Posted: 12/17/19 at 1:10pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
Note to reader: This blog post is the twelfth in a weekly series and contains excerpts from Ken Braddy’s book, Breathing Life into Sunday School.
If Sunday School is about The Great Commandment of loving God and neighbor, and The Great Commission is about making disciples as you reach new people, then we need to provide classes for unchurched people. Here are some ideas:
I could go many ways with this topic. It is okay to have closed Bible study groups each quarter. If you are trying to reach unchurched people, though, you must have ongoing studies.
Ongoing Bible studies lead people to study the Bible. Studies do not replace the Bible but lead teachers to facilitate how to apply the Bible. Sunday School teachers do best to ask good questions and help people discover the truth for themselves. Ongoing curriculum enhances that possibility.
We want people to get into the Bible daily. Ongoing studies give opportunity through their personal study guides to do so. If we are just relying on a teacher to share each Sunday, where is the preparation and work by students ahead of time? Students who have a personal study guide spend time with God outside class time.
Content is trustworthy. We have probably all experienced teachers who went off on their own when they have no curriculum to follow. They can miss the overall study of the Bible and twist things to their opinion. Good curriculum keeps them on course.
Bible studies are crafted by people with experience and theological education. When a teacher decides to study a book of the Bible without help, there are a few things missing: help with commentary from people who know, a balanced approach to the Bible, and ways to use different learning styles to get to life application. Life application is always the goal!
Curriculum is an affordable investment in spiritual growth. Curriculum is much less than a dollar a day. We are looking at spiritual investments. What do you think?
We want guests to feel equipped and a part. When we have teachers who have no study guide for participants or a closed-group curriculum, guests feel ostracized and will not likely come back. Sunday School is about reaching new people for Christ and helping them grow. Make sure you have a few extra personal study guides in case you have a visitor. Make sure they take one!
We need balance in Bible study. Allowing teachers to do what they want leads to teachers who teach only their favorite books of the Bible. Most curriculum have a 3-5-year approach to cover the entire Bible.
There are a few exceptions in Sunday School:
- Teachers becoming experts in a book of the Bible and rotating to different classes each quarter can be a good thing, especially if classes need a certain topic for a quarter.
- Some churches choose a college approach with several adult classes set on a topic and more for a traditional Sunday School class.
- Always keep in mind: we need traditional classes with an ongoing Bible study to reach unchurched people!
Have a blessed Christmas as you consider next year and what classes would reach new people: Love God, love neighbor, and reach new people/disciple!