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Sunday School Books

Discussion in 'Books & Publications Forum' started by saturneptune, May 27, 2012.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    We are currently, and have for some time in our church, using the Explore the Bible series. This quarter is Luke. I would appreciate other opinions on the following points. First of all, let me say, I think the study guides bring out some very good points. However, the following two points sometimes make me wonder.

    1. It seems that the basis of how material is divided week to week is not the amount that has to be absorbed, but getting through a book or section in a given amount of time. To get through the book of Luke in one quarter for example, one Sunday chapters 19-23 were covered. There are many parables, lessons to be learned in life, and what the Lord did that are vital to study. It is impossible to go over that much material in one Sunday School hour unless it is raced through, which is a waste of the teacher's and student's time. These things are too important to be skimmed over. The basis of dividing material should be in the amount of time it takes to learn, not getting through a book in a given span of time.

    2. As a result of the first paragraph, there is always a focal passage. In other words, the author knows it is too much material, so they focus the learning on one parable that, in their opinion, is the most important of the collection. The problem I have with this is that every word in the Bible is important, and next, who is deciding what is the most important? What are they basing that decision on? If I have a Sunday with two parables, or more, and say one is the rich man and Lazarus, and the other is the talents, how does one decide which is going to be taught?

    The point is all should be taught. Why is it we create an entire series of Sunday School books based on rushing through the material in a given amount of time? Are we in some type of reading contest? What is so important about a deadline when many lessons in life are skipped, especially in a book like Luke?

    I would appreciate any comments. To me, every bit of the Bible needs to be taught with time to do it. There is no purpose in artifical deadlines and skipping Scripture.
  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club

    Apr 8, 2003
    I never let the dates in the books speed me up. It was not unusual for our Sunday School class to take 4 or 5 months to complete a "quarterly".
    If we needed 3 weeks to complete a lesson - so be it.
  3. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady New Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    These are the very reason I do not use a quarterly, period. I study my Bible and ask God what He would have us learn. That way we can spend as long as necessary...it took us nine months to do a unit on prayer, 6 to study the end times and right now we're studying spiritual gifts...we're on week 3 right now.

    Our church believes in and practices indepth Bible Study. Our pastor took three months for us to study the 23rd Psalm...it's rich in content! I don't know how you teach, but I like to have an open class where everyone can contribute as the Holy Spirit leads. If you limit yourself to someone else's idea of what a lesson is then you're cheating yourselves out a lot of rich content in God's Word.
  4. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2002
    I like Explore the Bible. I enjoy the fact that we, as a Sunday School class, get to study the Bible in it's entirety every 8 years. This next year, 2012-2013, will be my 16th year to teach the same group of women. We will have covered the Bible twice together. It's been a blessing.

    Now, I have noticed the same thing. I have also noticed over the past 15 years that sometimes the writing/authors are brilliant and sometimes they are weak - IMHO.

    I - as a teacher - use the material that I am given as a guide only. Not a concrete path to follow.

    In these lessons this quarter, I have added more to the lessons that I ever have.

    Here's what I do:
    • I tell my class that we will be discussing the entirety of the background passage as can be allowed for in one hour.
    • My class comes prepared to discuss the whole background passage.
    • I lead in a teaching of the points that I feel is relevant to my class and I don't allow the quarterly to dictate to me what the relevant passages are. I know that the authors have done a lot of hard work and I appreciate that. I also know that I am the one who knows the needs, burdens, spiritual maturity, and more of my class and I focus the background passage in that direction.
  5. exscentric

    exscentric Active Member

    May 24, 2004
    SS materials as a CURRICULUM is great to get the overviews but many follow no curriculum thus there is no continuity.

    I gave our children a test of my own making one time and found clearly that they knew the accounts of the Bible but knew absolutely nothing of chronology. Curriculum builds both if written properly.

    I would call SS material what Paul mentioned as milk and the verse by verse Bible study as the meat - not that Paul had that in mind. The SS material is for new believers to give them a good founding in the Word while the good Bible study is to ground them and fill in all the gaps.

    I always try to use a quarterly within the commentaries etc of preparation because they often have application to current life that I might not know about or think of. I do not try to follow their schedule. I am working on I Corinthians and the first chapter worked out to over 130 pages :) Brevity was not one of my college courses!