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New Sunday school curriculum receiving positive response

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Reports coming in to LifeWay Christian Resources about the Sunday School for a New Century curriculum have been “very positive,” Bill Taylor, director of LifeWay’s Sunday school group, said.

The laity in the churches are “getting into the design of the ministry. They are cognizant of the new strategy of Sunday school where it represents open groups with the purpose of leading people to Christ and building Great Commission Christians,” Taylor reported.

“I really appreciate the trust they have in LifeWay that they are willing to change and see the possibilities in this new way of doing Sunday school,” he added.

Since January of this year, more than 25,000 people have participated in training events to get ready to use the new curriculum.

“I am indebted to the state Sunday school directors across the nation,” Taylor said. “They’ve done a stellar job in helping people understand how to use the new materials. I’m so proud of them and their leadership. It represents a great deal of work and commitment on their part.”

Taylor said preliminary reports for the fall quarter show a wide distribution of the varied curriculum offerings, with the largest percentage going to the new curriculum line in which all age groups study the same themes and Bible passages:

— Family Bible Study (dated, all age groups) — 81 percent.

— Explore the Bible (dated, all adult age groups) — 17 percent.

— Children’s Bible Foundations (dated, age graded) — 1 percent.

— Preschool Bible Foundations (dated, age graded) — .5 percent.

— Children’s Everything You Need to Know to Be a Teenager (undated, for 6th grade) — .4 percent.

Youth Life Trak (undated, older and younger youth) — .1 percent.

Most reports from church leaders and teachers have praised the new curriculum.

Judy Baird, who teaches third and fourth grade Sunday school at Palmetto (Ga.) Baptist Church and is using the new Family Bible Study series, said, “I’m thrilled to death with this new literature. I’ve never been one of those creative teachers and sometimes when the old literature didn’t work, I’d be dead! But with the new teaching helps, I have more choices on things to do than I can even use. It’s great.”

Baird said she had attended an associational workshop on tips for teaching the Sunday School for a New Century curriculum and found it helpful. “I got so many ideas on how to teach. That [conference] let me know what was coming and how to get ready.”

She said the CD ROM that came in her teacher’s pack was helpful. “It was easy to use and I’m not too swift on the computer. The new literature has made me more enthusiastic about teaching.”

Freddie Pike, associate pastor of education and administration at Second Baptist Church, Conway, Ark., said the feedback he has been getting from people in his church is that they like the new material.

“I’ve mostly heard from parents who really like the fact that the whole family is studying the same subjects,” he said.

“The other thing I keep hearing is how much my teachers like all the teaching helps and the adult learner guides,” he added.

“Our senior adults stayed with the Explore the Bible series, so there has been very little change for them,” Pike said.

Janet Gilcrease, family ministries coordinator at Donahue Baptist Church, Pineville, La, said the church has been especially pleased with the Family Bible Study’s feature that everyone “from preschool through senior adults study the same topic. We have our whole church memorizing the same Scripture verse.”

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  • Polly House