The local congregation has many wonderful ministry opportunities for teaching the Bible to all ages such as Sunday school, vacation Bible school, and youth and adult Bible studies. But how can you wisely decide what curriculum and teaching resources to use? In order to faithfully teach the Scriptures, it is good to especially look for biblical accuracy, an emphasis on sin and our need of the Savior, and correct Scripture applications. Creative presentation and supplemental resources can always be added, but many individuals and teachers may not have the discernment or ability to correct bad theology. Starting with solid content provides a secure foundation.
The following points can help you choose good curriculum:
Evaluate with questions:
- Are the lessons scriptural? Do they recognize the authority of the Word?
- Do they distort or embellish Scripture?
- Do they mislead, taking Scripture out of context or contriving Scripture to make it fit?
- Where is Christ? The central theme of all Scripture is salvation in Christ, so the lessons in general should be Christ-centered.
Look for essential teaching emphases:
- Jesus is the only way of salvation. All who believe in Jesus as their Savior will be saved.
- Sin and grace, Law and Gospel—the Law shows us our sin and the Gospel tells the good news of what Jesus has done.
- The Holy Spirit works through the Word to bring spiritual life and growth.
- The believer lives by daily repentance and faith, not by a ladder of self-improvement.
- Godly living is a fruit of faith, not a way to earn God’s favor.
Caution! Watch for red flags:
- Little or no mention of sin, or denying our sinful nature and referring to sin only as wrong things we do.
- Little or no mention of Jesus the Savior and what He has done for us.
- Saying we have to “do” something to be saved. We are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ.
- Emphasizing what we need to do to be “good” Christians. Beware of moralizing: teaching children to be good and do good without motivating them with the Gospel.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15