Biblical and spiritual_formation


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Biblical and spiritual_formation

  1. 1. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” The Nine Point Star: Symbol of the 9 Fruits of the SpiritOverviewAccording to a 2003 Barna Research Group study, close to nine out of ten parents of children under age 13(85%) believe they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children about faith, religious beliefsand spiritual matters. Just 11% said their church is primarily responsible, and 1% said it is mostly thedomain of their child’s school. Few parents assigned such responsibility to friends, society or the media.Nearly all parents of children under the age of 13 (96%) contend that they have the primary responsibilityfor teaching their children values. Just 1% said their church has that task and 1% assigned that role to thechild’s school.Related research, however, revealed that a majority of parents do not spend any time during a typical weekdiscussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children. However, about two out ofthree parents of children 12 or younger attend religious services at least once a month and generally taketheir children with them. Most of those parents are willing to let their church or religious center provide allof the direct religious teaching and related religious experiences that their children receive.With this said, let us ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” What are we to do? It is this writer’s opinionthat a broad testing ground well suited for the exploration of religious belief and biblical practices thatnurture spiritual maturity in children is required. The learning objective is to enhance the spiritual lives andsocial support of children 12 and younger. Therefore, it is my intention to take this opportunity and toperform an empirical outcomes research project designed to examine the following: a. Proposed research objectives are; i. To determine if participation in a faith-based Biblical Discipleship and Life Coaching After-School Care program positively affects the adaptive form of life judgment and moral performance of boys and girls between the age of 6 and 12 years old who live with single unmarried moms. ii.To identify the developmental nature and the changing needs of children (six to twelve), to draw implications for their perfection of character, ideal personality development, and a life of love and service, combined with strong faith and single-minded determination to do the Father’s work. iii. To gain insights, knowledge and skills for working effectively with children (six to twelve) in an After-school Care program run in urban, rural and suburban churches and elsewhere. iv. The overall challenge will be to test the hypothesis that there is a causal relationship with distinct outcomes measurable through a combination of experiential knowledge, cognition, affect, and action that occurs in social context and which tends to facilitate adherence to good health promotion, stress reduction, less suffering, sorrow, and diminishes the impact of anxiety along with physiological strain. v. To construct a quantitative analysis based on five reports and or surveys: 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  2. 2. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 1. Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions who love their morality based on The Barna Leadership Seminar Volume 1, Sessions 1 & 2. 2. Religion and Spirituality on the Path Through Adolescence: A Research Report of the National Study of Youth & Religion Number 8 by Melinda Lundquist Denton, Clemson University, Lisa D Pearce, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Christian Smith, University of Notre Dame. 3. The Religious Identification Survey (ARIS 2008), which was released in March 2009, shows a substantial increase in the No Religion segment of the U.S. population, whom we designate as “Nones.” The Nones increased from 8.1% of the U.S. adult population in 1990 to 15% in 2008 and from 14 to 34 million adults. Their numbers far exceed the combined total of all the non-Christian religious groups in the U.S. 4. UNESCO World Report: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. 5. Children – The Great OMISSION? A paper by Dr. Dan Brewster, Senior Partner Relations Specialist for Compassion International and Patrick McDonald, founding Director of Visa Network and Senior Associate for Children at Risk for the Lausanne Movement. vi. The researcher will also thoroughly review the following resources for content on children’s Spiritual Formation and the practice of Christian Principles in the correct or wisest way: 1. Empirical studies, meta-analyses, review articles, and some theoretical pieces that include empirical findings 2. Both qualitative and quantitative studies 3. Disciplines that include child psychology, adolescent psychology, positive psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, religious studies, theology, education, medical disciplines and wisdom 4. Formats that include journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, and a number of books 5. Studies of children, adolescents, and emerging adults 6. Studies that are global, multi-ethnic, multi-gender and inclusive of all Christian denominations and non-denominational spiritual approaches 7. Related works on teaching, past conceptions of wisdom, autobiographical narratives published in the past 10 years and personal story.b. The purpose and need for this research is; i. To establish a rapport and direct the attention of boys and girls between the age of 6 and 12 years old living with single unmarried moms by extending Christ’s grace, love, formal biblical training and reach them so that they may learn how to effectively resolve many of the life situations they will confront. For example, 2 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  3. 3. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 1. Support children in the process of reflection upon their own faith story and the biblical narrative. 2. Enable children to articulate their story and to develop a sense of self worth and identity. 3. Enable children to grow to be like Christ through the intentional development of Christ-like character and performance in accordance with biblical standards; it involves the inner person in that it concerns itself with character, thoughts, intentions, and attitudes more than actions, habits, or behaviors; it has the character of Christ as its goal and standard of measure. 4. Work with single unmarried moms and community groups, and local churches to address the unmet needs, interests and aspirations of boys and girls between the age of 6 and 12 years old. Thereby, providing concrete help for human flourishing and the construction of an environment wherein they can experience love and support and feel as though they truly matter in their family, church, and community. 5. Develop an understanding of biblical doctrine and practice of sanctification as traditionally understood and defined, namely the fundamental process by which God makes believers more holy. 6. Support children in their spiritual growth by applying an integrated approach that tries to balance the inward and outward elements of spiritual-transformation, consisting of fellowship opportunities, bible study, prayer, mindfulness, service, worship, recreation, and Christian mentoring. 7. Provide and expose children to persons who teach as if their very greatest achievement in life is to get children to understand how to discern what the world has to offer and compare that to what God has to offer. Through his word teach children of the importance of practicing obedience to authority which results in a positive effect on one’s happiness and overall well-being. ii.To attract and retain children who participate regularly and thus can benefit fully from the programming and services offered. As Tertullian wrote, “Christians are made, not born.” Biblical Discipleship aids persons in acquiring Christian faith, Christian character, Christian conduct and Christian consciousness. iii. The focus of this research is on faith-based After-school Care that as part of their calling support increasing and strengthening the assets available to children through bible study, church retreats, kind acts of service, gifts development, and witnessing to others. Moreover, the urgent intent is to alter the following common outcomes for children between 6 and 12 years old living with single unmarried moms through methodologically sound and reliable measures. 1. Children who live with a single mother family fare poorly across a wide range of adolescent and adult outcomes, including educational attainment, economic security, and emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. 2. Children raised apart from their biological fathers are often less able to resolve negative situations positively in their lives and may drop out of school, leave home, and/or have a child earlier than children raised in two-parent families, which produce disadvantages later in life. 3 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  4. 4. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 3. Studies demonstrate quite conclusively that children who live in single- mother families score lower on measures of academic achievement than their counterparts in two parent families (Morrison and Cherlin, 1995; Entwisle and Alexander, 1995; 1996, Lang and Zagorsky, 2001; Aughinbaugh, Pierret and Rothstein, 2001) 4. Controlling for age, gender and grade level, secondary school students living in single-parent families score about 1/3 of a standard deviation lower on mathematics and science tests than children living in two- parent families (Pong, Dronkers, and Hampden-Thompson 2002). 5. In a study of first grade students in Baltimore, 15-20 percent of all the students needed improvement in conduct, as compared with 30 percent of children in single parent families (Entwisle and Alexander, 1996). 6. Children who live apart from their biological fathers are more likely to use illegal substances and have early contact with the police (Comanor and Phillips, 1998; Matsueda and Heimer, 1987; Carlso, 1999; Britain, See Hobcraft, 1995; Harper and McLanahan, 1999). 7. Although the probability of having a conviction before age 15 is low for all youth, those who spend time in a single-mother household are about 70 percent more likely to have a conviction and 28 percent more likely to have smoked marijuana than youth who live with both biological parents. Children who live apart from their biological fathers are also 19 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes regularly than other youth. 8. Children who spend part of their childhood in a single-mother family are more likely to have sex at an early age than children who live with both parents (DeLeire and Kalil, 2002; Flewelling and Bauman, 1990).c. The research topics and questions that we have chosen address the following; i. Bible Principles for Examining Moral Issues 1. How should we determine what conduct is moral or immoral? What principles show what is morally right or wrong? The Bible is God’s absolute standard of authority to reveal His will, yet we must study to understand and apply it. What does God’s word say about stewardship, influence, example, and temptation? What priorities should we follow? How should we use the life and character of Jesus as our example? We will examine the following Bible guidelines for moral living and conduct: a. Introduction i. