Sunday Morning Bible Study Expert Advice Needed

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by chargrove, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. chargrove

    chargrove
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    Without the obvious answer of "Find another class/church/etc.", does anyone have any advice for someone who wishes his Sunday School class could be better? Okay, what do I mean "better." Well, for starters, I don't think I'm really asking too much to have the specific verses for the next week's class given out at the end of class. Second, I want some doctrine taught and taught clearly. I realize every instructor has differing approaches, but there has to be definitive instruction on core concepts given regularly. I'm not saying spend ten hours per verse; this is not usually necessary and is often counterproductive as it bogs the lesson down. I see a way to teach the doctrine of the Bible in a Sunday morning class each week and keep people coming back and integrate activities to not let the class dwindle and at most remain the same size, yet my teacher (AND HIS WIFE) seem set on either retaining control of the class or letting the church handle the outreach. This saddens me as I see visitors coming, but not returning after a couple of visits or even just one because the instructors are simply ill-prepared 75% of the time and consistently use their kids or their dogs or this or that as whimsical excuses for why they are late or have a ten-minute lesson. Yet they still try to retain control over the class and refuse to delegate any functional positions or responsibilities. Any realistic suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Option #1 - Who selects the curriculum and schedule of teaching for the Sunday School? That would be the first thing - find the "authority" and change things.

    Option #2 - What is stopping YOU from "hijacking" the class with legitimate (in-depth, doctrinal) questions that would relate to the subject the teacher is giving?

    Option #3 - What are the possibilities of starting another SS class as "elective", allowing folks a choice? I know that space is always at a premium.

    Hope these help. [​IMG]
     
  3. RTB

    RTB
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    Sounds like the teachers need challenging. In my classses, it helps when the students raise questions and challenge me. I have to prepare harder and spend more time in study, and I enjoy that opportunity.

    In christ

    Ronnie
     
  4. chargrove

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    Dr. Bob and Ronnie,

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. Let me reiterate that first point I made: I don't usually know what the lesson will be so that makes it hard to read ahead and prepare. See what I mean? I could have lots of stuff but if I am not certain of the material or even have no idea where we will be at, how can I prepare? There is an optional class we could attend that follows the Lifeway curriculum, but the age range of the class extends into an older range than my wife feels comfortable with. I mean, one of the reasons we attend Sunday School, while not the biggest one, is to meet peers our own age.

    Bless everybody.

    Chris H.
     
  5. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    I wouldn't "hi-jack" the class by asking questions that would disrupt the class, that would be usurping authority and a form of rebellion. I say this because isn't it the pastor that appoints the SS teachers and their classes?

    Also, I wouldn't want to be the one to discourage another from studying and preparing what the Lord has laid upon their heart for that class.

    If you really feel stagnant, go to your pastor and ask him if you could start a class, and if he says no, then keep yourself in humility and don't buck authority, because then you would be going agaisnt the man of God. I believe the reason for the she-bear rending the children who mocked Elisha, is because they had knocked off his covering to call him "bald head".

    I've experienced this type of thing 1st hand, and more than once as a bystander. The result has been anymosity towards the brethren, debate and disunity, and oughts that need to be dealt with still.

    Most of all, if you know the Lord hears your prayers, then pray, brother, pray! But hear what is being taught, encourage the one doing the teaching, hold up the teacher's hands and don't pull them down.

    I mean, is he teaching something false? If yes, then you should have already been to the pastor.


    In Christ,

    Brother Ricky
     
  6. Wygal

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    Dr. Bob: "Option #2 - What is stopping YOU from "hijacking" the class with legitimate (in-depth, doctrinal) questions that would relate to the subject the teacher is giving?"
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    Istherenotacause: "I wouldn't "hi-jack" the class by asking questions that would disrupt the class, that would be usurping authority and a form of rebellion. I say this because isn't it the pastor that appoints the SS teachers and their classes?"
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    Asking legitimate, in-depth, doctrinal questions relating to the lesson subject is ursurping authority, and rebellion???
     
  7. Istherenotacause

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    That would depend on the motive. Would it be to get answers? or just a chance to tell everyone what you think?


    Ally, "hi-jacking" anything is usruping authority and in rebellion as well. I have read your posts, not all of them mind you, but the ones I've read display a certain disrespect for the authority of the man of God/pastoral authority.

    Have you been to that pastor of the church you left and talked with him about the "problems" you're having? Are you in a way "hi-jacking" authority over the pastor by declaring your interpetation over the man of God's? I'm not taking sides here, since I can't anyway, I don't have all the facts, only what you are saying.

