They’ve had remarkable revelations to us, in terms of how they’ve been able to apply the training in their own classrooms and really, to themselves, as far as getting new perspectives on what it means to be a Christian teacher.”

With the Bible as text and the principles explained, Dieleman notes, “You really can’t get too far into Scripture, in the sense of looking at it from a professional point of view, before it really begins to convict you on a personal level, too.” Teachers have been writing in sharing how the training has helped transform the way they think about themselves, their career, their relationship with God, and their families. It shows, too. “They have opportunities to point out to the children how God works in science, how God works even in the orderliness of math, language arts, and all these subjects.”

(Photo courtesy Worldwide Christian Schools)

(Photo courtesy Worldwide Christian Schools)

Due to the parallels in the training, could the argument be made that these teachers are being trained to disciple? It’s a fair assessment, says Dieleman. “There are a lot of similarities in how we are working to empower people on the grassroots level, whether they are teachers or pastors or church planters, evangelists or whomever, elders, deacons in churches who have never received real training in these leadership areas.”

Daniel Aragon, the EC Master Trainer for Latin America, shared some reactions from recent Educational Care Teacher Trainings in Nicaragua. They’ve been translated from Spanish by a WWCS coworker, Amie. The first one reads:

Hello. It’s nice to meet you. I am 22 years old, and I teach 2nd grade.

Well, first I want to thank God for the great love you have shown us; then I want to thank you for being our educational center, offering us trainings which transform us as staff people in our daily chores. For me, personally, you’ve helped me a lot with my self-esteem. I have been a shy person who was afraid of being in public in front of many people. Little by little, this has changed, and I thank God for giving me your help. My character has been molded little by little, and my attitude has changed before whatever situations. I’ve become a humble person who is able to help others personally and inter-personally, externally and internally, within and outside of my labor as a staff person. Now we are leaders in Christ Jesus. God bless you all!

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