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 -- The Scriptures instruct us in righteousness, providing direction to us for every good work. Yet we must apply the word properly, study diligently, and pray for wisdom (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:5-7). We must learn to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). ii.As we consider whether a specific act is morally pure or impure, the following are some Bible principles that will help a child to reach a proper conclusion. 1. Does the Bible Prohibit This Conduct Either in General or Specific Terms? 4 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  5. 5. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 2. The Bible contains many lists of sins to be avoided—Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:17- 5:21; Col. 3:5-11; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 3:3; James 3:13-4:10; 1 Peter 4:1-4; Revelation 21:8; 22:15. In addition, other passages discuss individual sins. 3. Remember that the Bible teaches in both general and specific terms. Sometimes it describes in detail that a specific act is sinful. Other times it presents general principles, which may include many specific sins. Study is required to determine whether a specific act fits the definition of something God has forbidden.(Note: The following passages show examples in which people applied general principles to specificcases: Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 4:7,10; 21:13; James 2:8,9; note “suchlike” in Galatians 5:21.)Make a strong effort to avoid what God’s word directly prohibits, and apply biblical principles todetermine right from wrong.The Christian practices described are not abstract obligations, rules, or ideas; rather, they are patternsof living that are full of meaning. Each practice carries particular convictions about what is good andtrue, embodying these convictions in physical, down-to-earth forms that act as turning points in oneslife. 2. Will This Conduct Be Good Stewardship? a. 1 Peter 4:10, 11 -- What is a steward? What has God given us that we should use and care for? [Luke 12:42-46; 16:1, 2,12; 2 Chron. 28:1; 1 Corinthians 4:1,2] b. Matthew 25:14-30 -- What did the Lord give these men to use? What were the consequences of proper or improper use of them? 3. Consider some specific blessings we should use for God: a. 1. Ability and effort i. This is part of our stewardship (1 Peter 4:10, 11). ii.Titus 2:14 -- For what purpose did the Lord purify us? iii. Romans 12:11 -- How should we serve the Lord? Think: For what purposes does God expect us to use our ability and strength? [1 Corinthians 15:58; 12:12-27; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Proverbs 6:9, 10; Hebrews 6:12; 2 Peter 1:5-8] 4. Time and opportunities a. Life is made of time. God gave us life to serve Him. We must use it for what is most important. 5 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  6. 6. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” b. Galatians 6:10 -- What opportunities must we be sure to use? c. John 9:4 - Explains a Jesus illustration about working. Think: How is using our time similar to budgeting money? [Ephesians 5:15, 16; Matthew 25:14-30; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Kings 20:40; 1 Peter 4:2, 3; Romans 13:13, 14] 5. Possessions a. Psalm 24:1, 2, 50:10-12 -- Who really owns all your possessions? b. 1 Timothy 6:9, 10, 17-19 -- What are the dangers of loving money? What should we do with our possessions? [Haggai 2:8; 1 Chronicles 29:11-14; Matthew 6:19-34; Acts 4:32-35; 2 Cor. 8:1-5; 9:6-10; 1 John 2:15-17; Luke 12:13-21; Deut. 10:14] 6. Health a. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Romans 12:1, 2 -- To whom do our bodies belong? How must we use them? [3 John 2; Rom. 6:12] Think: May we destroy or abuse God’s gifts to please ourselves? Are we “pure” if we neglect God’s work to please ourselves? 7. Will This Conduct Encourage Others to Serve God Better or Does It Set a Bad Example? a. 1 Timothy 4:12, Matthew 5:13-16 -- What should we do for others? How should our lives affect others? b. Matthew 18:6, 7 -- What happens to us if we lead others to sin? c. 2 Corinthians 6:3 -- What should we seek to avoid? How might we be guilty of this? Think: Should we do whatever we want as long it is not inherently sinful, or should we sacrifice our liberties to help others be saved (1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 10:24,31- 33)? d. Consider these questions about the influence of any act: If others see me do this, will it help or hinder their service to God? Would I advise new converts to practice this? Will this conduct help or hinder efforts to save the lost? [1 Corinthians 8; Romans 14; 1:32; Titus 2:7,8; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Peter 2:11,12; 3:15,16; 1 Cor. 13:5,6; 2 John 9-11] 8. Will This Conduct Place Me in Circumstances that Help or that Hinder My Own Service to God? a. Consider the influence an act may have on you yourself. b. Matthew 6:13 -- What should we pray for? Should we knowingly enter tempting situations simply to indulge our own desires? c. Proverbs 22:3 -- How does a prudent person differ from a fool? 6 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  7. 7. