I admit when I first saw the promotions and heard Ron Hunter, the General Director of Randall House Publications, talk about a new curriculum being produced, I was uneasy. I was concerned about how our church would receive those new ideas. Questions must be answered when you deal with curriculum and a volunteer teaching staff—questions like, Will they understand how to use the curriculum? Will they like the new curriculum? Will the product have new approaches that will change the way classes function?
In order for anything to be successful in a local church, it must have the support of the pastor. When I returned from the National Association, it became my practice to promote the excitement and discuss the benefits of CLEAR curriculum in our services.
What are these benefits? One major benefit of CLEAR curriculum is that it helps combine Sunday School studies and family devotions. For the first time in 43 years of being in Sunday School, my entire family is studying the same subject on the same week. CLEAR provides an opportunity for families to maximize that one-hour of Sunday School by studying the same passage together throughout the week.
The second benefit of CLEAR has been the opportunity for individuals to enjoy hands-on Bible study. In the past, our church has provided extra curricular studies, but finding a time to meet for these studies was almost impossible because of scheduling conflicts. CLEAR allows us to meet that need during the Sunday School hour.
As a pastor, because of CLEAR I know our teachers have prepared for class—a third benefit. Other curriculums allow teachers to read their Teacher’s Guide to the class or do a “running commentary” on the text. But with CLEAR, the teacher must focus on the subject and be able to explain how the text relates to that subject. CLEAR provides an exposition with an emphasis on a doctrinal theme. With CLEAR, teacher preparation must begin before Saturday night. This is beneficial because the teacher, after using the daily devotions to meditate on the theme, uses the teacher’s guide to bring the devotion and text together. This curriculum is much easier to prepare and present because it requires a daily walk with God in His Word—not a one-hour “cram-session” at the end of the week.
If you were to ask the families of our church to choose a curriculum today, after using CLEAR in their family devotions and in Sunday School, they would tell you their choice is CLEAR.
Tim York pastors the Heritage Temple Free Will Baptist Church in Cannonsburg, Kentucky. To find out more about CLEAR Curriculum, visit www.randallhouse.com.