7 Steps to Writing Your
Bible School's Plan & Program
by Anne-Geri' Fann
ideas created by Anne Gray
Have you found yourself in need of some Sunday school material, but you want it to be GOOD. SOLID. Truly FOLLOWS the Word of God? Are you part of a missionary family who doesn't consistently have the same resources you did in your home country?
You want your kids to know Jesus, but you don't want a glorified babysitter to throw a chincy lesson at them that may or may not teach them about Him but gives them treats. YOU want to teach them, but you need help from a solid foundation.
Preparing your curriculum for Sunday School-like Bible study with kids is EASY, I promise. And your possible substitute Sunday school teachers (well, even the regular ones sometimes), will not be snagging something off the internet the morning before they come to church. Hey, you know it happens! ;-) There are indeed necessary times for quick-snap-internet-lessons (and hopefully when it happens a real treasure is found!). However, I think you'll agree that it is much more useful to be presented with something that is originally from YOU.
There are also many missionary and military families who could genuinely benefit from having this kind of reliable resource for Bible school, one that genuinely feeds their kids when they don't feel there is a more significant resource available.
Also, through using this system, built-in Sunday school subs or visiting Christians will feel empowered, and there will be a general feeling of, "OH YAY! I get to do the crafts today!" or, "Cool, no problem, I can go over the ten minute lesson," or, "Sure, I'll just go by an office and print off some of the game sheets for this," Or, "It is going to be so fun to watch my kids do that related activity today!"
Each part of The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth core lessons, be they taught in Sunday school or home school, can actually take about 10-15 minutes long at minimum. And they are cushioned with motivating goals and reinforcement activities. It certainly takes out any stress some may have of thinking they, as one individual, have to somehow cover one lesson for an entire hour.
But let's talk about how to build and manage an actual church-based or home-based curriculum. You, yes you (and your church/team/family/whatever), are going to put it together. If you are reading this by yourself, call someone to read through it with you! Print it out and chat with a few friends. But don't forget to talk with GOD first! :-) Here we go ...
1. First, set your goals!
- Don't forget that "the main goal here is to present to kids how all the beautiful stories in the Bible have a purpose. But especially that there is a GOLDEN THREAD running through the Bible to tie them all together. Make sure that not a lesson is told without that golden thread, Jesus Christ, mentioned.
- It will support your goals if the outline is in chronological order.
- Stories, accounts, and narratives are progressive by nature. The longer you learn, read or listen, the more you will increasingly understand until you have a real grip of all of the information therein. This learning is accurate of God’s Word too. The Bible is a story, a testimony of how God deals with humanity and of His plan to redeem them. The Scripture Scout curriculum is designed to be read or presented in a specific order, even if they've already learned their Bible books in the order listed in their Bibles.
- God’s Plan for Man is the main emphasis!
2. Write up a quarter’s worth first (about 13 lessons).
- Have in mind what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, two years, and/or 6 years …
- Plan the first quarter, using:
- Text covered.
- Topics covered.
- A specific aim inspired (& how you want the students to apply it to their lives).
- Do this until you’ve almost completed the first quarter and can reevaluate it. This way, you can make the necessary changes before you plunge into the next quarter.
3. Your first team meetings: Let everyone have a copy of the curriculum in hand. Then, together, write the dates in the margin and who will be teaching both Sunday and mid-week so that everyone will know.
4. Each Sunday and following mid-week lesson will teach and/or reinforce the same Bible lesson or truth.
- Previous weeks DBR’s will cover what will be taught Sunday A.M. in a structured situation.
- Wednesday night will reinforce Sunday A.M.’s class in a fun, non-structured, active hearing, set-up.
- Helps the team’s communication between Sunday and Wednesday.
- Gather all the "helps" you can find. You will grab any visuals that will help your main goal that will keep you on track for that particular lesson. Here are some ideas:
- Timelines (The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth has a poster coming with the curriculum release this fall!)
- Children's books to reinforce that lesson
- 30 Days to Understanding the Bible (this is only a sample but it's amazing; you're welcome!)
- Bible Arc (from Anders' 30 Days) -- you can also go HERE for that!
5. Sunday Packets
- Notebooks (if it helps, it is useful to have each class colour-coded)
- The expectations or challenges
- Prayer list
- DBR’s for next week and questions
- Sermon notes
- Memory Work for each quarter
- Record-keeping Chart
6. Time Management!
- Team-Teaching Job Descriptions* I guess it goes without saying that it helps to have an idea of what each teacher is doing at the beginning! Here is a sample:
Learning Time: Barbara
Wrap-up Activity: Carol
Pre-session & quick review of Sunday lesson: Linda
Praise & prayer: Gail
*How easy! And remember, each person is really only responsible for about 15 minutes of class, if that. 😊
- Home-school bible studies* If you are using the Sleuth for the Truth ideas in home-school, you can break it up into learning sections as this sample suggests:
Read and start to memorize the focus verse: 10-15 minutes
Go over the lesson topic: 10-15 minutes
Activity to reinforce the lesson: 10-15 minutes
7. And finally, rewards are essential! The intangible rewards are legion. But we have seen that every time a student knows a tangible reward is coming too, he or she is powered-up and motivated to learn. This aids to develop their self-confidence in their ability to grasp the Word of God.
Need ideas for this? A point system kept weekly is a huge boon to your students' motivation. Everybody likes parties. And it is an incredible motivator to know that a class party is around the corner every time points achieved!
To conclude, let's take a moment to look at the remarkable rewards here. What gives this plan credibility is the number of successes in so many church congregations, including the one where it was inspired, while on the mission field in a small congregation of believers in Papatoetoe, New Zealand and then coming to fruition stateside at a church in Littleton, Colorado and used in many other churches across the United States. There have been tremendous face-lifts in both teachers and students. The children's outlook is improved 100%, and it has motivated the adults as well. Overall, this do-it-yourself-but-teach-me-how curriculum was created because when I was a little missionary's toddler my mother saw that there weren't great resources to TRULY engage in learning about Jesus.
Knowledge of scripture and commitment level becomes a top priority item as this knowledge is inspired and increased. So too is a thriving love for the Lord and an inspiration to serve others excitedly. Parents have become actively involved, and many students have won their friends to Christ after inviting them to a thriving environment. And man, the teachers' attitude has improved tremendously!
No longer is it tough to get someone to help with the kids. It is fantastic and fun. These are just some intangible rewards of preparing your curriculum through The Scripture Scout method and how your children's outlook will be exponentially improved. Joy Bryant, from Teach Me Joy, says, "I want my children to be independent in our home-school, they need me, and each other, as part of their learning process." Truth, Joy. Absolute truth.
Again, maybe you are a missionary family who feels like they have to scramble for resources. Or possibly you are a homeschooling parent who wants to teach your kids, but also helps them form a solid foundation. Or perhaps you are a Sunday school teacher/volunteer, or leader who wants to MAKE SURE you have found a method that GOOD. It is SOLID. It truly FOLLOWS the Word of God ...
...these resources are for YOU. Can you dig it? Or better said, can YOU dig INTO it?