#005 – Part 2, Choosing Curriculum

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This week, we’re doing a follow-up episode to last week’s discussion on choosing curriculum for your church.  I’ll be sharing some of your feedback and I also want to share with you a great article that I read this week, a movie short that is free this week only, a free e-book offer that ‘s going on right now.

I share about my trip with the family to a local apple orchard and my experience at The Men’s Leadership Conference at Lighthouse Baptist Church of Indianapolis, IN.

To find out about the church and next year’s conference you can check out their website at lbcindy.com.

I also play for you an encouraging voicemail that came in from Pastor Mark Ward.

You can find Pastor Ward at @pastormarkward on twitter or at fbctipton.org.

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So, this week, I want to wrap up our discussion about choosing curriculum for Sunday School, Adult Bible Fellowships, Small Groups, whatever.  We starting talking last week about what motivates or guides your decision making as to which curriculum to use, if you even use curriculum at all?

I suggested that we consider these areas when choosing curriculum:

  1. Who is publishing the curriculum?
  2. Is it KJV only or does it at least have a KJV option?
  3. How much does it cost?
  4. If you have a mission statement for your church, or student or children’s ministry, does this curriculum’s philosophy and theological emphasis fit our mission?
  5. Is it easy to prepare and use for the teacher and are there sufficient theological helps and insights for the teacher?
  6. Will this curriculum provide our students with the spiritual formation that they need to grow in Christ?
  7. Is it stylistically and visually appealing for the student, will it keep their attention?
  8. Does it have a unified approach in the scope and sequence?

 

  • Who is publishing the curriculum?

Striving Together Publications – LBC, Lancaster

Joyful Life Sunday School Materials – Abeka

Regular Baptist Press is commonly used.

Bogard Press

I also mention D6 curriculum, which is my preferred curriculum.

I reached out to each of these companies this week and gave them an opportunity to call in a voicemail and speak directly to you about their curriculum and why they think that it could benefit your church.  The only company that took me up on that offer was Regular Baptist Press.  Let me share with you the voicemail that I received from Alan Wilson, their US coordinator.

I appreciate Mr. Wilson for being willing to share that information with you all.  I encourage you, if you’re interested, take him up on his offer to send you his resource kit.

Email: awilson@garbc.com

Phone: 847-830-8477

Website: RBPStore.org

 

We also talked about a second area of consideration when choosing curriculum:

  • Is the curriculum KJV only or at least available in KJV?

I asked, “Is it a deal breaker for you if the curriculum doesn’t have a King James option or are you willing to use it and adapt it to meet your needs.”

I got a response to this on Facebook from a friend of mine Bill Darnell and he said this, “Not a deal-breaker.  Answers in Genesis and others have excellent curriculum, but doesn’t provide it in KJV.  75% of my books in college were not KJV, but I learned valuable lessons.”

I also know of another pastor that was reaching out to kids through a bus ministry.  Some of those kids were saved and they started teaching them from their normal curriculum and realized that these children really need to start learning from the beginning with creation and he didn’t find any good curriculum on creation that used the King James and so they used another curriculum other than Answers in Genesis.  So this seems to be one specific area of teaching where there might not be a King James option and Independent Baptist churches are using the curriculum anyway and adapting it to fit what they need.

  • How much does it cost?

Some curriculum is pricey.  And I got a response from Pastor Bob Senz on Facebook about whether price was a deciding factor in choosing curriculum.  Bob said, “Absolutely.  We are a very small church plant.”  So for Pastor Senz, cost matters.  Especially as a small church or church plant.

Bob Senz pastors TheChurchAtBearLake.com.

 

  • If you have a mission statement for your church, or student or children’s ministry, does this curriculum’s philosophy and theological emphasis fit our mission?
  • Is it easy to prepare and use for the teacher and are there sufficient theological helps and insights for the teacher?

In bringing this question up, I said in episode 4 that you should get feedback from your teachers on this.

  • Will this curriculum provide our students with the spiritual formation that they need to grow in Christ?

Let me play a voicemail that I had come in from Adam Pearson and then we’ll discuss some of these considerations.

You can find Adam on twitter as @NPBCYouthman or at NorthernParkBaptist.com.

Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg

  • Is it stylistically and visually appealing for the student, will it keep their attention?
  • Does it have a unified approach in the scope and sequence?

Thanks to those of you that shared your thoughts and feedback with us this week.  If you thought about doing so and didn’t, don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunities during other discussions to share your thoughts with us.

Recommended Resources This Week…

Let me share a couple resources with you.

 

  • This week, I read an article that was released on a blog.  The blog is Encouraging Words and the blogger is Pastor Cary Schmidt from Emmanuel Baptist of Newington, CT.  The article is entitled, “Getting Out of the Gospel’s Way.”  Pastor Schmidt tells a great story of an extended family that was reached through the contagious power of the Gospel and he shares 14 quick points about the Gospel.  Let me share my favorite 2:  He said in point 13 “Dead, issue-oriented, proud, competitive, contentious, or comparison-oriented churches and pastors have killed the gospel and the ministry of Jesus.”  And in point 8, he says, “If people don’t see, understand and experience Jesus when they come to church, then what are we doing?”

You can read the entire blog post yourself at caryschmidt.com.

 

  • The next resource I want to share with you is a very impressive, well-made film short called “The Lighthouse”.  It is produce by Second Mile Films, which is Andrew and Nathan Garcia.  I won’t spoil it for you, just go watch it for yourself.  It is free this week only and I’ll create a link to take you to watch it at MinistryConnectionPodcast.com/TheLighthouse.
  • The last resource that I’d like to share with you is an ebook that is free this week.  It is The Burden Bearer by Pastor Paul Chappell.  Amazon.com says, “The allegory in these pages will captivate your heart, delight your soul, and profoundly change your life. Follow the main character – Carrier – on his journey with the Burden Bearer, and discover the Christian Life and relationship with Jesus that you were meant to enjoy.”  The hardback version of the book is also available.  You can go and get the book in either form through this link: MinistryConnectionPodcast.com/BurdenBearer.

 

I look forward to being back with you next week.

Until then, keep serving Jesus.

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