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” Think: If you know a course of action is likely to lead to sin, does it make good sense to start down that path? d. Matthew 26:41 -- What should we do to avoid temptation? e. 1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 13:20 -- What danger should we watch for? How will wise men act to avoid the danger? Ask yourself, “Will this act encourage or hinder my service to God? Will it strengthen or dull my interest in spiritual things?” [Romans 13:14; Proverbs 4:23; 6:27; 24:1,2; 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 5:6,7; Matthew 18:6-9; James 4:4; Genesis 39:7-12; Hebrews 12:15; Galatians 5:7-9; Ephesians 4:27; 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18] 9.Will This Conduct Lead Me to Respect or to Disrespect Properly Ordained Authority? a. God has ordained that certain people have authority over us on earth. To obey God, we must obey these authorities unless they command us to sin (Acts 5:29). Indentify below whom we must submit to: Romans 13:1-7 [1 Peter 2:13, 14; Titus 3:1; Matt. 22:15-21] -- Ephesians 6:1 [Luke 2:51; Romans 1:30, 32; Colossians 3:20] -- Ephesians 5:22-24, 33 [Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-6; Colossians 3:18; Genesis 3:16] -- Ephesians 6:5-8 [Colossians 3:22, 23; Titus 2:9,10] 1 Peter 5:1-5 [Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17] –Note: Several verses say to submit to those who have authority over us as we would to the Lord.Consider what this means. Should we look for loopholes, or should we obey the intent of the rules?Should we do secretly what we would be ashamed for the authority to know about? 10. Is This Conduct Consistent with the Standards I Profess to Follow and Expect of Others? All of us have standards we profess to follow or we apply to others, yet sometimes we justify ourselves in not following these standards. To encourage an honest evaluation, try imagining someone else in the situation, or think of what you profess in other situations. a. Matthew 23:3, 4 -- What did these people do wrong? Should we expect others to follow rules we do not follow? Should we follow a higher standard around some people than we do around others? [Romans 2:1, 21, 22; Matthew 6:1; 7:1-5; Acts 10:34, 35] b. Hebrews 6:12; 13:7 -- Whom should we imitate? Think: If you would be disappointed to see church elders or preachers participate in an act, then should you do it? [1 Peter 5:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 4:9] c. Matthew 15:7, 8 -- What error did these people commit? 7 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  8. 8. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” Think: Would you feel right if you engaged in the activity in question immediately after singing hymns and praying prayers of devotion to God? Would you feel pure before God if you stopped in the midst of the act and asked His blessings on it? d. Romans 14:20-23 -- Should you participate in an act that violates your conscience? What should you do if you cannot conclusively prove that a certain act is sinful, yet you have doubts about it? Think: Sometimes you face two courses, one of which is clearly acceptable but the other appears to be doubtful at best. What should you choose (at least for your own conduct)? Yet take care before you condemn others who practice it—v1-12. [See also 1 Corinthians 8:4-12; 10:23-33] e. Is your life consistent with your own standards, your own conscience, and your expectations of others? By strengthening practices in our daily living, the Holy Spirit transforms us into godly persons. Such practices act as directives for current or future behavior, positive growth and meaning making. 11. Will This Conduct Harmonize with Proper Priorities or Cause Me to Neglect Them? a. Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 33 -- How many spiritual masters can we have? What should be our highest priority in life? b. Romans 12:1, 2; John 6:27, 63 -- How should we act toward God? How should we act toward the world? What should we emphasize in life? c. Many acts are wrong because they emphasize physical things above spiritual things. Others may not be inherently sinful, but must not become so important to us that they hinder our service to God. Are you putting God first in your life? [Matthew 16:24-27; 10:34-39; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 15:58; 2 Corinthians 8:5; 5:14,15; 4:16-18; Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:5-8; Luke 12:15-21; 14:25-33; Colossians 3:1,2; 1 Timothy 4:8; 6:6-19] 12. Will I Be Acting in Love for God and Man? a. Matthew 22:37-40 -- What are the greatest two commands? b. Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10 -- How should I treat others if I love them? c. 1 John 3:16-18 -- How did Jesus demonstrate love? Explain how love relates to action. d. If you did the act in question, would you be sincerely acting for the well-being of others, or your own interests regardless of the will of God or the needs of others? [1 John 5:3; John 14:15; Luke 6:27,28,31-33; 10:25-37; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13; Philippians 2:1-5] 8 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  9. 9. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 13. Would I Want to Be Doing This When Jesus Returns? Would I Do It In His Presence? We sometimes fool ourselves about the nature of an act, but questions like these should help us evaluate things honestly. a. