In his book Preparing Instructional Objectives Robert F. Mager tells of the sea horse who cantered out to find his fortune and wound up in a shark’s belly. His problem: He didn’t know where he was going. The moral: Be sure your objectives are clear.

The pastor who takes seriously Ephesians 4:11–16 has his objective in Christian education stated for him. It is “the perfecting of the saints”—producing spiritually mature Christians. But how does a pastor know when he is achieving this?

In the generation past one didn’t ask this question. “Do your best and trust the Lord” seemed to be the order of the day. But this attitude is rapidly changing, and various methods of evaluation are being used. D. Campbell Wyckoff writes of some of the standard techniques in How to Evaluate the Christian Education Program of the Church.

Growing in popularity are the written Bible-knowledge tests. Scripture Press publishes achievement tests for the junior, young teen, high school, and adult department, designed to show how much Bible knowledge the student has gained in a quarter. The tests are usually made up of matching, multiple-choice, and rank-order items.

Other tests on general Bible knowledge are being developed. I have used profitably a test devised by Ruth Beechick and published by Southwestern College, Phoenix. Norman Wright at Talbot Theological Seminary has produced a test of 100 questions based on the curriculum of Gospel Light Publishing Company. According to Mr. Wright, it is the first major Bible-knowledge test for the preschool-through-eighth-grade age group.

Although use of these tests is an important step in the right direction, Bible knowledge is just one element of spiritual ...

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