In 1980-81, the General-Secretary of the organization, Rev. (Dr) E. Ola Adeogun started the development of Nigeria Foursquare Gospel Church Sunday School curriculum. He worked with some ministers among who was Rev. Rogo to achieve this objective. The adults (14 years and above) and (2-13) were the two categories of people the curriculum focused on. The materials were produced both in Yoruba and English languages.
Rev. (Dr) J.A. Boyejo, one of the leaders of the church in Nigeria was saddled with the responsibly of preparing other curricular to meet the needs of people both physically and spiritually. The need for better and broad classified curriculum arose for effective ministering to the people in 1987. This led to the re-organization of Christian Education directorate. The curriculum was reviewed and the revised curriculum covers the following areas.
1. Children Curriculum
The curriculum for children was classified into two groups with visual aids. These two groups are the Kindergarten (2-5 years), the primary and Junior (ages 6-11)
2 Adult Curriculum
The curriculum for this group is designed to serve those of 12 years upward. There is Yoruba translation of manual used by this group as well.
3 Discipleship Curriculum
The discipleship curriculum covers the following areas of teachings.
i. New Comers, Visitors or New converts Class
ii. Baptismal Class
iii. Membership Class
iv. Workers-in-training Class
v. Children Class
vi. Teenagers Class
vii. Adult Class
NEW COMERS, VISITORS OR NEW CONVERT CLASS
The curriculum here is mainly focused on salvation message. The teaching materials reveal the lost state of man without Christ (Rom.3:23), the need of man’s soul in order to meet the standard of God for reconciliation and present Jesus Christ as the only saviour of the World.
The new convert class needs specific teaching to established him in the Christian life. Special curriculum is written and available through Foursquare Gospel Church National Christian Education Directorate for establishing such a class.This curriculum is available on two levels; children with Youth and Adults.These manuals covers the basic items which new believers need to understand as they begin the Christian walk. The teachings cover: You and the Bible, Believers and the Holy Spirit,You and Money, the believer’s stewardship promises to claim during problems, believers and prayers. The new converts are expected to spend nothing less than eight weeks in this class.
After spending four weeks in the newcomer’s class, the student moves to the baptismal class. In this class, student is taught the necessities of water baptism by immersion which is one of the ordinances instituted by Christ Himself. Other lessons taught in this class are Stewardship of the believers which covers the use of the believers time and the importance of giving of offerings.This class runs for four weeks.
Getting to this class is not compulsory and neither is it automatic but believers are encouraged to become members of the Foursquare Gospel Church especially if such persons are interested in joining the workforce of the church. The teaching materials in this class are based on the twenty-two tenets of faith of the Foursquare Church, drawn out from the Bible by the founder for thirteen weeks after which the student is interviewed by the local pastor or designated leader. This is followed by public acceptance into membership on a Sunday morning service with hands of fellowship by the ministers and council members, while a membership card is issued to the students which is renewable yearly.
At the expiration of lessons in the membership class, the student is encouraged to be a worker in the church. Training of workers is worthy goal of the Foursquare Gospel Church education department. II Timothy 2:15 admonished workers to study to be “approved unto God….” This is inferred that each must apply himself to the task of being better equipped to carry out the assignment God has given him. If a student submits himself to training according to the above admonition, then he is able to “rightly divide the word of truth” both in explaining doctrinal issues and passing across God’s message appropriately.
The curriculum here covers every areas of ministry based on Ephesians 4:11-16, Romans 12: 6-8, I Corinthians 12. It also deals with other area of ministry as needed by the challenges of today’s world system. Curriculum is divided into two general sections which take about six weeks. Students are sent to their various areas of calling for details teachings are required by such service area. For example, if a student is called to teaching ministry, he/she has to move to teaching ministry class and expected to spend another six weeks (all totaling 12 weeks from specific to general areas of ministry) and the 13th week is for examinations and interviews.
After fulfilling above condition, the student is posted to the area of his/her calling for Christian work. From time to time, refresher courses, seminars, conferences are organized either locally, or on a larger body to make them current and relevant to their generation. In addition, there are other planned curriculum for specific needs of the church.
Just as the name implies, here the children are gathered to form their own class in which they are taught elementary principles of the bible with songs and some question exercise as well as other activities to establish their mind in the knowledge of God. He or she may then after clocking 13 years be allowed to move to the next level.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
The curriculum for this class is focus on grooming the teenagers as responsible christian young adult and leaders. In this class, topics are treated in-relation to teenage life and the conflicting opinions, views and ideas that this young christian adults are faced with as they relate with wider environment.
The curriculum for this group is designed to serve those of mature age as well as members that have finished all the discipleship classes, either as worker or leader. There is Yoruba translation of manual used by this group as well.
We believe that the education of the church in Biblical principles comes first after salvation. We believe that God has provided His church with gift of teachers who are gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit in building of the body of Christ. We also believe that the church leaders have genuine interest in the education of her people through formulation of policies that will enhance smooth operation of the directorate.
