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The swiss army knife of Sunday School curriculum

by Keith Fletcher

Find out more about CLEAR curriculum at

Carl Elsener invented the Swiss Army Knife in 1891. Today a factory in central Switzerland produces over 34,000 of these versatile pocket tools each day. From the North Pole to the space shuttle, the adventurous and the ordinary have carried the original multi-tool. As good as the original was, Elsener’s creative invention has been improved many times during the past 100 years. Now computer-savvy individuals can carry a “SwissMemory USB” that boasts a 512MB memory stick and an LED flashlight.

Over 40 years ago, Free Will Baptists launched a new curriculum, written and produced by Free Will Baptists for Free Will Baptists. Sunday schools all over the country and around the world used this solid, Bible-based curriculum. In the fall of 2004, Randall House introduced another totally new and innovative curriculum, based on the CLEAR Learning System™. This new line emphasizes life application in light of the timeless truths of the Word of God. Thirty brand-new products can now be used in a variety of ways by both the adventurous and the ordinary.

Reaching People for Christ

One youth minister bought extra copies of the teen student magazines (CLEAR Direction and CLEAR Horizon) to leave at local teen hangouts—and for good reason. Every issue contains both relevant articles and the simple plan of salvation. Every other student magazine in the CLEAR line (CLEAR Living for adults and Explorer’s Guides for elementary students) includes similar evangelistic emphases. Order extra copies and “accidentally” leave them in the waiting rooms of your hospital, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, or car repair shop. Where a small pamphlet or tract might be thrown away, an attractive, full-color magazine may be passed around for weeks, exposing dozens of people to the gospel.

Don’t neglect the outreach potential of My Cuddle Time Bible Storybook. Leave this book in waiting rooms or other places children will read it (or ask a parent to read it). Be sure to stamp or write your church’s contact information on the back. Who knows how God might use this little book to bring whole families into His kingdom?

Helping Everyone Study the Word

Do you know any willing but neglected Bible students? What about the homebound? Leave a copy of CLEAR Living for their personal Bible study. What about teachers of children or teen classes, or nursery workers? When do they get “adult” Bible studies? Again, provide copies of CLEAR Living so they can join the church family as it grows in God’s Word. And don’t forget missionaries and their children, military personnel, college students, and the incarcerated. Provide the appropriate personal Bible study magazine to each one. Keep in touch and encourage their progress with a new magazine at the end of every quarter.

One teacher provided an Explorer’s Guide to the son of an unsaved coworker. The boy insisted his parents help him with the Bible studies. They even bought a Bible for the first time. Imagine what the Holy Spirit might do in that family!

Customizing Outreach

CLEAR Connection (with separate editions for teens and adults) is a brand-new, but often overlooked product. Designed to give guests, prospects, new members, and absentees a taste of the lesson, this versatile multi-tool can be tailored to your class or church. Class or church secretaries can fill in the custom spaces with pertinent information about events, devotional thoughts, or additional lesson content. Some classes purchase enough copies of CLEAR Connection so every student can use it in class or pass it along to others.

Every age level of CLEAR curriculum includes communication tools to bridge the gap between Sunday school and the home. For preschoolers, Take N’ Talk sheets draw parents into learning activities that reinforce and teach biblical principles in the home. Elementary teachers can duplicate and send home the monthly Family Links newsletter found in every teaching guide. On the adult level, these same Family Links are included in each lesson as a reminder to apply and respond to biblical truths as a family every day, not just on Sunday mornings.

Smart pastors will develop sermons around weekly family themes. Themes can be printed in the weekly bulletin along with the family memory verse. Imagine your whole church not only studying the same theme, but also learning Scripture verses together!

Truly, CLEAR is the Swiss Army Knife of Sunday school curriculum. Be inventive; be creative. You’re in the Lord’s army, and CLEAR offers the Sword of the Spirit in powerful packaging to reach people for Christ.

Keith Fletcher is the Editor in Chief of Randall House Publications. You may reach Keith at (800) 877-7030 or


©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists