Choosing Bible Curriculum
I don’t have all the perfect answers for any one family (not even my own 🙂 ). But, there are a few key ideas that might help each of us make the right Bible curriculum choices.
Here’s sort of a little choosing a Bible curriculum checklist:
- Make sure the Bible curriculum aligns with what the Bible teaches doctrinally and theologically
- Hopefully the Bible curriculum you choose encourages heart change as well as acquiring knowledge
- The Bible curriculum needs to help the student develop healthy devotional practices
- A portion of Bible class can be a personal devotion time (sometimes it’s nice to separate this from the more traditional portion of “class”)
It’s nice if the “personal devotion” portion of the Bible curriculum allows your child to “do devotions” on their own (or mostly on their own) so they develop a lifelong habit.
- The personal devotion portion should extend to the weekend, because really it’s not just a class. 🙂
- Show your kids by example that “Bible class,” at least the personal devotion portion, should never end. It’s not the same as all the other classes they take in school or at home.
- Books by other authors are great additions, but never leave out the Bible!
How, and what, should we teach in Bible class?
As students it’s easy to slip into allowing Bible class to become all about head knowledge. As parents we need to help teach our students to balance head knowledge with heart change when they study the Bible. It’s dangerous to read the Bible in a strictly scholastic study mode. Head knowledge can start to take precedence over heart change. Then, ugly attitudes and thought patterns creep in. Know-it-all pride, insensitivity, or even a lack of faith can accompany strictly scholastic study of the Bible. However, if our study of the Bible is only based on emotions, and we do not carefully study what the Bible really says, it’s also dangerous.
- Studying the Bible should be accompanied by prayer and a genuine heart to learn from God daily.
- Teach students to spend time worshiping God.
- Teach them to learn His will for their life from His Word.
- Teach them to identify solid theology and doctrine based on His Word.
- Share with them your love for God and His Word. Let’s show them by our actions.
- Encourage them to pray and read for life: Again, studying the Bible isn’t another class that’s over on weekends, during the summer, or when students graduate.
So many times I’ve sat down and read my Bible only to wonder what I really read once I was done. Sure, I’d remember a thing or two here or there, but did I really study? Did I understand it enough to be able to share it with others, or continue to apply it to my life in days ahead? I started to think I needed to be a little more intentional about knowing what God’s Word said when I read it.
So, I made a devotional journal. The ARCHES devotional journal is designed to help us study God’s Word, remember what it says, and apply it to our lives.
- It helps students (and parents) learn to study the Bible word for word and in context.
- It helps students discover accurate application for their lives.
- It’s flexible format helps Bible study students find the necessary balance between taking in head knowledge and being open to heart change.
- The goal when using the journal is primarily to draw near to God and glorify Him.
- The journal is designed as a devotional tool and can be used for a lifetime…
Each individual using ARCHES can adjust how they read/study the Bible as needed. For example, sometimes I use all seven sections of the ARCHES Devotional Journal. Then, I might change it up and use the journal with a 30-60 day ARCHES Devotional Guide. Other times, I only use a couple sections of the journal. I’ve even enjoyed using only the Enter In prayer request journal section, along with the Treasure section at times. Another option is to use the Sweeter Than Honey Journal.
Our daughters sometimes use the ARCHES Journal, and an ARCHES Devotional guide, for personal devotions. We also use some of the curriculum recommended at summit.org for school.
The printable version of the ARCHES Devotional Journal and the Sweeter Than Honey Journal can be downloaded and printed for FREE. Also, if you sign up for updates, you will receive an interactive version of the devotional journal to use on your computer (no need to print this).
The optional ARCHES Devotional Guides are sold in the ineedthebible.com shop and will help students and parents know what to read, and what activities to complete, each day without having to figure it out as they go.