    What does your pastor say, the one you have now, about those things you left the other church for? Have you even told him? Does he have enough backbone not to sympathize with you just so he can get more members in the process?


    If you think you've got it all down doctrinally, and are so displeased with preachers, SS teachers, and others as well, then start your own church, find out what it's like having to deal with people. Find out what it's like to have some one attack your stand, get mad at you and leave the church with the hope others will see the same "light" as you and leave too!

    Then maybe you need a little more light yourself, we all need more light to walk in, wouldn't you agree? But to "hi-jack a class? With no authority given to do so? Now that's rebellion! If you've got questions concerning the lesson taught, then ask after the class is over. If it is that important a matter, go ask the pastor and the SS teacher for a meeting to discuss the "problem".

    I have been known to ask some one to leave my class I was teaching for the simple fact of their being a disruption, that's my duty as the authority over the class.

    I had the pastor's son telling the class behind my back before I got into the room one morning what he would be teaching if it was his class. I simply sat down and told him to proceed. He tried teaching a lesson directly from Bill Gothard's "Basic Life's Principles". One of his previous attempts to "hi-jack" the class was to interject his opinion of "Brother Gothard's" defintion of grace. You know, he was trying to teach the same thing I was leading the class up to, how to witness and lead others to the Lord. He wanted to avoid the fact of a vessel being meet and fit for the Master's use though, oh well!

    The class went on the next three weeks with him teaching this "prepared" lesson, then because no one came to his Saturday extension of the class, he got real critical and caused alot of disunity in the process. His intention was definitely good, but out of order. So that did cause me to question his motive.

    I took the class back over after the three weeks, it took much patience to handle the disunity due to his disruption of the class. I taught over the next couple of weeks on whether or not you were "clean" enough to go out on visitation. (I already know what many are thinking.) You know, that next Tuesday night we had 14 vs. the 2 for visitation!

    The point the pastor's son was trying to make was that you had to have the formula down to witness, I refuted that notion and taught out of Revelation that the witness only needed the word of their testimony and the Blood of the Lamb of God to be a witness. Hmmmm? I often wonder why so many are going on visitation now? That was two years ago. Out of a church of 250, about 25 go most Tuesday nights now, about 6 go on Saturday morning because they can't make it Tuesday, when before there might not even be anyone at all. Out of all those who go, 18 of them were in my class.

    Maybe you should just go and start your own church, you've definitely convinced yourself that you've got it all down. Oh, and don't be so critical of those you've come out from, God isn't in it! Next time you observe the Lord's Supper, and I suppose you do, look way down inside to see yourself, and if you find yourself wrestling with an angel like Jacob did, answer the Lord when He asks who you are, it'll change your walk, too! Ask questions, you'll get answers, but don't be a disruption.


    In Christ,

    Brother Ricky
     
  8. Wygal

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    God bless you, Bro. Ricky, in your walk with our Lord.
     
  9. chargrove

    chargrove
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    ***** UPDATE *****

    Well I succeeded in getting the information on next week's discussion/lesson. We are in 1 Corinthians chapter 4. Passed the first dozen or so verses (which we went thru today) any suggestions on where to go with some type of study regimen for the coming week? I would REALLY like to be fluent with the rest of the chapter. I will pray to the Holy Spirit for Godly instruction on these passages. Also, the instructor's wife was not in class today, so I didn't have to sit thru how these chapters relate to Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God" study series. That's a big praise in itself. Amen!
     
  10. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    chargrove,

    I would suggest Gordon Fee's commentary on I Corinthians in the New International Commentary on the New Testament. It is a balanced and very indepth treatment of the book, yet he asks good theological questions at the end of each section and the language is within reach for most bible students. For a more liberal approach that also asks difficult questions (even if it fails in the answers at many points) is John Hayes' commentary from the Interpreter's series.

    If we lived close enough I would loan you my copies, but 8 hours is a long way to drive. If you are like me you may not have $50 to drop on a new commentary; however, you live in a town with several good theological libraries. I would call some of the schools' libraries and see if you can check out books or you might be able to get that information from their websites and even search their catalog.

    Good luck! I feel your pain! I think that the cardinal sin of bible study is to be dull!

    If you have any questions about the text when you get into it, you might consider starting a thread on the topic.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  11. Istherenotacause

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    There are several "Online BIble" programs on cd, along with a website that upgrades and adds data.