Our vision is to help believers discover their God-given abilities for ministry and to assist them in developing in such a practical and applicable way. We encourage deployment of these abilities rightly and properly in all areas of living on earth. We aspire to provide educational resources that will help develop personally strong, socially responsible and eternity sensible believers.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission as the educational arm of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria is to create a unique Christian Education Department that is focused on providing adequate services to meet the church’s educational needs with an absolute commitment to quality.
THE OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY OF FOURSQUARE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
The objectives of the Foursquare Gospel Church Christian Education are outlined thus:
1. Outreach – The christian education through the Sunday School will strive to enlist as many persons as possible in a systematic study of the Word of God. People must be reached before they can be taught. The Sunday school is used as an agent which continually reaches out into its community to gain new persons to fulfill this objective.
2. Education – Education involves not just teaching, but also learning and learning involves change. The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria objective of christian education is to teach the entire Word of God and to indoctrinate persons in the fullness of the gospel as interpreted in the declaration of faith of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
3. Evangelism – Evangelism is the key purpose of the total church. The Foursquare Gospel Church christian education department is to lead a person into a personal experience of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ,and that each believer be stimulated towards missionary vision and to support the Foursquare Gospel Church world-wide mission.
4. Ministry – The Foursquare Gospel Church Christian Education Department is to train believers to participate in the ministry of the church according to the gifts given to them by God; to encourage them to join the local church and actively serve the Lord Jesus through that body of believers.
5. Fellowship – The christian education department of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria is to provide opportunities for participation in true fellowship with other believers and Christ.
Finally, we as the educational arm of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria align ourselves with the statement of Kenneth O. Gangel that , “… the overwhelming and all encompassing objectives of the church is total christian maturity for all its members. Total christian maturity includes an individual and collective life of biblical worship, biblical fellowship and biblical evangelism, all of which are stimulated by and produced through proper funding programmes of biblical church education.
The Foursquare Gospel Church philosophy of christian education is based on the biblical injunction in Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9, Ephesus 4:11-13, 2 Timothy 2:2,15;3:16-17 and the command of our Lord Jesus Christ for teaching in Mathew 28:19-20 since we believe that a teaching church is a growing church, hence, christian education is an integral part of the church because “it allows the church to do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way and in the Lord’s method.”
Being the main trust of Christian education, teaching is a serious ministry which must be done with all commitment and transparent holiness. Based on these facts, we as a directorate of Christian Education of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has a specific philosophy as follows:
1. It is God- centred – God is acknowledged in His attribute of self existing and real. The concept of God in all the ministries of Christian Education in the Foursquare Gospel Church begins, progresses and ends with Trinity. The Father is well acknowledged in His position of Fatherhood who sent His son to redeem the lost world and give His spirit to empower His son in accomplishing the purpose and plan of redemption.
2. It is Revelation-Centred: Truth is God’s revelation revealed in the Bible. The Bible is the source of true knowledge without which a good christian character cannot be developed. Foursquare Gospel Church takes the Bible as the sole authority for God’s revelation to mankind, It is on this fact the organization based its philosophy of educating mankind especially its worshipers and members.
3. It is Eternity-centred: Foursquare Gospel Church philosopy of Christian Education centred on programmes that soul for eternity. Programmes of ministries such as Youth, Sunday School, Children, Adult, Men, Women, Music and so forth set forth teachings that build individuals in such respective ministries unto maturity in Christ (Eph. :11-13) This is why the Foursquare Gospel Church does not just appoint leaders for these ministries but take time to pray and evaluate the qualities of leaders as relevant to the post or ministry.
4. It is Christ-centred: Christ is the center of the scripture and all things evolve from Him. This concept is seriously held by the Foursquare Gospel Church in formulating its philosophy for Christian education. With this background, Christ is projected in all the teaching materials of the Foursquare Gospel Church as the only saviour of mankind.
5. It is Bible Based Curriculum: The Curriculum of Foursquare is Bible based with the hope of approaching every human problem the Bible in order to have solution for them. The Bible is never substituted in any way with any other book. Systematic teaching of the Bible subjects is a priority which is reflected in the Foursquare Gospel Church curriculum.
6. It is Growth-centred: Growth of the individuals in the church is the concern of the Foursquare Gospel Church. Hence, its philosophy of Christian education in helping individuals to develop unto maturity in Christ. This is reflected in the Sunday school of the Foursquare Gospel Church organization in particular and other ministries in general. All the basic organs of christian education in the Foursquare Gospel Churches gear their programmes to affect every individual either sinners unto salvation or saints unto maturity.
The major focus of Christian Education Directorate of the Foursquare Gospel Church is on the Sunday School aspect of the Christian Education. The first Sunday school service was held on 1st November,1955 with about 150 students. The Sunday school has been waxing stronger. Today the attendance has grown from 150 – 132,484 students and workers. The Foursquare Gospel Church has provided opportunities for people to hear God’s word in a suitable environment and confined places such as hospitals, remand homes, prison yards and settlement centers.
Sunday school teaching as an arm of Christian education is being held for one hour maximum on Sundays in every Foursquare Gospel churches. The time of holding it varies from church to church. It may be held preceding the worship service or in between worship where more than one service is being held.