Editors Note: The International Churches of Christ cooperate in their mission to know God and make God known around the world. Ten Service Teams serve to focus on different needs among us to accomplish this mission. The Evangelists, Elders and Teachers Service Teams recently met in Los Angeles and then met together for prayer and consideration of these vital needs. The Teachers Service Team encouraging report appears below. Disciples Today will publish the Evangelists and Elders reports in the coming weeks.
To see all of the service teams, the Delegates and past reports, go to www.icocco-op.org
Teachers Service Team Report
Tuesday, February 9-11, 2011 in Los Angeles
The Teachers Service Team worked on a paper entitled, “The Role of the Teacher: History, Qualifications and Evaluation Process.” Members of the team had worked on different sections of the paper before the meeting. This was the first day the team worked together on the paper. The paper was displayed on a screen, and the service team worked on the paper line by line. The first section of the paper deals with the historical context of the role of teacher. The second section covers the requirements to be recognized as a teacher. Section three speaks to the vetting process and the continuing evaluation of teachers within our movement of churches. Steve Staten had written an appendix to the paper that included a case study illustrating the process of correcting a teacher when a teacher teachers a divisive or minority view. Work on this section of the paper was tabled until our next meeting in Boston in the fall of 2011. The day was spent making changes to this paper word by word and line by line. We had an extremely productive day. We started out the day with a paper that was 44 pages long and ended the day with a paper that was 12 pages long. This paper has been forwarded to the evangelists and elders service teams so that they can give feedback on it.
Wednesday, February 10th
We began the day by reading back through our paper on the role of the teacher to correct grammatical errors. This took a little longer than we had anticipated, but we pushed through and finished with a paper that we felt great about.
After finishing the paper, we talked about subcommittees within our group. Here is a list of our subcommittees, the chairperson and the members of each subcommittee, and the purview of the committee:
Disciples Bible Academy/Curriculum development – Steve Kinnard (chair), Ed Anton, Joey Harris, Steve Brown, Rolan Monje — To continue to develop the idea of the Disciples Bible Academy. To coordinate the academy with the campus conferences.
Congregational Training – Ed Anton (chair), Joey Harris, Douglas Jacoby, Fred Fauler, Steve Kinnard — To develop a curriculum for the members of our churches.
Kingdom Kids Curriculum – Steve Kinnard — To help with the revising of our children’s curriculum.
Technical – Arturo Elizarraras (chair), Joey Harris, Ed Anton, Tom Jones — To develop ways to use modern technology as a teaching tool.
Accreditation – Glenn Giles (chair), Steve Kinnard — To continue to develop our relationship with Lincoln Christian University. To pursue how we might launch a full-fledged accredited masters in the future.
Conferences – Douglas Jacoby (chair), Steve Staten — To oversee an annual teachers conference beginning in 2013.
20/20 Vision – Steve Staten (chair) — To develop a 20/20 vision statement for our group.
Teacher Development – Valdur Koha (chair), Joey Harris, Tom Jones — To think of ways we can train more teachers in our churches.
1. We discussed the need to continue making progress on the Disciples Bible Academy. We talked about the need to have a group/committee oversee the DBA. This could be called the Disciples Bible Association. This association would be in charge of setting the standards for the courses in the curriculum. It would also issue the certificates for the graduates of the program. It would make sure that each training program is meeting the standards set by the association.
What about people who have taken classes in other programs? We decided that anyone who had completed work in one of our existing training programs would be grandfathered into the DBA.
We need to write a syllabus for each class of the curriculum and include a reading and writing requirement for that syllabus.
2. Glenn Giles presented his thoughts on developing an accreditation program. He said that we might be able receive accreditation from some less influential accreditation organizations, but the credits would not transfer to other programs. We don’t believe we want to go that direction. He shared about our partnership with Lincoln Christian University and how we can offer accredited courses under their umbrella.
3. We also discussed the issue of what it means to love our enemies. Tom Jones presented his thoughts on the subject. We had an engaging talk this issue. We all agreed that we must love our enemies, but saw the need for more discussions on topic on how to present this teaching to our churches. We want to work with the elders and evangelists groups to come to unity on this topic. This led to some discussion on the process of peer review on papers on controversial topics before these papers are released to a general audience.
4. We took a look at Disciples Today in order to make recommendations for Bible study sites that could be used by disciples. Here are our recommendations to be listed on their Resource Links:
5. Next we discussed the possibility of adding some women to the Teachers Service team. We decided that we did want to invite some sisters to the group. We want to ask the Womens Service Team for recommendations.
6. What do we need to tackle next in our group? Recently, we have developed a unified curriculum for the ministry training programs in our churches. We also completed a paper on the role of the teacher. Next we need to finish a paper describing the model that can be used in peer review of teachers. We will complete this in Boston in the fall.
On the last day of our meeting, the Teachers Service Team met with the Elders and Evangelists Service Teams. At this meeting, members from each service team presented various reports from their committees. The Teachers Service Team presented the proposal for the Disciples Bible Academy and the unified curriculum. The elders and evangelists gave feedback on the proposal. The primary feedback was this—the curriculum needs to have more practical ministry training classes. Some classes that were suggested are as follows: biblical leadership, time management, the minister’s spiritual life, and personal evangelism. It was also suggested that we break the courses into three categories: (1) Academic/Bible, (2) Personal, and (3) Practical. The Teachers Service Team welcomed these suggestions and will work with the other committees to refine the proposal so that we can give it to the delegates. The delegates will review the proposal and give feedback on it. Once we have received feedback on the proposal from the delegates, we will refine the proposal again. The final proposal will then be given to delegates for a vote.
The teachers also notified the elders and evangelists that we had finished our paper on the role of the teacher–its history, qualifications, and evaluation. The paper was mailed to the chairs of the Elders and Evangelists Service Teams for them to distribute to their members. We asked the elders and evangelists to read the paper and give us feedback on it. Once we have received feedback on the paper, we will then refine the paper and pass it on to the delegates.
Our next WebEx conference is scheduled for: June 9 (Thurs) 9pm, ET.
Our next meeting will be October 4-6 in Boston.
Teachers Service Team members at LA meeting:
Steve Kinnard, New York, New York, chair
Ed Anton, Hampton Roads, Virginia
Gordon Ferguson, Phoenix, Arizona
Steve Brown, McAllen, Texas
Doug Jacoby, Atlanta, Georgia
Tom Jones, Nashville, Tennessee
Steve Staten, Chicago, Illinois
Joey Harris, Augusta, Georgia
Rolan Monje, Manila, Philippines
Arturo Elizarraras, Mexico City, Mexico
Valdur Koha, Boston, Massachusetts
Reese Neyland, Los Angeles, California
Glenn Giles, Denver, Colorado