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What We Are

The Christian Education Department is a community of believers under the leadership of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It exists in and for the benefit and betterment of God's people. It is organized and shall operate exclusively as an Auxiliary of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, International. It is the teaching instrument of the Way of the Cross and shall operate solely within the jurisdiction of the same.

Sunday School Ministry

Sunday School
Paul didn't have much trouble identifying his role model in life. When it came to identifying an overall attitude to emulate, he looked expressly to Jesus and expected everyone else to do the same.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:5-8)

Attitudes other than those seen in Jesus can be damaging to a fellowship of a body of believers. Consider these attitudes that rear their ugly heads from time to time.

 

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An Unforgiving Spirit: Even the disciples had trouble understanding the need for forgiveness. Peter asked Jesus for a limit on the number of times he must forgive. Jesus made it clear that forgiveness was not merely an act, but a way of thinking. Keeping track of how many times one has forgiven defeats the purpose of a forgiving spirit. The willingness to forgive others shows an understanding of one's own need for forgiveness.

 

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Jealousy or Envy: The Old Testament records several stories of jealousy between family members that led to deceit and even murder. Jealousy and envy are included in the lists of common vices throughout Paul's letters in the New Testament. In James 3:16, James regarded envy as a source of disorder and evil practice. Christians may find themselves jealous of other believers who are receiving attention they themselves desire, or those who seem to receive more than their share of blessings. Envy disrupts loving relationships in the family of God in numerous ways.

In an interview of superstar tenors Jose Carrerras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, a reporter tried to emphasize the issue of competition between the trio. Instead, he received this reply from Domingo:

"You have to put all of your concentration into opening your heart to the music. You can't be rivals when you're together making music." These three men have discovered the secret of relating without jealousy.

 

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Prejudice: A biblical example of prejudicial attitude is evident when Nathanael, upon hearing that Jesus was from Nazareth, responded "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there? (John 1:46) His attitude could have prevented him from meeting Jesus! Our prejudice prevents us from developing relationships with others, even other believers, as we prejudge them.

Prejudice may manifest itself in many forms: racial, educational, economic, cultural, sexual, etc. Prejudice exists any time we allow differences (perceived or otherwise) to prevent interaction with others. Paul made a definitive statement against prejudice in Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'' We act against the Word of God when we allow these kinds of differences to separate us. What a tragic occurrence in the body of Christ.''

 

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Pride: Jesus told a parable of two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee who prayed about himself and the virtues he saw in himself. The other was a tax collector who humbly prayed for forgiveness from sins. The Pharisee was not really speaking to God, but telling those within earshot of his fine religious behavior. The tax collector, however, prayed to God with confession an attitude of repentance. Jesus declared the tax collector justified before God, for only those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Pride has a tendency to blind us to our faults, and it can come in many forms: pride in abilities, in life experiences, financial attainment, culture or race. Jesus denounced it, for it separates all people, even Christians.

By being aware of which attitudes are Christ-like and which ones are not, you and other leaders can hold each other accountable in your service. Remember the way Christ approached His task on Earth, and apply it to your own calling so you can be the best leader possible.

Preschool Sunday School
The word "discipline" is the best word to describe the process of helping a child grow as Jesus grew. In Luke 2:52, the Bible tells us that "Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man." The process of developing discipline allows a child to grow in what and how he thinks, in how he treats his body and how he relates to God and people around him.

"Discipline" should not be confused with the word "punishment." "Discipline" comes from the word matheteno, which means "to become a pupil" or "to disciple, to teach." This word is very positive, so "discipline" and "punishment" are not interchangeable.

Consider the differences in discipline and punishment: 

Discipline

Punishment

Positive

Negative

Shapes the child's future decisions

Punishes the child's past behavior

Encourages personal responsibility

Based on expectations of the adults in charge

Seeks natural consequences for behavior

Seeks an arbitrary negative reinforcement for behavior

Encourages appropriate behavior

Discourages inappropriate behavior

Love, concern, disappointment

Tension, frustration

Child feels adults' concern

Revenge

Discipline becomes a system of consistent choices, consequences and boundaries. Discipline's ultimate goal is self-discipline. In other words, when left alone, the child will make right choices based on what is right, not based on the likelihood of being caught.

The focus of discipline is to create an environment for the child to own his behavior and look down the road at the consequences of his behavior. This can be accomplished by creating a track record of right choices and personal responsibility. The question every teacher should ask is "What can the child learn from this situation?" rather than "How can I punish him for what he did?"

Simple Questions You Can Ask

bulletIs there something wrong with this picture? Is my child sick, tired or hungry? It is difficult for a child to think clearly when they have basic needs unmet.
bulletWhat is the cause of this behavior? Sometimes parents treat the symptoms instead of the cause. With middle and younger preschoolers, it may be the environment or something in the environment that is tempting them to misbehave. Remove the item.
bulletHow many times have I said this? Two statements: "Say what you mean and mean what you say" and "Don't start something you can't finish." Consistency is the key to helping your child become self-disciplined.
bulletAre their appropriate choices here? OK, it is time to go to bed. Rather than saying, "Casey are you ready for bed?" Say: "Casey, it is time for bed. Would you like to brush your teeth first or put on your pajamas?"
bulletWhat are the logical consequences of the action? Attempt to find consequences that fit the action. Example: You tell the children to pick up the toys before bedtime. You discover that they did not. Put the toys in a bag and place them in the attic for a day.
bulletDid they understand? Young children do not speak adult. Make sure the children understand.


God has given parents the authority to guide their children toward a disciplined lifestyle of service to Him and others. Teachers and parents should not get that confused with ruthless power. Shaping a child in the image of God takes the patience and wisdom to look at the growth over time, not just in one instance. Remember the same heat that boils an egg just right can also crack and destroy it.

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