Today I learned the value of a buck. My grandparents’ generation knew the value of a dollar, but I sometimes wonder if we’ve forgotten that. I was reminded of the value of a buck when a new friend my wife and I had invited to Sunday School made a comment about a LifeWay learner guide. He’d never used one before…never….but he received a copy as we began our Sunday School class today.
As our teacher, Marty, was engaging in conversation with early arrivers, I noticed that my new friend Josh was thumbing through the learner guide he’d received. At that point I didn’t know he’d never used one before! I kept sneaking a peak at him as he rifled through the booklet, and I asked him what he thought about it. He’s a pretty smart guy…very intuitive…and here’s the rest of our conversation:
“How much does one of these cost?,” Josh asked. I replied, “$2.” His mind quickly did the mental math and he said, “Wow, what a great deal for all of these lessons.” He commented that the church he’s been attending does not purchase any curriculum for the members of its home groups. The teachers teach whatever they like, if they teach at all (some of the home groups are fellowship-based and studying the Bible isn’t the main goal).
My friend noted that there were three parts to the lesson, each related to the lesson title and the unit theme (a unit poster was on the wall behind our teacher). He also noted that the learner book would give him something to study during the week as he prepares for the next class session. I then pointed out that this particular curriculum from LifeWay (Life Truths) has a section at the end of every lesson called “Conversation Starters” that helps parents discuss the lesson truths with their preschoolers, gradeschool children, or students. It also has a “Click with your Kids” section that recommends sites parents can visit with their kids to continue learning about the lesson truths. In addition to all that, the curriculum is printed in full-color with amazing graphic elements that reinforce the lesson and the central points in each lesson. It’s a quality piece!
So my friend Josh “got it” today, and I was sitting right there to witness it. He understood within just a few minutes of receiving a learner guide what a valuable tool they are for the ongoing spiritual growth of adult Sunday School members. It was hard to believe that an adult like Josh had never used a learner guide, but he instantly saw its value. When we did some more math and saw that the $2 book has 13 lessons (one quarter of a year’s lessons), that breaks down to just $.15 a week…fifteen cents! For fifteen cents a week a church can provide a learner guide that provides a systematic way to study biblical topics, has questions for personal growth, encourages adults to study their Bibles during the week, and gives them ideas for having spiritual conversations with their children. Wow.
Josh got it. How about you and your church?!