Discipleship Resource & Asset Inventory
This initial two-day process involves a thorough and comprehensive “high-altitude” exploration of a school’s disciple making strategies and structures. It is designed to be a precursor to the "Vital Signs Discipleship Assessment” which explores the spiritual health and well-being of the individuals who make up the community.
Christian Schools generally understand their mandate to be intentional about the faith formation of students, and most have allocated timetable space, financial assets and human resources to achieve their desired spiritual outcomes. The IGC Discipleship Resource and Asset Inventory is designed to produce an aggregate summary of the current program elements, and an initial evaluation of how effectively they are working together to produce desired spiritual outcomes. Based on an understanding of faith formation best practices, it will also identify overlap, gaps and missing elements in existing curricular and extra-curricular structures.
The overview will be completed through a careful audit of each of the elements that impact faith formation – both directly and indirectly, as well as through a series of interviews and/or focus groups involving students, staff, administrators and in some cases parents and alumni. In a best case scenario the inventory would be done on a day when chapel could be observed and Bible classes could be attended at several grade levels.
When the observations and conversations are complete, IGC will generate a summary report that will be made available to several of the key stakeholders to ensure its accuracy. This report will then provide a framework for completing the second (and much more significant) discipleship assessment where the spiritual vitality of the community and its individuals will be measured.
The Inventory is designed to answer the following questions.
- What are the key structural and curricular components of the faith formation and discipleship programs across all grades and over the course of each year. (Classroom instruction, chapels, missions trips, retreats, service projects, leadership development, small groups, outreach, spiritual emphasis weeks, etc.) This overview of the landscape will provide a framework for understanding the overall rhythms and cadence of the discipleship strategy.
- What are the stated institutional faith formation aspirations and how broadly are these desired outcomes understood and owned by all stakeholders (including students)?
- What are the essential disciple-making elements in the school’s structures and strategies, and to what extent are they woven into the fabric of the institutional culture (as opposed to being “bolted on” or accessory)?
- To what extent is the spiritual climate or culture of the community imposed as a “top down” mandate - or does it emerge naturally from the grassroots? Is the spiritual culture life-giving and positive or is it toxic and counter-productive to spiritual vitality?
- Are the current curricular resources being used in “Bible”classes (or whatever your school calls them) current, culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate, missionally motivating, integrated and congruent?
- Are “Bible” teachers appropriately gifted, trained, equipped motivated and spiritually growing to bring excellence and effectiveness to the classroom?
- What level of intentionality and accountability ensures that a Christian worldview is being consistently modeled and integrated into all (non-Bible) subject areas?
- How motivated are staff and students to attend and engage in regularly scheduled large group gatherings (chapel, assemblies, etc.) and what opportunities do these events provide for the affirmation and development of leadership and ministry gifts within the student body?
- What service and ministry opportunities exist in the structure of the faith formation program and how are these experiences debriefed and processed?
- What is the place of prayer in the overall life of the school – students, staff, board, parents?
- How is spiritual formation "marketed" as part of the appeal of sending students to the school? Does the literature, online advertising, website, TV and radio messages, on campus bulletin boards, etc. communicate a message about the spiritual culture of the school, and to what extent is the school able to deliver on its promise?
- How are students and families oriented to the faith formation mission of the school when they initially become part of the community?
- What resources are available to individual students who are legitimately struggling in their faith walk and need some one-on-one time to process their questions and doubts?
- How is the school equipping and empowering parents to be the primary spiritual nurturers of their sons and daughters (as opposed to creating a "spiritual subcontractor" relationship)?
- What is the nature of the relationship that exists between the school and the churches in the community? Is it collaborative or competitive? Are church leaders enthusiastic advocates of the mission of the Christian school?
- What is the school strategy for the “spiritual development” (the faith formation equivalent of professional development) of the staff – particularly teachers and to what extent do teachers understand their role to be missional?
- To what extent are the faith formation structures and strategies of the school concerned with protecting students from the world around them versus preparing students to engage the world around them?
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