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 -- When is Jesus coming? What lesson should we learn? b. James 4:13, 14 -- What else is uncertain? c. 2 Corinthians 5:10 -- How will our destinies be determined? Think: Would you be ashamed for Jesus to see you doing this act if He came to visit you? Would you want to face Him in judgment knowing you had done it and not repented? [Romans 14:10-12; Revelation 20:12; Galatians 6:7-9] 14. Would Jesus Do This? a. Matthew 10:24, 25 -- Describe the goal of a disciple. b. 1 Peter 2:21, 22 -- How should our lives compare to Jesus? c. Every act requires we ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” If He were here now, would He practice this activity, use this language, go to this place, wear these clothes, etc.? [Matthew 16:24; 1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1, 2; Phil. 2:5; Gal. 2:20] The Bible is the complete and absolute standard of right and wrong. However, it does not directly describe every act we should avoid. It also teaches principles we must apply. Apply principles carefully when determining whether an act is moral or immoral according to God’s word.d. What is the research design plan i. When performing child assessments a Strengths Based Assessment tool will be used in an attempt to isolate the impact of intervention on the following 9 “Fruits of the Spirit”: 1. love (Greek: agape); 2. joy (Greek: chara); 3. peace (Greek: eireme); 4. patience (Greek: makrothumia); 5. kindness (Greek: chrestotes); 6. goodness (Greek: agathosune); 7. faithfulness (Greek: pistis); 8. gentleness (Greek: prautes); 9. self control (Greek: egkrateia). ii.Impact evaluation design 1. Isolate the effect of different intervention components on a given outcome a. How does the learning experience shape the primary formation principles? Can the participants define the contents of their own experiences and the valuable lessons learned? 9 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  10. 10. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” b. How satisfied are the children with the experience, and how has it equipped them to make things better through use of their new resources? c. What do observations and self-assessment indicate about the quality of children’s engagement with the material? d. Did time spent on task, emotional engagement with the subject matter, work carried out beyond the minimal requirements of the defined task, and pride in communicating about and displaying completed work increase over time and across subject areas? e. Is there evidence that the way children now regard and deal with disruptive, emotional events and situations has risen to a new level of understanding and ability by which they are able to apply their learning to new tasks over time and across subject areas? 2. Test optimal combinations of interventions in different contexts. The development of spiritually mature persons involves the practice of living a particular way of life. The process is similar to that used in learning a craft such as stonemasonry, a sport such as basketball, or an art form such as dance. The learner apprentices himself or herself to an exemplary apprentice or master. The continuous application of Christian practices shapes people in certain ways, developing in them certain habits, virtues and capacities of mind and spirit and helps in their development of subjective well-being. 3. Identify control groups a. Explicitly select i. Assemblies of God ii.Baptist Church iii. Church of God in Christ iv. Disciples of Christ v. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America vi. Presbyterian Church (USA) b. Randomly assign i. United Methodist Church ii.Episcopal Church in the USA 4. Determine who is eligible i. Urban community ii.Rural community iii. Suburban community 5. Determine where the intervention will go 6. Determine when the intervention will be delivered 7. Determine what intervention training will be required 8. Determine where the project will begin and how it will scale up 9. Use a lottery to select the localities that will receive the interventions iii. Identify relevant outcomes and indicators 1. Faith: requires a radical trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God. God is in control and has our best interests at heart. 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  11. 11. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 2. Hope: anchored in the promises of God. 3. Love: a deepening love for God (mind, emotions, will, actions) based on growing intimacy with Him. 4. The temporal versus the eternal—treating the temporal as temporal and the eternal as eternal results when we esteem the invisible over the visible. 5. More than anything else does a passion to know God arise? 6. Compassion for the lost develops. 7. Willingness to take greater risks based on God’s character and promises. 8. Awareness of one’s profound need for grace in all things emerges. 9. An understanding of the truth that our deepest needs come through Christ takes place. 10. Development of a spirit of humility, complete dependence, and becoming teachable occurs. 11. A willingness to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us takes place. 12. Treating people with grace, dignity, and possibility becomes natural. 13. A stewardship mentality—increased awareness of God’s ownership of all things and an attitude of contentment in all things emerges. 14. Commitment to ongoing exercise and renewal of spirit, soul, and body is possible. 15. Personal integrity— congruence between the inside and the outside occurs. 16. Openness and honesty in relationships and coupled with an ability to freely and thoughtfully tell ones story. 17. Radical commitment to the Great Commandment begins to surface. 18. Radical commitment to the Great Commission takes place. 19. The ability to stand firm in spiritual warfare by submitting to God and resisting the lures of the world, the flesh, and the devil takes place. 20. Practicing Christ’s presence in all things and doing everything to His glory becomes natural. 21. Accountability to godly men and women develops and a willingness to respond with humility to exhortation and rebuke and not becoming enmeshed in self-deception. 22. Maintain an ongoing sense of childlike wonder and awe. 23. Focusing on the process and not the product, genuine ministry flows out of being as an extension of Christ becomes the norm. 24. Walking in the power of the Spirit and putting no confidence in the flesh takes place. 25. Being fully alive to the present and not living in the past or the future. 