Today’s blog post is an excerpt from the book 100: Charting a Course Past 100 in Sunday School by my friend and colleague, David Francis. David has been LifeWay’s Director of Sunday School for the past decade, and you can find his vast resources page by clicking here.
In his latest book, David wrote about the need for curriculum in groups. Here are his words about this important topic:
The choice of curriculum is important not only for ongoing Bible study but also in the enlistment and training of teachers and leaders. We do not want a person who is sitting in an adult class observing the teacher to think, “I could never do that.” Rather, we want them to think, “I could do that if they gave me the same resources.” The trend toward allowing adult teachers to “do their own thing” is reversing. Today many growing churches are asking adult teachers to use the same curriculum or limiting their choices of curriculum. It is incredibly more efficient to enlist and train new leaders if all leaders are using similar curriculum. It is easier to supply support resources. It is easier to enlist and equip substitutes – who are potential future apprentices.
I recently spoke with a pastor who attended a training event at which I led several breakout conferences. One of his questions to me related to this very topic that David has addressed. This pastor of a smaller church had allowed his teachers to teach whatever they wanted over time. The pastor now believes it is important to have all of his teachers “singing from the same song book,” but cannot get them to agree to move to a Bible study curriculum they all agree on. His reasons for wanting to “limit” their choice of Bible study materials? The same reasons David has cited in the quote above. The pastor wants to be able to provide a level of training, to raise up new teachers, and to have more accountability for what is being taught in his church’s Sunday School.
If your church does not have a galvanized approach to studying the Bible in its groups, and your pastor or staff leader approaches you and your group about getting on board with a change in that direction, please follow the leadership of your church staff and move in that direction with a positive attitude! A coordinated approach to studying the Bible in groups is not limiting – it’s actually liberating.