Today’s entry is by guest blogger, Dr. Parnell Lovelace.
I will be the first to admit that I have never been very proficient in mathematics. As a youth, I gravitated towards the language arts and music. Now that I have two high school-age children living under my roof, I wish I had put a little more effort towards my mathematical studies. I am finding that my children must develop an understanding of foundational math in order to interface with everything from the social to the technological to the financial aspects of our society.
As mathematic concepts drive so much of our society today, it is up to believers to understand and pass on these concepts and skills to equip future generations to thrive. Populations that are underrepresented because of ethnicity, gender, economic status, or social marginalization, could benefit the most from this sort of focus.
This summer, a church-based program in the heart of Sacramento hosted a six-week Algebra Institute that is changing old patterns of thinking. Forty motivated middle school children committed themselves to five hours of rigorous classroom activities that presented algebra in a fun format. Certified volunteer instructors partnered with parents to make sure that the children were transported into the city center for the presentation. There was a daily presentation of algebraic terms, mathematical history lessons, periodic college field trips, and presentations by local entrepreneurial leaders.
Many of these business and educational leaders came from the faith community. This program inspired students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although most of the students were of African American and Latino descent, all ethnic groups were welcomed and represented. Remarkable improvements in students’ knowledge and comprehension could be measured at the completion of the Institute.
I encourage church leaders around the country and around the world to explore how such ground-level programs and educational partnerships can be implemented within underutilized Sunday school spaces, fellowship halls, and multipurpose worship centers within urban centers. The variables of the kingdom (x and y) carry deeper meanings that may translate as that of whole individuals being added to the Church – daily!
Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr., MSW, D.Min.
Lovelace Leadership Connection
Rancho Cordova, California
As the successful founding pastor of 3000 member Center of Praise Ministries, Sacramento, California, Parnell M Lovelace, Jr. serves as an apostolic strategist, merging the Church with the social constructs of urban community. He holds a MSW, University of Oklahoma; MPTH Oral Roberts University, and D.Min., Talbot School of Theology.