After a few weeks of living under shelter in place orders, many of us are adjusting to a new normal. That includes attending church through online services.
But many people are realizing the difficulty of bringing a quality Bible literacy hour, or Sunday School, program to the home. How do we do our church’s typical Bible literacy program at home? Is it even possible? The answer is YES! In fact, it is not only possible, it is potentially more effective than the normal methods of church discipleship. Let me give you a few thoughts to consider.
Thought 1: For better or for worse, what happens at home is more impactful than what happens at church.
All studies on this topic show the same results. Kids reflect their parents' spiritual convictions more than their pastor’s. What kids see and do at home carries an enormous weight.
Thought 2: Bible Study/Sunday School is imperative in the discipleship of the next generation.
Vladimir Lenin once said, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I'll transform the whole world.” He understood the power of educating one generation. We, as Christians, should also understand the power of losing one generation. All it takes for Christianity to cease is for one generation to not be properly discipled in the truths of the Bible. Bible literacy programs are extremely important to the future of not only our children, but the entire world!
Thought 3: Parents are the best option for Bible Study/Sunday School teachers!
If Thoughts 1 and 2 are both true, then Thought 3 is necessarily true! Think about it for a moment. Parents are the most influential people in the life of their children and are often the most passionate adults who want their children to succeed and grow. Bible literacy/Sunday School is vitally important in the discipleship of the next generation. Therefore, who better to lead Bible studies/Sunday School lessons than parents? This is true whether we are stuck at home or able to attend Sunday School in church buildings each week. Parents should be the adults churches call on to lead Bible literacy groups at church. Growing churches do. Now it is time for more of us parents to start Sunday School classes in our homes.
Tools For leading a Bible Study at home
So far, you probably agree with me. However, you might be feeling fearful that you aren’t ready to lead a Bible Study. Or maybe you have no idea what to teach or how to teach it. Well, let me put your mind at ease and give you several tools you can use this Sunday, or any day for that matter, that is free and easy to use.
There are several great tools out there for us, as parents, to use in order to have a successful Bible literacy program at home. For children try using a Bible app designed just for kids.
At my house, we wake up each Sunday and, just before we watch the live stream of our pastor’s sermon as a family, I will open my Bible App for Kids and cast it to our TV. My family and I all go through the interactive story time and activity lesson together, which is usually only ten minutes long, before we spend a few minutes asking each other what we learned during the lesson.
The beauty of the Bible App for Kids is it starts at Genesis and walks through the entire Bible. You and I could teach our children through the entire Bible before going back to church! And the best part about this tool is that we don’t have to be Bible scholars to teach through the material. Parents are learners too. Just be sure to prioritize these times and have everyone focus on the lesson together. Even my teenage son enjoys being refreshed on the children’s Bible study material. Use these links to download the resources for free.
If you are like me and you have a teenager and a third grader at home, one thing you might consider doing is delegating your teenager to be the teacher for the family. Teens like having a little bit of control as long as they are properly equipped to succeed. And they can lead the family through the interactive Bible study mentioned above. They will feel a sense of ownership and will learn more leading than by just participating.
But what about giving them the Bible literacy they need? Let me mention a few resources that might help.
The Bible App is a great resource for Teen and Adult Bible study. The app is free and they have tons of great Study Plans to choose from. I recommend a study by my friends at Heartwork called “30 Days of Heartwork”. Check it out!
If you want a deeper study in Bible literacy you might try the video resources at The Bible Project. They have short and very informative videos designed to teach through the entire Bible. They also have topical videos as well. Again, this is a free resource and requires no previous Bible knowledge for us as parents to facilitate to our family.
If you are one of those over achievers who needs to set goals to complete things, consider earning a Certificate of Completion in Bible Literacy through TBM. With their permission, we have created a Bible Literacy program using the videos from The Bible Project and adding 10-question quizzes to test for competency.
We have created a free certificate program that requires no more than 12-15 hours to complete a survey of the entire Bible. You might be thinking, “That is a lot of time!” But it seems to me we have all the time in the world right now. Why not invest some of that time into building your Bible literacy and earn a certificate along the way?
No matter what you do, we encourage you to just do something. The future of our children depends on us, as parents, becoming Sunday School teachers to our families. And who knows? Perhaps you will like it so much you might decide to continue teaching when we are able to go back to the church building! Use these links to download the resources for free.
- The Bible App
- Bible Study Plans
- 30 Days of Heartwork
- The Bible Project
- TBM Bible Literacy Certificate Program
Final Words of Encouragement
While Bible Literacy is extremely important, just remember this: Bible-believing families and Bible-practicing families are sometimes very different. If we do not put into practice the truths of the Bible then we are no better off than if we never knew the Bible at all.
This past Sunday while we were doing our “Sunday School” lesson at home, we learned about Palm Sunday. After the lesson was over I asked my youngest son why we called the day “Palm” Sunday?” He looked at me and said, “Because people worshiped Jesus with their palms.” After correcting him by explaining the Palm branches I stopped and thought for a moment. He might be onto something. The truth is the only appropriate way to worship God is not with our words or our mind. The only true way to worship Jesus is with our hands.
As we teach our children Bible literacy let’s be sure we don’t forget to put the truths of Scripture into practice as well. In this way, every day will be “Palm” Sunday.
Written by Preston Cave, TBM missions and discipleship coordinator. His passion is helping churches and families transform the lives of young people with the gospel. He'd love to visit with you and your church. Contact him at Preston.Cave@tbmtx.org.