Question from the Sunday School Teacher

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by Bro. Mike Floyd, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Bro. Mike Floyd

    Bro. Mike Floyd
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    Hi. I have a question for you guys about what you get in Sunday School. My church hands us out literature/booklets like from Baptist Press or sombody. The books are OK but kinda boaring. I guess they just don't meet the needs or that is what my class tells me. So I pray and ask for direction and compile lessons as God shows them to me in the Bible. This keeps the Sunday School director mad at me. I don't like being on bad terms with anyone but he cannot argue with the results - 6 youth saved this month alone. What do you guys think? Books or Pray for direction. If you want to read one of my lessons I'll be glad to send you one.
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

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    Hello Mr. Floyd!

    I'm Southern Baptist and my church generally disributes the quarterly that is published by Lifeway, the SBC publishing company. Some of the classes in my church use Smyth & Helwys literature although the company is frowned upon by some folks in the church. My Sunday school teacher uses the scripture that the Lifeway quarterly sets forth but does not use their lesson plan. Lifeway is set up in such a way that the whole family is studying the same scriptures or topics even though they are in different classes. Your director MAY be miffed because the literature he is distributing cost money and he may feel it is just being wasted. Sticking to the premise of the presented lesson also gives the class an opportunity to "study up" on their lesson and have more involvement in the class discussion.

    By the way, welcome to the Baptist Board! Why don't you drop into the "welcome" forum and let the rest of the community know that you are here?

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Megs84

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    Same here Clint. My sunday school teacher uses the booklets as a reference but basically builds his own lesson out of it. That way it is following the context of the rest of the church, but it is more suited for YOUR group. Glad to hear of the 6 youth saved. That is always exciting. Keep up the great work and Welcome to the board.

    ~Megan
     
  4. Jonathan

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bro. Mike Floyd:
    Hi. I have a question for you guys about what you get in Sunday School. My church hands us out literature/booklets like from Baptist Press or sombody. The books are OK but kinda boaring. I guess they just don't meet the needs or that is what my class tells me. So I pray and ask for direction and compile lessons as God shows them to me in the Bible. This keeps the Sunday School director mad at me. I don't like being on bad terms with anyone but he cannot argue with the results - 6 youth saved this month alone. What do you guys think? Books or Pray for direction. If you want to read one of my lessons I'll be glad to send you one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I would ask, why is the choice either "Books" or "Pray for direction"? It occurs to me that you can keep your leadership happy by utilizing the lesson passage listed in the literature BY spending you own time and expertise and leading by the Holy Spirit to construct lessons that speak to your students.
     
  5. TomVols

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    Good point Jonathan. Some make the mistake that if they have a literature book in front of them, they have to teach it line for line, word for word. The literature is just a study aid. Go off your own detailed interpretation and application of the Biblical text. Or find a good alternative. But the hit and miss approach usually misses more than it hits. SS should be about systematic or thematic Bible study and small group time.
     
  6. Bro. Mike Floyd

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    Thank you guys for the great feedback. I would like to clarify a few things about building lessons from scratch rather than using the outline from the literature. In my church, the lower departments are not doing so well in educating the little guys and gals about things like doctrine and how to witness to someone. This is where I am picking these teens up. Many of them do not have a clear understanding of Baptist doctrine and Biblical truths (one in the same might I add). I show them through scripture how to be saved, how to witness,and what we believe and why. Our literature doesn't get into subjects like, oh let's say - why we don't speak in "tongues" like some groups do. The books we have deal with subjects that are important but not as revelant to these teens as "Why should I wait to have sex until I am married?" Something else that you guys might give me some feed back on is that out of the 80 youth that we have, only about 7 have parents that go to church here or anywhere else. Is this what you guys are seeing in your groups?
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bro. Mike Floyd:
    In my church, the lower departments are not doing so well in educating the little guys and gals about things like doctrine and how to witness to someone. This is where I am picking these teens up. Many of them do not have a clear understanding of Baptist doctrine and Biblical truths (one in the same might I add).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    This is a problem in my church as well. In my parent's and grandparent's day, Baptist doctrine was taught in evening classes through an organization known as the BYPU (Baptist Young People's Union) and later the BTU (Baptist Training Union). Again, I am SBC.
    We are now in our second generation of untrained Baptist and with the influx of "new" Baptist,it remains a mystery to many exactly what we are about. It is to the point at my church that thanked the Lord that He saw fit to put my wife and me in charge of VBS this year and we have chosen a course that teaches Baptist distinctives to all age groups.
    I think a compromise could be reached in your Sunday school curriculum where you teach the scripture cited in the lesson and then set aside ten to fifteen minutes for Baptist history/doctrine/distinctives. This is done informally in my own class.
    Also, I noticed in your intro that you have a desire, or a calling if you prefer, to teach youth. With 80 teens around I would think that you would have a youth group of some sort that you could be involved in. Really, Mike, if your Sunday school administrator is not happy, there may be others that are not as well. Have you tried bringing these matters before the church at a business meeting? If the church votes "aye" on a proposal, then no one can really be against your preferred approach. If it is NOT brought before the congregation, you may be viewed as a maverick and no matter HOW good your lessons are, you are acting in dischord with the will of the congregation.
    Just my thoughts.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  8. Megs84

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    To address your point about youth who's parents do not attend church. In my youth group (only 25 members as of now) it is the opposite actually. There are only about 5 of us (me included) who's parents don't attend my or another church. And i would like to commend you, if you have 70 youth that come on some kind of regular basis and there parents are not attending the church you must be doing something very right. Keep up the great work!!!!
    megan :D
     
  9. Waldt

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    I suggest pray for direction. If you can't please the SS director, talk to him. If that doesn't work pray with him. Do whatever you can to solve the problem. Because if its let unchecked Satan will use it to destroy something and cause difficulty. Remember whatever Gods will is will not be meet without a fuss from Satan.