    John Gill Expositor is the one I consult most, he holds to the fundamentals. I ignore most all the other sections, they came with the cd program.

    This one is what I have installed on my hard drive

    http://www.onlinebible.net/index.html

    It only cost me $39 for the "Millineum" edition

    Also 2 good study programs are "The Pulpit Commentary" and "The Spurgeon Collection", both , and the "Online"are quite comprehensive in detail. The last two are Adobe Acrobat programs, but don't take up much space.

    http://www.ageslibrary.com

    is where you can find these. I'm not sure about the pricing, it's been a while.

    Note: I tend to avoid the more liberal portions altogether, not just a preference, but it's where I stand!

    In Christ,

    Brother Ricky
     
  12. dianetavegia

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  13. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    Whose SS class? Mine? or his? :confused:

    I would guess his, because you've never been to mine and don't know anything about it. We shout sometimes, cry some others, have testimonies every once and awhile, but mostly just plain old fundamental teaching and preaching! [​IMG]

    BTW is "Ug" blonde babel, [​IMG] or are you speaking in tongues? :eek:

    Maybe you're a Ga. Bulldogs fan and are trying to speak to "Ugga" the team mascot! :D


    In Christ! [​IMG]

    Brother Ricky
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Ricky - Just noticed you "jumped all over" Ally and made some accusations without all the facts. I do that all the time and put my foot in my mouth . . so see it in others easily! :rolleyes:

    She just asked a simple question about asking "directly-related-to-the-topic" question and you kinda clouded up all over. :eek:

    I think the answer would be, "it depends on your attitude". If you are usurping authority, that is wrong. If you are trying to steer study more deeply into the Word, you are a good steward.

    Is that where you were headed with your response? Appreciate your enthusiasm!! [​IMG]
     
  15. PJ

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    Chargrove, we go with Lifeway's dated Sunday School material. It's doctrinally sound and the resource kit includes brain teasers for discussion (as well as maps & posters). You'll always know next Sunday's lesson well in advance.

    Your Sunday School director is an important puzzle piece to a solution. Have you discussed this problem with him/her?
    PJ
     
  16. martyr

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    Chargrove, you should check out JohnMacArthur Jr's. commentaries. He seems to be truly gifted at exegesis of Scripture.
     
  17. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    Yes. [​IMG]

    In Christ,

    Brother Ricky
     
  18. chargrove

    chargrove
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    ***Somewhat Troubling Update***

    I was unable to attend Sunday School this last week but my wife did and told me that the wife of our teacher announced in class that they were thinking about using the CLASS to do a study of H. Blackaby's "Experiencing God." If ever there was an opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of my hopes for this class, this might be it. Sigh. (For those of you unfamiliar with "Experiencing God," it is rife with theological nonsense. Yes, it does make a few good points, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Overall, it's something that is not sound in terms of what it has to say about the authority of the Bible and the work of Christ.)
    My wife also said that the instructor remained silent while his wife asked if the class would be interested in studying it. Oh, and did I mention that our church put a woman in charge of the pastor search committee? You see, our church has had an interim pastor for over two years....
    Hate to say it, but maybe it's time to find another church. Disappointing.
     
  19. USN2Pulpit

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    May I reiterate what others have said?

    Have you taken your concerns to the teacher in question (about the "Experiencing God" study)? And if you believe this study to be doctrinally incorrect, regardless of your intention to seek another fellowship or stay, you have a duty to communicate this concern to your pastor. In other words, does your pastor approve?

    Also, it appears as though your teacher might be taking the "easy out" in terms of his own lesson preparation by using "ready-to-teach" material all the time.

    I teach Sunday school, too, and even though I use LifeWay dated material, I spend all week preparing my lesson. There is simply no good excuse for a teacher not being prepared. Things happen from time to time, I know. But if a teacher is consistently unprepared, it shows a kind of "laziness" that is unsuitable for a person calling themselves a teacher.
     
  20. Istherenotacause

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    Hate to say it, but maybe it's time to find another church. Disappointing


    Who put the woman in charge? Speak out Chargrove, maintain your character. You seem to be one that doesn't mind taking a stand on right things, and a woman in charge of church affairs NEVER is right. Remember what happened in the Garden?

    I don't advise you to "take over" but be a leader.If you feel the congregation will not follow sound leadership then I would start looking for a doctrinally sound church. Doesn't sound like the church is doctrinally sound you're in now and that is sad for any church.
     

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