Sunday School

In Defense of the Adult Sunday School

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2015. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

The venerable adult Sunday School class has not been doing well recently. Most churches still have one or more adult Sunday School classes (though some churches have already abandoned them), but a new adult ministry seems to be getting the priority these days—small groups.

I believe that one reason for the popularity of small groups is that in many cases we have not done adult Sunday School well. Adult Sunday Schools in many churches have become stale and lifeless, so we have looked for a new ministry. Small groups seem like the answer to the problems of adult Sunday School classes.

How Do They Differ?

Most of us are familiar with adult Sunday School classes. Churches have had them for decades. Smaller churches may have only one class while larger churches have multiple classes. Churches that have more than one adult class may group the adults by ages (my preference) or allow adults to attend any class they want. Many churches today call the adult classes Adult Bible Fellowships (ABFs).

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An Overview of Sunday School Publishers

From Faith Pulpit, Fall 2013. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article I overview twelve of the major curriculum publishers, especially Baptist publishers, that Faith Pulpit readers might be aware of, have questions about, or consider choosing for their church ministries. The websites linked to each publishing house are the basis for this overview. Visit these websites to find the scope and sequence of each curriculum.

Answers Bible Curriculum

Answers Bible Curriculum (ABC) is produced by Answers in Genesis (AiG) of Petersburg, Kentucky. AiG introduced this curriculum to churches in the summer of 2012. It is an interdenominational, uniform curriculum on a three-year cycle of lessons. ABC has a special apologetic focus on equipping students to defend the truth of Scripture, especially the book of Genesis. The AiG doctrinal statement is strong on creation issues (including marriage) and holds to a Biblical position on God, the Scripture, Jesus Christ, and salvation. It does not deal with such matters as church polity or eschatology. The publisher leaves those areas up to the church using the materials. AiG also produces VBS materials and other creation-related resources for use in churches, schools, and homes.

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Choosing Sunday School Curriculum

From Faith Pulpit, Fall 2013. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Sunday School curriculum market is changing. In the past two years one publisher has left the field and another has entered it. Some of the established publishers are making changes. Such changes make it important to step back and examine the whole field of Sunday School curriculum.

Why Is Curriculum So Important?

Before we examine the question of choosing curriculum, let’s consider why a church’s Sunday School curriculum is such an important matter in the first place. Does it really make a difference? I believe it does because the curriculum resources a church chooses for its Sunday School greatly influence the direction of the church. Why is that so? Because a church’s Sunday School curriculum reaches almost every person in the church on a weekly basis.1 No other curriculum used in church reaches as many people. If a church chooses a strong, Biblically-based Sunday School curriculum, that’s the way the church will go. If the church chooses a broader curriculum, the church will go in a different direction. Sunday School curriculum, therefore, is a major factor in the direction of a church.

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