26. Live each day as though it were the last, and treating relationships in the same way. Cultivate the mentality of a sojourner, pilgrim, stranger, and alien who waits expectantly for the journey home. 27. Growth in responsiveness and sensitivity to Gods loving initiatives occurs. 28. Have an ongoing attitude of thanksgiving and joy that transcends all circumstances. Cling to God’s character in life’s pains and pleasures. 29. Manifest the fruits of the Spirit by abiding in Christ. 30. Exhibit a commitment to an ongoing renewal of the mind growing in intimacy with God and avoid seduction by the culture. 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  12. 12. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 31. An increased willingness to live out the truth that everything God asks us to do is for our ultimate good, and that everything He asks of us is to avoid what would otherwise be detrimental to our soul. 32. An awareness that good and evil both increase at compound interest, and a corresponding desire to live in the light of Luke 16:10. 33. A desire to give ones life in exchange for the things God declares to be important; a willingness to define success by the standard of the Word (relational) and not by the standard of the world (functional). 34. Pursue godly mentors who are farther along in the spiritual journey. 35. Understand that the habits of holiness are to be sustained through discipline and dependence; unholy habits become sustained by default. 36. Become faithful to the process and let go of ownership of the results. 37. Maintain a firm belief that ministry need not be measured and learn to be content with what God has given to each of us. 38. Ask God for the three faithful wounds of contrition, compassion, and persistent longing after God. 39. Continue responsible cultivation of giftedness while at the same time depending less on knowledge and skills and more on the power of the Holy Spirit. 40. Live in commitment to the centrality of Christ in all that we are and all that we do. iv. Reporting on the following outputs and changes observed 1. Direct outcomes a. Children’s attitudes and growth in knowledge of the truth of God’s word will be strengthened b. Identity in Christ c. Deepening trust and commitment d. An ability to share with others those areas in which transformation is needed e. Accountability to other faithful Christians f. Greater emotional and spiritual maturity g. Affirming of God-given gifts and talents Governance or rule of God (the “federal head” of humanity) h. Gift of life through Jesus i. Receiving him and relying on him in our actions (a very different way of living is presented) j. Understanding that choice determines what happens k. An eternal calling to count for good in God’s great universe l. “Caught up in his active rule, ones deeds become an element in God’s eternal history. They are what God and we do together, making us part of his life and him a part of ours.” 2. Possible indirect outcomes a. A sense of personal progress b. Strengthened academic achievement c. Enrichment opportunities d. Confidence to serve others e. Positive attitudes toward family, church, school and community 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  13. 13. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” f. Other skills that make children successful in school and later in life (e.g. flourishing, goal setting, happiness, hope-filled and resiliency) v. Collecting data for the evaluation of children development and spiritual coaching programsField test the selected survey(s) to assess the internal quality of the instrument (reliability andvalidity) provided to congregations and community centers. Also, coordinate data collectionplanning, implementation, and interpretation. 1. The Satisfaction with Life Scale 2. Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) 3. Day-today Experiences 4. Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) 5. The Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item form (GQ-6) 6. Trait Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II 7. Inspiration Scale Questionnaire 8. Personal Growth Initiative Scale (PGIS) 9. The Silver Lining Questionnaire 10. Self-Report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire 11. Child Behavior Checklist – Version: Ages 6 - 18Identify churches and other soul-help providers who will participate in the field test andannounce the opportunity to them via email or regular mail. In addition, provide them withinformation about field test expectations and invite them to participate in the field test free ofcharge.The survey field test will involve churches from various Christian denominations throughoutthe State of New Jersey. Based on the background information gathered from the churchesand other service organizations the test groups will range in size from fewer than 50 to 1,000-plus children who participate regularly in the church’s services and activities.Have each survey administered by a designated survey coordinator, who can support a teamof volunteers for the church or community center. A survey administration guide will beprovided and outlining the options for survey administration. Participating churches and soul-help providers will conduct their surveys by having children complete the survey during achurch event or other organization activity, or by sending the survey to participants tocomplete on their own. vi. Measuring the program’s costs and benefits 1. Determine program costs a. Social i. Acknowledgement of Christ as God ii.Conformity iii. Conversion iv. Imitation of Christ v. Love and attention 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  14. 14. