But first, what is a System? A system can be defined as “a method or set of procedures for achieving something.”1 On the other hand a system can be defined as an interdependent group of people, or processes, or functions, and activities that work together for a common goal. All parts must work together if the system is to be effective. The Apostle Paul clarify it this way in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 when he wrote: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and we were all made to drink of one Spirit “. He further talks about the functions of each part and how they are equally dependent on one another — a systems understanding of the human body and the body of Christ. This can be a model for the teaching ministry of a local church.
Consider as an example, a garden which is in my view is a system. The inputs include dirt, seeds, moisture, sunlight, etc. The transformation of such system involves seeds sprouting, growing, and finally bearing fruit which is the outcome. If we want to improve the yield of our garden, we must first look at the overall relationships including the processes. A better brand of seeds or perhaps more water might bring the results we want. On the other hand, stronger fertilizer as compare to “miracle grow” which is mild might help the plants grow faster, but it also might poison the soil! What we often do is to examine processes or repair them only when they are obviously broken. But if we are to have an effective system of Christian education, we will need to improve our processes constantly, even when the system seem to be working.