I’ve been doing some research into curriculum recently. While well seasoned church members are well adept at generating their own Sunday school materials, there is an inconsistency in the quality and scope and sequence. The problem is that we tend to teach what we know and like. And while that is “okay” for the teacher, the student might not get as comprehensive a perspective of the Scriptures for a well grounded faith.
For example, one Sunday years ago, I asked my son what he learned in Bible class. He sighed and mumbled, “Noah. Again.”
We are doing a serious disservice to the body of Christ when we allow our Sunday school teachers to “have at it.” I know that there are sensitive areas because “brother-so-and-so has been teaching this the same way for 20 years . . .” Well, my questions to this kind of response are: Has this been effective? Have our children and adults grown spiritually? Do they have a well-working knowledge of the Scriptures? Are those who have gone through “whatever Sunday school curriculum” remained faithful to the Lord’s church? These are some serious questions we need to ask when we try to evaluate any curriculum.
So, with that in mind, I would like to offer some links for reference. Please note that while there are many non-church of Christ resources, I’ve only looked at those connected to the churches of Christ.
The first is Lambert Book House. I remember teaching from this very Biblically conservative curriculum when I taught 5th & 6th grades. It is very textual. Any “excitement” about the Scriptures or “fun” needs to come from the teacher. Any practical application needs to come from the teacher. The curriculum offers little in these areas, although the teacher’s guide does present some ideas for the classroom and activities. But teachers should “teach” and that in itself is a challenge for churches today. Perhaps more training for teachers is needed, but I digress from our current topic.
Another is 21st Century Christian. I will say that I am impressed with the presentation of their materials, especially the new upper elementary F.B.I. materials. 21CC has pdf samples online for both LifeLinks and NewLife curriculum. You can also easily examine their scope and sequence. Clearly 21CC has invested a great deal of effort in presenting the Scriptures in a fun, yet Biblically conservative way for young people. Plus, it’s easy for teachers to use.
The Gospel Advocate’s Heritage of Faith for Kids is another curriculum similar to 21CC LifeLinks. Unfortunately, without requesting a sample, there is no way to get an idea of what the material looks like. I have examined the material and it is good material with a sound scope and sequence.