Creating and publishing contextualized Bolivian Methodist Children’s Sunday School Curriculum.
Describe the need affecting community
Children are vital to the Church. Bishop Mamani says “a church without children is a dead church”. Before 2009, Sunday school consisted of someone taking the children out of worship teaching them Bible verses to memorize and perhaps a song to sing and then performing for the local church. In the 1970’s and 1980’s ,the IEMB was made up of primarily first generation Christians, consequently, children were somewhat forgotten. Today those children are leaders of the IEMB and have said that they truly disliked Sunday school. Consequently there is a new focus on ministry to children. In 2009, the IEMB gathered pastors and Sunday school leaders to discuss improving the ministry to children. The top priority was to develop Sunday school material that teaches the christian faith in the Bolivian context. This meant that the IEMB needed to create its own curriculum. The IEMB cannot use Spanish language materials from the US because it does not reflect the experience of the indigenous Methodist Bolivian children. Due to lack of resources of the IEMB, there is a need to seek support. The children and adolescents don’t have materials for activities in the Sunday schools, neither teachers, books or guidelines. The majority of rural churches don’t organize Sunday schools, because of the need of materials. Urban churches used materials from other denominations.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The cost of the workshop and printing of materials is funded by this Advance Project. If we could increase the amount of funding, we could provide district children’s ministry workshops. As well as provide enough materials so that each child would have materials to use and take home. Being able to take the materials and drawings home would have a huge impact on the families particularly in rural areas. These adobe homes are often drab and colorless. To be able to stick on the wall a drawing by your child of a Bible Story would be and important event for the families. We cannot do that at this time because we cannot afford to produce one student book per student.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To strengthen the ministry with children and adolescents, obtaining a significant growth of the ministry of the Christian formation, in each one of the local churches with the support of the national pastors and teachers from Sunday school. To train teachers through seminaries, courses, and workshops for Sunday school and regular schools. To make and to produce biblical guides, books for teachers, children, and adolescents, and local churches. To train 150 Sunday school teachers. To organize courses and workshops for teachers at district and national levels. To make 900 guides for the teachers and 10,000 printed units of biblical books for the age of 4-14 years old and 5,000 photocopies for the other ages annually.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
To provide enough materials so that each child receives a Sunday Schools materials so that they can read, color and take materials home to share with their families. Currently we only provide one per class. With increased number of children in Sunday school, we hope to experience additional church growth and spiritual growth for this young people.