by John Greening
For the past six months I’ve been doing something that I had not done for eleven years—teaching a Sunday School class at my home church. My role as national representative of the GARBC requires that I have an itinerant ministry, rarely speaking more than a weekend in any one church. Even so, I continue to have the heart of a pastor, desiring to be part of the methodical process of building lives toward spiritual maturity through the consistent teaching of God’s Word. My home pastor, Bryan Augsburger, graciously extended to me the privilege of co-teaching an adult class with him. On the Sundays that Daria and I are not on the road ministering elsewhere, she teaches junior high, and I teach this class.
As you might expect, I decided to use Regular Baptist Press curriculum. Acknowledging my clear bias, I must say this is quality instructional material. By using the prepared materials, I stand on the shoulders of exceptionally capable communicators of God’s Word.Though I could have written my own lessons, I have chosen to use the RBP lessons, which are Biblically and educationally sound. I use the teacher book to guide my preparation, and distribute the study books to the class members. To enhance the teaching and learning process during the Sunday morning hour, I encourage the learners to study their books and to prepare outside of class. I insert the discussion questions to encourage focused, relevant class interaction. I also incorporate the professionally prepared PowerPoint to add clarity, structure, and graphic interest to the teaching. And I include the case studies to help class members understand how the section of Scripture they are studying applies to their lives.
By staying with RBP’s recommended scope and sequence, I give methodical Sunday School instruction based upon the whole counsel of God. The Bible-teaching settings of Sunday morning and evening worship services, midweek services, and small groups provide the church family with a well-rounded learning experience, giving them multiple occasions to grow in the Word. As the designated Bible Fellowship Hour, Sunday School is designed to be an intentional approach to the study of God’s Word. Well-designed curriculum provides a systematic approach to teaching the entire Bible.
The structure of RBP’s curriculum keeps me focused on a clear lesson aim rather than assembling a series of disjointed thoughts. By reinforcing the lesson aim, I increase the likelihood that class members will grasp the Biblical writer’s intent for the passage we are studying. The discipline of moving through an outlined lesson helps me avoid the tendency to get bogged down in details that may be of interest to me but diminish the learning experience for the class. The lesson content of RBP curriculum reflects each writer’s specialized study in particular books or sections of Scripture. By using the prepared materials, I stand on the shoulders of exceptionally capable communicators of God’s Word. Their study, coupled with the skillfully crafted teaching methods and resources, makes me a better teacher and enhances the class’s interest and involvement in learning.
My work-related schedule of speaking, writing, corresponding, administrating, and traveling does not permit me to prepare lessons from scratch that would be of the quality the class deserves and the Word demands. By using the curriculum, I maximize my lesson preparation time. I refuse to be rigidly tied to the lesson material as though I am merely reading from the leader’s guide. I study the lesson, personalizing it in such a way that it becomes my own teaching. I choose to write my teaching notes based on the curriculum in such a way that the instruction is tailored to the unique needs of my class.
To the writers of the studies, to the director of RBP curriculum, Alex Bauman, and to his editorial and graphics team, I give my thanks. You are helping me and other Bible teachers around the world discover the benefits of using RBP curriculum. Above all, you are helping learners grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.