How churches have passed on a key responsibility to publishers …
If it wasn’t for curriculum published by Christian publishing companies, much of the teaching done in the church (other than that of the preacher and a few other leaders) would come to a screeching halt!
That’s because most Christians are so ill-equipped in the Word of God that they don’t have a biblical knowledge from which to craft a lesson to teach to others. This is a major obstacle in recruiting Christians to serve in Christian education positions, and church leaders have to quickly assure potential “volunteers” they will be well-supplied with an easy-to-use curriculum.
“All you have to do is just follow the curriculum!” is the promise of the recruiter.
But even well-developed curriculum have a limited scope, cover only so much material, and end within a few weeks. I have often seen churches teach topics other than what they thought their people most needed only because that’s what was available as curriculum.
This lack of being able to “teach from scratch” isn’t a problem just among the congregation. I have worked with multiple churches where the church leaders did not have the skills to generate teaching materials needed and I was asked to write curriculum for them.
This is a glaring problem overlooked in the constant talk among church leaders about “making other leaders.” The Apostle Paul spoke about making leaders, but here is what he had to say:
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others,” 2 Timothy 2:2.
Making the kind of leader Paul writes of only takes two steps. First, fully disciple believers so they have an adequate biblical knowledge and understanding from which to share. Second, equip such discipled believers in the simple process of how to take their Bibles and craft a lesson from any topic needed.
By not doing this, and leaving your people reliant on whatever publishing houses decide to print as curriculum, is relegating to these publishers the spiritual development of your congregation. If you really want to be serious about “making other leaders,” then go make the kind of leaders who can open their Bibles and teach others the Word of God.