Whether you write your own curriculum, purchase your curriculum, or, like most churches, operate with some mixture of the two, your Bible study is only as strong as your teachers. It's essential that you train your adult leaders to be intentional about how they implement the curriculum you put in their hands.
Before your teachers can be intentional in how they approach the curriculum you've selected for them, there's an important step they have to be willing to take. Your teachers must take the time to get to know your curriculum. What do I mean by that? Let me explain by starting with a big secret from a guy who’s been developing curriculum for nearly 20 years:
The best curriculum is nothing but a stepping-stone to a good lesson.
Like buying a suit off the rack in a department store, for it to work, it must be tailored. The same is true for your curriculum. Why is this the case?
Your Bible Study Matters. We're Here to Help.
The simple answer is that you know your students better than the men or women who wrote the particular lesson you’re using. To be effective, you’ll need to tailor each lesson to your group. You must create in your teacher's the expectation that they put in the time to look over each lesson from a big-picture perspective and identify what they will keep and what they will need to adapt.
Here are some good questions to help your teachers intentionally evaluate their curriculum:
• Is there enough information to allow you to teach solid Bible Study? Do you need to beef up the Bible study portion? Do you need to add any examples?
• Are there any games or creative introduction types of activities? What in the lesson helps you introduce the time of Bible study?
• If so, do they work for your group?
• If not, do you want to create any?
• Is there enough interaction? Do you need to craft any additional discussion questions to help your students engage more with the content?
• Is it culturally relevant? Or do you need to think about some connection points for students?
• Is there an intentional focus on application?
• Are there denominational/theological considerations you need to address?
When your teachers simply take what is handed to them, sure, they will be able to functionally lead a Bible study. But if they will take the extra time to engage in evaluating and fine-tuning the curriculum, you will find that they are WAY more effective at putting a Bible study lesson in front of your students that is meaningful and impactful. But this expectation has to come from you.
Make it a point to help your teachers understand the value of knowing their curriculum and shaping it to fit the needs of your students. You'll find your Bible study time is more transformative as a result.