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” vi. Offending non-Christians vii. Personal fulfillment viii. Proclaim the Gospel & bring the good news ix. Relational focus x. Self-glorification xi. Self-gratification xii. Sexual abstinence xiii. Social responsibility xiv. Stewardship xv. Willingness to “pay the price” b. Financial i. Average costs ii.Marginal costs (i.e. costs to scale up the program) c. Resource shadow costs d. Determine program benefits i. Related to the program ii.Unrelated to the program 2. How do you think the research will contribute significantly to the knowledge base of the children development / After-school Care Program and the discipleship field? a. It will improve program design and children’s learning through; i. Expanded learning opportunities ii.Increased Christian fellowship iii. Identification and nurturing of children’s spiritual gifts and talents iv. Strengthened family dynamics v. Strengthened church community vi. Practice of integrity and virtue vii. Improved life prospects b. It will increase the focus on learning through the use of active- learning techniques c. It will help to determine whether or not different curriculum designs produce different outcomes in terms of children’s factual knowledge about the life of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ d. It will help to determine whether different curriculum designs produce different outcomes in terms of children’s understanding of biblical principles. e. It will help to determine whether different curriculum designs produce different outcomes in terms of children’s attitudes toward church and school f. It will highlight general patterns in the Biblical Discipleship of children 6 to 12 years old g. It will highlight cognitive and social development and its implications for teaching h. It will increase moral development and the formation and application of values and virtues 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  15. 15. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit”1. Description of outcomes research project a. Scope of our outcomes research project “The Christian lifestyle is not such that it comes packaged as a gift presented to us at our profession of faith or our admission into the Church. It is a lifestyle [way of life] that accompanies a true confession with its demands of obedience and with a divine model as an example.” God has promised a “well” that shall never run dry for we shall receive “grace upon grace.” As one grace finishes its designed task, another immediately begins. We are a people that are constantly receiving the benefits of God’s grace. The very “fullness” that we experience in our new life is due to the fact that God always has His hand of grace upon us. Grasp it for what it is and understand that Christian life is wholly sustained and nurtured through free and continued application of grace. Colossians 2:6-7 confirms this: “6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” As we therefore have been “received” by faith, we also have been rooted in the firm foundation of Christ Jesus the Lord. We therefore find our “walk” to be a process of being built up and confirmed based on the Foundation. Such a walk denotes a way of life of which the nature and manner of the walk makes it clear who governs it. This Foundation is the model; Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:48 states, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” God as the absolute model of perfection is to be our model. The end or goal of the Christian life is to share a relationship with the living God through belief in Him. Our Christian lifestyle is a radical change in behavior based upon love for God rather than a belief in our own ability to achieve perfection. An invitation extended to us makes it possible for us to share in a relationship that ensures us of a sense of wholeness or a completeness of life. i. Objectives pursued 1. Population a. Urban Youth b. Rural Youth c. Suburban Youth 2. Site(s) a. Asbury Park b. Camden c. East Orange d. Howell e. Lakewood f. Newark g. Trenton 3. Research method(s) 4. Theoretical framework “If you are of the world, the Bible says that you mind earthly things. That is, your life revolves around, and your heart seeks the things, the pleasures, the riches, the honors of this present world. Maybe there is an outward show of religious belief and confession, yet your heart seeks the worldly honors and pleasures. The goals of the world are yours. How much money do you need? What kind of pleasures do you indulge in? What amount of honor and power to gratify your own lusts? You speak your own diluted language 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  16. 16. The Christian CentreBiblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” deceiving yourself, never intending to be obedient, and calling God a liar. You worry about losing what you have. Your god really is your stomach, your other appetites. That is what you serve. Life to you, then, is how much money you have, the good times you experience, the things you possess, the satisfying of your cravings and desires: that is your life. However, if by the living and powerful grace of God, you are a citizen of heaven, then, although you live in this world, your heart revolves around and your love centers in Jesus Christ. You feel out of place here below. As you grow and as you move about in this world, you feel that this world cannot satisfy you, cannot be your home. You speak a different, spiritual language. Moreover, there is a tension in your life to be with the Lord. Behind all of your planning, all of your building of a home, your working, your training for a job, behind all of your life is the eager expectation of the coming of Jesus Christ, the day of glory, the day when you will be with Him. You feel as if you are an alien on the earth. You do not fit in spiritually. A different spirit dwells [deeply] in you” (Carl Haak). This outcomes research project seeks to identify a consensus-based framework for understanding the following: a. Awareness or awakening—Being or becoming aware of or awakening to one’s self, others, and the universe (which may be understood as including the sacred or divinity) in ways that cultivate identity, knowledge virtue and meaning, and purpose. b. Interconnecting and belonging—Seeking, accepting, or experiencing significance in relationships to and interdependence with others, the world, or one’s sense of the transcendent (often including an understanding of God or a higher power); and linking to narratives, beliefs, and traditions that give meaning to human experience across time. c. A way of living—Authentically expressing one’s identity, passions, values, and creativity through relationships, activities, and / or practices that shape bonds with oneself, family, church, community, and humanity. ii.Scope of the outcomes research project 1. To integrate educational research, design and development into a holistic framework for Christian urban and rural After-school Care. 2. To assess whether children are operating in an environment where every child is valued and seen as made in God’s image. 3. To assist children in experiencing and questioning how to go about living their lives with others based on a strong under-standing of right and wrong actions, the provision of forgive-ness, and the ability to apply biblical truths to their everyday lives in all settings. 4. Equip children with knowledge, understanding, skills and competency so that they may live in a manner consistent with their identity and worldview. 5. Closely examine the extent to which children regularly consult the bible for guidance, devotional thoughts and worship throughout their typical day. iii. Secondary objectives“Every believer, including children, has at least one spiritual gift.” 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  17. 17. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit” 1. Help children to understand God’s purposes for the church and for their lives, which include serving in His church. 2. Help them to realize that they have a part to play right now, not just when they are older. 3. Provide children with a base of experience in ministry so they can begin to identify how they may be gifted. Encourage them to get involved in a variety of ways by offering a consistent diet of ministry opportunities. 4. Provide training along with opportunities for children to serve side by side with older youth. 5. Provide role models and allow children to plan and lead their own programs, under supervision by adult youth ministers. 6. Provide affirmation, feedback and suggestions 7. Provide prayer support for all program participants.2. Dissemination a. The study findings will be summarized and recommendations made shall be submitted to the following research project participants and or sponsors: Pastor Vivian Tan, Executive Director One Accord Inc., Kids Alley Fairview United Methodist Church North Constitution and North Chesapeake, Camden, NJ (609) 707-2173 Email: Pastor Joe Suozzo Immanuel Bible Church 1244 West Farms Road Howell, New Jersey 07731 (732) 431-0299 Email: Kathryn McCabe Executive Director First United Church of Oak Park 848 Lake Street Oak Park, IL 60303 (773) 378-5530 Email: 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  18. 18. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit”BIBLIOGRAPHYBunge, Marcia J. (Ed). (2001). The Child in Christian Thought. Michigan: Eerdmans.Choun, Robert J. and Lawson, Michael S. (1998). The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Children’sMinistry: Reaching and Teaching the Next Generation. Michigan: Baker.Clark, Robert, Brubaker, Joanne and Zuck Roy B. (1986). Childhood Education in the Church (revised andexpanded). Chicago: Moody.Elkind, David (1987). Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk. New York: Alfred A. Knoff. (2002). TheHurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon. 3rd ed. Massachusetts:Perseus.Gross, Mary (Ed). Finger Play Activities. California: Gospel Light, 1995.Holt, John (1983). How Children Learn (revised). New York: Penguin.Kuroyanagi, Tetsuko (1982). Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window. (Dorothy Britton, Trans.). Japan:Kodansha International Ltd. (Original work published 1981).LeBar, Mary (1957). The Best Family of All. Wheaton: Scripture Press.Lickona, Thomas (1983). Raising Good Children. New York: Bantam.May, Scottie, Beth Porterski, Catherine Stonehouse & Linda Cannell. (2005). Children Matter: Celebratingtheir Place in the Church, Family, & Community. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.Morgenthaler, Shirley K. (Ed.). (1999). Exploring Children’s Spiritual Formation: Foundational Issues.Illinois: Pillars Press.Roehlkepartain, Eugene C., Benson, Peter L., Scales, Peter C., Kimball, Lisa and Ebstyne King, Pamela(2008). With Their Own Voices: A Global Exploration of How Today’s Young People Experience and 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann
  19. 19. The Christian Centre Biblical and Spiritual Formation: “The Fruits of the Spirit”Think About Biblical Discipleship, Minnesota: Center for Biblical Discipleship in Childhood andAdolescence Search InstituteSigle-Rushton, Wendy, McLanahan, Sara (2002). Father Absence and Child Well-being: A CriticalReview. New Jersey; Princeton University Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. Grand Rapids,Michigan: Eerdmans.Westerhoff, John H., Hauerwas, Stanley (1992). Fashioning Christians in Our Day.Willard, Dallas (1997). The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God. New York:HarperCollins. 1 Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 NIV Written by Jonathan Dunnemann