    I hope and pray everything works out.
     
  10. Daniel

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    I can certainly understand your dilemma. On one hand you want to model submission to the authorities over you. Your teens see more of what you DO than what they hear you SAY. You know, the "more-is-caught-than-taught" thing. On the other hand you want to be relevant to the teens needs, etc. I understand.

    I faced the same thing with a curriculum (which I wil leave unnamed in this post). I knew I could NOT teach that material. So, I did what I believed to be the wise thing. I went to the Pastor and asked if I could teach alternate material. I showed him what I had in mind. He approved it. I've done the lessons (THE SEVEN CHECKPOINTS, by Andy Stanley...Howard Publishing...no, I'm not Southern Baptist...) This has gone real well.

    I can only encourage you to appeal to your authorities as Daniel of the Old Testament did. (Please read Daniel 1)

    Let me know how it goes, brother.... ;)

    [ February 14, 2002: Message edited by: Daniel ]

    [ February 17, 2002: Message edited by: Daniel ]
     
  11. Houstonian

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    Some make the mistake that if they have a literature book in front of them, they have to teach it line for line, word for word. The literature is just a study aid. Go off your own detailed interpretation and application of the Biblical text. Or find a good alternative. But the hit and miss approach usually misses more than it hits. SS should be about systematic or thematic Bible study and small group time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree. You don't have to slavishly follow the literature, the writers don't even intend it to be used that way. They expect you to use your experience and outside resources to enrich the lesson and personalize it to you and your audience.

    On hitting and missing...I think it is verrrry difficult to hit on a weekly basis without relying on well-designed literature (not that all literature is well-designed). What I mean is that it is hard to prepare lessons that are important enough to be taught, relevant/interesting to the audience, and, when taken as a whole over an extended period of time, provide a comprehensive program of study.

    Literature editors spend a great deal of time figuring out which topics should be included in the system. Then they work out a schedule so that over a specified period of time, a person using that system will cover all those areas. You can likely get information on the master plan for your church's curriculum if you ask the publisher. I say this only because I have found that, once I understand the plan, it is easier to see the point of each lesson. Plus it is easier to swallow the fact that I cannot (and should not) teach everything that is important every single week. In fact, in teaching youth, I am always happy if I can get one point across each week. Remember, in a youth's four years in high school alone, you have 208 opportunities to do this.

    You obviously care a lot about providing quality religious education for those in the class you teach, keep up the good work.

    Sorry, this post is longer than I intended, but it's too late to write succinctly (but not too late to edit).

    [ February 17, 2002: Message edited by: Houstonian ]
     
  12. just-want-peace

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    I have been teaching for some 20 years or so. I use the Baptist literature as printed. However, as noted earlier in other posts, it is only a basic guide. I strive very strongly to add anecdotes, experience, and humor so as to give a lesson that can be applied to everyday life. Some of the lessons really make me stretch to accomplish this, but to me I'm wasting my (and God's) time if there is nothing to sink your teeth into.

    I know tht others feel led to concentrate on doctrine, & that's certainly necessary; in fact we need more along those lines. But my "specialty" is giving a "rubber meets the road" type of lesson, so there's my path.

    Anyway, as to your problem, I suggest, as others have mentioned, you talk to your SS dir. AND pastor and show your objections and suggestions. If what you are doing is showing positive results, & they don't agree, I would consider moving my membership! :D ;)
     
  13. Bro. Mike Floyd

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    Great news guys. God is still working! The Sunday School director left to go to another church in another state. The pastor read a few of my lessons and said they were better than some of his sermons. He is moving me to be the Sunday School Superintendant for the whole church! God is so good! Thank you for all your prayers and help. Keep praying. I need it now more than ever. Thank You Guys.
     
  14. Clint Kritzer

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    Hi Mike!

    I'd given up on ya coming back around! Keep us informed as to how it goes for you and I wish you all the luck in the world.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  15. Daniel

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    Praise God, Floyd! He does work in mysterious ways His works to perform! Had you have been rebellious as I mentioned in my other posts, God may not have worked in this manner for you (eg. someone else could have received the SS SUP position, not you.) You kept a sweet, teachable spirit. Now God has blessed. Keep close to Him, Floyd. DO NOT GLORY in your outlines, lessons, etc. Make sure HE is your strength, wisdom, infilling and glory! God's best to you....
     
  16. Megs84

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    That is awesome.. Isn't God just amazing!!!!! Well good luck in your new position. And have fun, that is very important, it helps those who work with you to enjoy thier job as well [​IMG]

    Always Remember Jesus Loves YOU!!

    megan
     

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