In the past, I have not had a high opinion of Sunday school curriculum; at least, not the ones that I have been exposed to. But I am very pleased with the material our church is using for the youth class.
John Piper’s ministry, Desiring God, is well known. But have you heard of Children Desiring God? Take a look at their resources.
The curriculum being used by our church is titled Teach Me Your Way, by Sally Michael. It is, by the way, published by Children Desiring God.
In reading through the introduction, which is written for teachers, I found several quotes that demonstrate how this material is different from other popular Sunday school material.
As I was highlighting and taking notes, it occurred to me that these bits of advice, if followed, would improve church services as a whole. Many pastors and church leaders would do well to take heed.
Here are some quotes. I have added any italics.
“While it is certainly possible to learn while being entertained, entertainment is not the goal of this study. Activities that have fun as their primary goal have been omitted.”
During worship time, “Songs should be chosen that focus on the majesty and character of God and should not encourage irreverence or silliness.”
“Always use your Bible to look up the passages…teach with an open Bible before you.”
“The key verses (of each lesson) have been carefully chosen to give students a strong, Bible-based, theological foundation.”
“Instead of using confusing terminology like ‘ask Jesus into your heart,’ we suggest using the phrase, ‘trust in Jesus.’”
“The majority of the lesson time should be spent presenting and explaining the biblical text, not in making the illustrations.”
“Keep in mind that your class most likely includes unbelievers as well as believers. Be careful not to use ‘inclusive’ language that communicates to unbelievers that they are Christians….For example, instead of stating, ‘After we die, we will go to heaven to be with Jesus,’ qualify your statement with, ‘Those of us who are trusting in Jesus as our Savior will go to heaven to be with Him when we die.’ Although we do not want to deny true saving faith, we also do not want to provide false assurance.”
“In order to have a fruitful time of heart application, both mentors and students need to train their minds to think God’s thoughts after Him by studying His word; only after transformation of the mind can renewal of the heart take place.”
“Surrendering to Christ in salvation involves the mind, heart, and will of the person and true saving faith results in submission to the will and ways of Jesus.”
Note: Teach Me Your Way uses the English Standard Version text.