Sunday School materials

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Amy.G, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Should the church (assuming SBC) require SS teachers to use the quaterly as their only teaching material or not be allowed to teach?
     
  2. RLBosley

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    I'm not sure I know what quarterly you are talking about. I've only been in an SBC church for a few months so maybe I'm just not familiar yet.

    Regardless, I think the pastor/elder should have the final say in what is used to teach. It should at the very minimum, not contradict what comes from the pulpit. To do otherwise would be purposely create disunity in the church.

    (Obviously this assumes the Pastor/elder is orthodox and isn't teaching something aberrant or heretical)
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

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    Each church is free to decide the policies concerning Sunday School material, however...

    ...in the case that a teacher wants to use material outside the scope of what the church normally orders/uses, that teacher should be up-front with leadership about the material, so that the church would have the opportunity to screen it prior to use. This isn't to hamper the teacher in question, but it's so the church can have confidence in the material that's being used.

    We do this (meaning Sunday school) together. No one should be "lone-wolfing" it. In other words, everything should be transparent. If someone desires to use other material, they should be up-front about it, and ready to make their case about it's use.

    And then, in the end, it is up to the church - not the denomination - on which material to use.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    Should the church make this decision? Yes.

    Should the pastor make this decision unilaterally? No. (of course certain cases may make this decision credible and wise) but ultimately I think the church should be able to make a decision on the material being taught with the over sight of the pastor as well.

    In a certain church I am aware of the pastor has gotten rid of anyone with talent. It wasn't and isn't based upon differing theologies either. SS teachers are removed from teaching due to their style (because people liked them and said so). Music leaders and musicians are chased out. Every decision is made by the pastor -- it is his way or the highway and he is in charge of everything. Appointing a SS superintendent is a fascade as they are not allowed to do asnything whatsoever accept what he tells them. These things are confirmed by testimony of deacons and individuals treated in this manner. Many leave the church after becoming aware of this. This is none but a 'Diotrephes' spirit and is sad.

    That said, I think the LIFEWAY quarterlies are horrible.

    By the way the teaching style of said pastor above is to read through the lesson word for word -- something he says he doesn't do -- yet does each time he teaches it. His protocol for other teachers is that they must get every single boring point of the lesson to the people or they're not a good teacher and are doing a poor job. What shallow thinking that is.

    - Blessings
     
  5. Amy.G

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    Ok, I need to be more clear. This is going on in my church. My SS teacher (also Sunday night Bible teacher) has always taught verse by verse using the Bible as the source material, no books, quarterlies or other materials.

    A new education minister (also a brand new member!) has been appointed recently who has decided that the quarterly MUST be used. To teach from the Bible is dangerous because anyone can just teach anything they want.
    That might be true if there were no oversight on the part of the pastor and elders, but that's their job.

    So there is a huge division now in the church over this and people are leaving.

    We have found out that this education minister has been booted out of several churches in the small town that I live in. The pastor had to be aware of this, but he is in total support of this guy.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    No.

    We allow our Bible study teachers to use whatever curriculum or topics they desire once they've approved it with the minister overseeing their area. Some, usually older, still use Lifeway. However, none of our younger groups use Lifeway as there are better materials out there.

    This has worked well for us.
     
  7. Salty

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    (note: I did delete SBC from your quote)
    this could apply to any group of Baptists

    Using the word "Should" is interesting.

    Could be that a church wants to be in unison with other SBC ( or fill in the blank) churches. I have visited other SBC churches and its interesting that that church is doing the exact same lesson.

    Personally I do like quarterly - as it gives students a study guide during the week.

    I found your statement about the director "To teach from the Bible is dangerous because anyone can just teach anything they want" troublesome.
    A teacher can be just as dangerous using SS literature.

    Bottom line - Should a church... Well, its what the needs of the church are.

    From what you have said it sounds like this minister should add one more church to his list of "booted churches"

    Have you sat down with the pastor and discuss this with him - including knowing about this ministers history?
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    Should there be a standard of what's taught, of course. Does it have to be the quarterly? Good gravy, no.

    My pastor teaches his SS class from the One Year Bible. They all read it during the week and he teaches and they discuss it on Sundays.

    I use the Explore the Bible quarterly, but don't always follow the teaching plan. For example, this past week we started Job and the quarterly didn't cover all of chapter 1 - I did. I taught from Bible alone last week.

    Last fall, when we did 1 and 2 Peter, I took the first two Sundays of that quarter and did an overview of Peter's life. I did that so that when we studied his letters that we would have a his personal background in mind. It added tremendously to the study.

    I find that people who don't trust their teachers ..... don't make for good educational leaders. Should teachers be held accountable by the educational leader - yes. And the ones found worthy should be trusted.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    Yes. He and the ed. minister held a meeting during our SS hour with just our class. They did this because our teacher does not want to use the quarterly and apparently was told that he can't teach anymore. He was not present. He has decided to leave the church. The new ed. min. has only been a member of the church for a couple of months and hardly anybody knows him. He accused our class (which is the biggest class, because of the good teaching we get) of being immature Christians because we didn't want to go to quarterlies. The pastor never said a word as this guy insulted us and said we didn't care about church growth or correct doctrine.
    All this has been done behind the backs of everyone in the church.
    We were having no problems until this guy was put in charge of education. He has been pushy ever since he came into the church. He doesn't even know 99% of the members yet. He is not friendly. He appears to be a control freak and that's why he has been kicked out of other churches. And yes, the pastor knows about it.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Scarlett, no one in the church is allowed to teach directly from the Bible anymore. If you won't use the quarterly, you're not allowed to teach.

