Archive for the ‘Evaluate Curriculum’ Category

03/25/14
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Christian Education—It’s Not Just for Sunday School by Dennis G. Bennett


It never ceases to amaze me that anywhere in the world you say “Christian Education” people automatically think Sunday School. Is this the only education that the church does? If it is the only education we are engaged in, then we are in big trouble. Let me explain.

I taught the Christian Education (CE) courses at the Bible Institute of South Africa for eight years. The first exercise we did was to list every activity a church does, from worship to soup kitchens, from Bible study to foreign missions. I then challenged them to tell me which one of these ministries is not in one way or the other CE! I challenge you to do the same, because the way you understand the educational ministry of your church will determine the depth of spirituality existent in your people. You disagree? Then the challenge is for me to prove my point.

Let’s look at some of the things that a church does . . . Download article PDF

03/11/14
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A God-Ward Focus by Rev. G.I. Williamson


What Makes a Difference for Children at Church?

When Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 3:3 NKJV), he described each one of them as “an epistle of Christ … written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God.” This means that every Christian life has a story to tell and the story is written by God. But just as Shakespeare (the author) is much greater and more important than any of the many different characters in the plays that he wrote (such as “Hamlet” or “King Lear”), so God is much more important than the story of Moses or David or Paul.

It follows, then, that when we study the Bible—and the lives of some of the great men that we read about in the Bible—the most important thing we need is to understand the great work of God as it is seen in the lives of these people. We don’t really understand their significance until we see them as books, or epistles, written by the Spirit. And they were written so that we might know more and more about their Author, who is God.

It is this God-centered focus that we constantly endeavor to keep in all the Sunday school materials published by Great Commission Publications. After all, as the Apostle John says, the central thing necessary to have eternal life is to know the true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent (John 17:3). We should ask “What is David doing in this story?” But we should also ask “What is God doing here with David in this story?” Yes, we need to know that David had the courage to face and conquer Goliath. But we need even more to see the great work of God in David that enabled him to do so. It is not enough to tell our children to be like David—not unless we first help them to see the greatness of the true God in whom David trusted. For of him, and through him, and for him are all things: to whom be the glory for ever. That is what the Bible is all about and our aim is to help you see that it is so!

Learn more about the Show Me Jesus curriculum today!

02/25/14
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Show Me Jesus by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney


Show Me Jesus is the motto of Great Commission Publications’ Sunday school curriculum. Sunday school teaching at large has remained trapped in moralism. Instead of teaching Bible stories in the context of the whole Bible story, many curricula aim at enforcing good behavior. Bible characters are studied as models for telling children to be good or as warnings not to be bad. Sunday school has neglected to teach the way of salvation from the Bible.

To teach the Bible story, we must present the Savior. In the Old Testament, Jesus, the Son of God, reveals the Father. He appears as the Angel of the Lord, distinguished from God, but also one with God. The Angel appeared to Moses at the burning bush. When Moses asked for his name, the Angel replied, “I AM.” So, too, God sent an Angel to guard and lead Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. They must obey his voice, for “my Name is in him” (Exodus 23:21). The Angel that bears God’s name is Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

02/11/14
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God’s Covenant of Grace by Dr. Charles Dunahoo


In First Catechism, question 21 asks children, “What is a sacred covenant?” The answer is, “A relationship that God sets up with us and guarantees by his word.” This encompasses the requirements, promises and threats contained in the covenant. Covenant is a core biblical truth for us: it shapes our understanding of God, salvation, the church, family and children.

The idea of the covenant is important because it explains how we relate to God and God to us, therefore it is to be a part of our daily lives. When children receive the sacrament of covenant baptism, we promise to teach them what that sign and seal are all about as they grow.

Catechism question 27 asks, “Did Adam keep the covenant of life?” Response: “No—he sinned against God.” If that were the whole story, we would be helplessly and hopelessly lost. However, the rest of this story is that Christ kept the covenant for us, enabling those who trust him to obey and follow him. When we do, we have eternal life, not just the promise but the reality beginning here and now.

We want our children to know that God has made a way for sinners to relate to him as a holy God. Before the fall, man’s perfect obedience was required. But man failed and his relationship with God was broken. After the fall, God’s covenantal system continued under a new order—by his grace, not by our works.

We want children of every age to understand that Christ loved us and kept the covenant on behalf of his children, and as a result God’s people are saved forever. Genesis 3:15 begins to unfold the story of the covenant of grace—a beautiful tapestry that runs throughout Scriptures. It reminds us that we relate to God by his terms and design.

The unifying theme of the Bible is the unfolding of covenant history. In the GCP curriculum, we build on that theme so young lives will be rooted in the covenant of grace. It is essential in discipling children—showing them who God is and how to be his children.

 

Learn more about the Show Me Jesus curriculum today!

 

Dr. Charles Dunahoo pastored churches in Alabama and Georgia before being called to his present position as Coordinator for the PCA Committee for Christian Education and Publications. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Columbia Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary.

01/28/14
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The Whole Counsel of God by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney


Children love stories. Jesus loved stories too, and told them often. Yet he was never just a storyteller. Jesus, the Son of God, knew the whole story, the story of God’s plan to deliver sinners who had rebelled against him. The wonder of the story is the love of God for those who were his enemies. Before creating the world, God chose lost sinners to be his children.

To save those who hated him, God had to come down from heaven. Our situation was so desperate that only he could help us, and his promises were so great that only he could make good on them. The story of the Bible begins with God’s creation of the world, tells of the sin of our first parents in heeding the words of Satan and of their being driven from the Garden of Eden. In judging the serpent, the Lord also promised the coming of the Son of the woman, who would suffer in order to crush the serpent and the power of evil. Read the rest of this entry »