Customize Your Sunday School Lesson & Save Time

Customization is king these days.  Everywhere you look, you have options to customize a product to fit your needs.  Do you want a new car in Sea Foam Green with a sun roof, spoiler, leather interior (black of course), and OnStar? You got it.  Would you like your name etched on the back of your new iPod? No problem!  You want an extra bathroom in your home, plus a fireplace in the bedroom and the living room wired for surround sound?  Just tell the builder and he’ll be glad to include those customized elements.  Don’t want to teach the Sunday School lesson as it’s written in your LifeWay Sunday School Leader Guide?  No problem!  Use the best-kept secret LifeWay has to customize your lesson every week – the Adult Sunday School CD-ROM.

When I teach a Sunday School lesson, I want it to be my own.  I value the hard work that writers go through in order to provide outlines and teaching suggestions for the weekly lesson, but they can’t know the members of my class like I do.  Sometimes I know an activity that’s suggested in the teaching plan just won’t work with my group. At other times I want to add to the writer’s lesson plan, adding a couple of steps to an already great plan.  I don’t need to throw out the entire teaching plan, just modify it a little for my own use with my group.  That’s where the CD ROM comes in to play.  It’s a little gem tucked away in the Leader Pack (for use with Explore The Bible & Bible Studies For Life) every quarter!  The CD ROM is included in the Leader Pack along with posters, charts, and maps for the current quarter.  If you don’t look carefully you might miss it, but it would be a great loss to you if you don’t take full advantage of it.

What’s on the CD ROM?

It’s a slim little disc that contains a library of information, documents, and PowerPoint slides.  Here are some of the elements that are included:

  • Electronic versions of each teaching plan for Bible Studies for Life and Explore The Bible (in Microsoft Word)
  • Suggested Resources
  • Using The Files feature
  • Weekly E-mails
  • Articles

 How to Customize Your Lesson

Step 1:  Rather than hand-writing my own lesson, or typing it out myself in a word processor, I simply place the CD ROM into my computer and select the curriculum my class uses, in this case, Life Values.  I place my cursor on the lesson I want to open, click it, and the entire teaching plan from the print version of my Leader Guide opens in digital format.  I just saved a few hours creating my own plan!

Step 2:  Now I go through each of the lesson points, opening activity, final activity, etc., and delete what I don’t want to use.  Because the file opens in Microsoft Word, I can add text and customize the lesson to fit the needs of my class members, and the time allotted for teaching (it will vary from church-to-church).   In the lesson plan to the right, I’ve hi-lited the Opening Activity and decided to delete it.  I’m going to replace it with my own idea, one that I think my class will enjoy and that will start some discussion among my class members.

Step 3:  After I’ve modified the entire lesson, I simply print it and carry it in my Bible to class.  I can leave my Leader Guide at home and just use the simple teaching plan that tucks neatly into my Bible.

Step 4:  I’ve actually begun using a fourth step in my preparation.  I save the teaching plan on my computer as two different documents, one a Word file (for my records) and one as a PDF.  I E-mail the PDF to myself, open the file on my iPad, and it automatically appears in my iBooks.  I don’t even carry the print version to class, but instead open the file on my iPad and teach from that device!

If customization is king, LifeWay has a way for you to save a lot of time in your weekly preparation, and for you to create a custom plan that is just right for your Sunday School class.  Talk to your pastor or staff leader about providing you with the Leader Pack so you can save some time and create lessons that your class will love.

To view the Leader Packs for multiple adult curriculum lines, click here.

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