    The reason? So we will all be on the same page. !!! What??
     
  11. Amy.G

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    This has all just exploded on the scene in two Sundays. We had no idea this was coming.

    I am so sick about it. I have never been through anything like this. :tear:
     
  12. saturneptune

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    Amy,
    I am the Sunday School director of our church, a very small, conservative, older church. My idea is to let each Sunday School teacher use either the quarterly, Bible, or whatever material they come up with as long as it is Biblical. It works fine. For my small class, I teach right out of the Bible.
     
  13. Amy.G

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    That's how it's been being done in my church as well, until this new director. Thanks SN. It helps to know that I'm not crazy for thinking this stinks.
     
  14. Salty

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    Amy,
    thank you for your reply. It is good to know you have spoken to the pastor.

    It is a shame that your SS teacher has felt it necessary to leave. But for someone to say "we didn't care about church growth or correct doctrine" is a bit extreme.

    I will say that many years ago, I was teaching SS in an Army Chapel. The liberal Chaplain wanted to know what I was teaching. I told him, I was teaching out of my Bible. He said I had to use SS literature. I used it for about a month - and it was no good. I ended up going to the Air Force Chapel - where we had a Bible believing Methodist!

    Seems many in the church are not happy with this decision. Are there any thoughts about going with this teacher - and have him being pastor of a new church?
     
    #14 Salty, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2013
  15. Amy.G

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    Not sure yet Salty. Everything is kind of up in the air right now. I spoke to teacher's wife yesterday and she said they are praying about what to do next.
    Personally, I can deal with one pushy person causing trouble but when the pastor is behind him and puts him in a position of authority, it seems hopeless to me that things will improve. I'm praying for guidance.
     
  16. Oldtimer

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    Amy, our church uses the Lifeway quarterlies, too. However, there is no rule that the quarterly, and that alone, is the only supplemental material used for SS Bible study. In fact, one of our younger adult SS classes doesn't use a quarterly at all. I sometimes sub for the regular teacher in another adult class. At no time have I been told what to teach. I use the quarterly for the scripture passages, but may or may not use the Instructor Guide, depending on the subject matter.

    As a side note: Lifeway authors - some are good and some not so good in conveying the messages from the scriptures. When I was in a class using Explore the Bible, often wrote a note in the margin that read: The Bible DOESN'T SAY THAT! Made for some interesting topics of conversation when the class was underway. Personally, I'd have a hard time in a class that took a quarterly, any quarterly, as taught an author's opinion as gospel, as Gospel.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    The thing about the quarterly to me is most of the material is based on opinion. What really gets me though, it the focal or emphasis section. Sometimes in the study of Old Testement books especially, entire chapters are given no attention with excellent spiritual lessons. The focal sometimes seems to be something I would have skipped, and put a focal on another set of verses. The main thing I do not like about the quarterly is another man made limiting factor. Someone up above, (not God) decides what books to study and how to cram them into a man made time division, ie, three months. So, many areas of the Bible get neglected, IMO.

    We have one excellent SS teacher that uses the quarterly that figures out his own focal areas from the chapters given for the week, which to me is great. He is thinking for himself, with the guidence of the Holy Spirit of course.
     
    #17 saturneptune, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2013
  18. Ed B

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    Amy, sorry to hear about the situation at your Church. It shounds terrible.

    A few years ago our Pasture asked most classes to use the Lifeway material with the intent that everyone in a family will be studying the same scripture and topic each week. My class averages about 30 attendees and we rotate teachers and there are varying levels of compliance among our teachers with the Lifeway quarterly.


    Personally, I will read over the quarterly for the week I teach and use that as a starting point for the lesson. For example we went through a series on Leviticus and God's holiness a short while ago. I was the last of about five to teach on the subject so I ditched the quarterly and used the Bible to answer the question we began each previous lesson with: "Does the Levitical Law apply to Christians?" We bounced back and forth between Leviticus, 2nd Timothy, Acts, and Hebrews and I came away with a new appreciation and a better understanding for the Book of Hebrews after going through Leviticus. The Lifeway guide was weak to be honest but it can provide scripture and topics to focus a lesson on.


    If we were told that we could not go off script and had to regurgitate the lesson from the Lifeway quarterly, I couldn’t teach. At times it is juvenile to the point of being insulting even in the Baby-Boomer/Empty Nester edition. Thankfully that hasn’t happened here.
     
  19. Ed B

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    I completely agree!
     
  20. Amy.G

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    Funny you should mention subbing for a class. I also sub for the women's class which is taught by the pastor's wife.
    Immediately after this horrible meeting last Sunday she approached me and asked if I would sub for her next week. I declined and told her that I wasn't sure if I would be there next week or not, besides I don't ever teach from the quarterly (which she does) and that my teaching wouldn't be approved (since I teach from scripture alone). :eek:
    I apologized and told her that I was just terribly upset by what had just happened. But I still would not teach.
     

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