William "Rick" Yount is professor and assistant dean of the Foundations of Education division, School of Educational Ministries, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He travels every year to teach pastors and missionaries in the former Soviet Union. Yount lives with his wife in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Teaching Ministry of the Church: Second Editionby William Yount
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The second edition of The Teaching Ministry of the Church makes a major overhaul of its predecessor, increasing the content from eighteen to twentythree chapters and contributors from six to thirteen. These writers assert the need for such an expanded update is due to our everchanging world. For example, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, proliferation of religious sects, and secularization of our culture greatly increase the importance of ensuring the church produces fully developed, biblically informed followers of Jesus. To that end, The Teaching Ministry of the Church presents a full overview of Christian education in four major sections: Theological Foundations, Biblical Foundations, Preparation for Teaching, and Structuring the Teaching Ministry of the Church. Within this framework, a step-by-step plan for establishing and maintaining an effective teaching ministry among preschoolers, children, youth, and adults takes shape.Key chapters: “The Bible as Curriculum,” “The Church’s Role in Teaching,” “Creating an Unforgettable Learning Experience,” and “Equipping Teachers.”
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The goal of this book is to provide a biblical and theological rationale for the church's teaching ministry. Yount meets this goal in a logical and interesting way. First, the aesthetics of the book are fine. They are not phenomenal, but the layout is sensible, the artwork is decent, and there are indices for Scriptural, subject, and author references. For an academic book, this is adequate. Yount is actually the editor of various essays that make up the chapters of the four parts into which the book is divided. The authors are knowledgeable and experienced, and Yount does an above-average job of tying the chapters together into a coherent whole. Many books of this sort fail in this regard, appearing as a cobbled together grouping of similarly themed articles involving a lot of redundancy, but Yount has avoided this. Kudos to him. Part One of the book sets the theological foundation for the teaching ministry of the church. This provides a conceptual theological rationale justifying Christian education at the theoretical level. This part also explains the rest of the book and how the chapters mesh into a holistic study of the subject. Part Two deals with the biblical foundations for Christian education. This is the scriptural basis of the topic. The aspects of God as the model teacher, the Bible's function in the teaching process, and the specialized roles of the various elements that make up the church are explored. Part Three is focused upon preparation for teaching. It covers the preparatory work for the educator. Core concepts and the needs of specific types of learners such as children and adults are addressed. Part Four deals with structuring the teaching ministry of the church. This section includes evaluation of curricula and teaching ministries as well as dealing with administration of teaching programmes and equipping teachers. Yount's book is about the church as an institution, so it is designed for corporate use, but much of the information is relevant to the solo practitioner, too, such as a missionary or Christian in a witnessing situation. Some of the information can also be applied to one-on-one situations. Knowing the needs and types of learners and the theological and biblical foundations of education should benefit all Christians since witnessing is integral to the faith and witnessing involves talking to people who are learners in the broad sense even if they are not in a classroom. This book is highly recommended for the purpose of educational ministry of the corporate church and may be worth a look for the individual Christian and theologian.
Yount and his colleagues provide an enlightening look at effective teaching methods in the church.