I have seen lots and lots of materials used in Sunday School. So often, the materials used are curriculum, including commentaries or teacher books. At times, they may be discipleship studies needed to address topics identified by the attenders. At other times, books may serve as the literature-du-jour. Each of these concern me.
The Bible is the only teaching material that has God as its author and offers the power to change lives. Too often we get further and further from the source. My fear is that God’s still small voice may be distorted or may go unheard when getting further away from the primary source.
In addition, teaching materials are often used as crutches for teachers who have not spent enough time with God in prayer, Bible study, and preparation. In other words, they depend on the teacher book for teaching activities or questions rather than having heard a word from God first personally and second for the class.
Finally, I have seen so many adult teachers teaching out of the teacher book/resource rather than the Bible. I know that adults have the ability to think abstractly. I know they are capable of understanding that teaching from the teacher book is helping them to explore God’s Word. But there is just something powerful about seeing the Bible in the hand of the teacher or preacher as God’s Word is taught.
Put your notes in your Bible and teach from it the next time you teach. Watch listening and participation increase. Tell me what happens. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!