May 28, 2013

What's Your Role: John Vanderhoek

Blog Archives:

For this year's "What's Your Role" theme, we asked all our staff to write about their role in God's Kingdom - and particularily how it relates to the role they are currently serving in here at EduDeo Ministries. Today we are featuring John - our Walking Together Program Director! 

My role at EduDeo Ministries involves networking with people in Canada and various other parts of the world. A very common theme in discussions with leaders of Christian school groups, especially engaged in teacher training, is to try to find ways of working together in common purpose and cause. Often, within various regions and nations, there are different groups working toward the same or very similar goals as they try to walk alongside sisters and brothers in Christ who are developing Christian schools, and trying to figure out how the Bible needs to be foundational to the what and how of learning and teaching. 

Various agencies have been established in western world cultures to support this development. Unfortunately, some of these agencies compete with others in the same areas in the majority world. At times, Christian schools and school organizations in the majority world exist alongside others in the same areas without connecting to explore ways in which they might work together and mutually support each other. 

I strongly believe that this contradicts Jesus’ high priestly prayer recorded in John 17, specifically verses 20 – 23, where Jesus prays for unity among His people, like the unity between the Father and himself. Thus, in my discussions with others, I try to find ways in which EduDeo might come alongside other organizations with similar goals. I encourage our partners to invite others to participate in teacher training projects. I am very excited when I see efforts being made to be inclusive and to work together.

An important part of my role is to walk alongside EduDeo partners as they seek to organize and develop Christian school teacher training sessions and activities that are intended to help classroom teachers reshape educational practice by implementing biblical understandings of how to reformulate curriculum they are required to cover.

Our partners are responsible for helping children understand their place in the culture in which they live…but as Christians. That means that the content of their teaching must meet the guidelines of the jurisdiction in which they live. They need to be able to be effective Christ-followers in their own culture, not a culture imposed on them and foreign to their experience. And they need to be able to experience learning using the inherent gifts God has given them. 

In the classroom they need to experience that they are members of communities so that they can demonstrate, in their own culture, a biblical approach to communal culture building. This will require reshaped educational practice. In this context, I ask EduDeo partners what areas they want their teacher training initiatives to explore. Once this is determined, I find volunteers who are experienced Christian educational experts interested in and willing to commit to work with international colleagues beginning or continuing a journey they have been on themselves. 

And there is so much more to my role!

What's YOUR role?



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