This is a repeat, but we studied the same passage in April. If you drew a graph of this passage it might look like a bowl (diagrams available in the church office).
Reading the Scripture
Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:
• Read the scripture as if it were a letter from a dear friend (See the introduction). Place the scripture in an envelope addressed to the class and ask a member to open and read it aloud.
o First Reading: Read it quickly (not so quickly that you can’t understand it) because you can’t wait to hear what Paul has to say.
o Second Reading: Read it very slowly to take in every word.
o Ask the class, “Which parts stood out to you?” Reread those sections as class members name them.
• Sing it: A portion of this passage is most likely an early Christian hymn. I have placed on the webpage (/sunday-school-supplements/) a nice arrangement of this hymn presented by a church orchestra and choir.
o Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the library and the church office.)
o The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o WatchWord Bible, New Testament on DVD is available in the library. (These videos display and read the text in Contemporary English Version with background pictures, video and sound. Not exactly dramatized or all that exciting, but could be another way to read the text.)
• The Formations Teaching Guide has an activity “Examples of Service” (58). The book, 101 Ways to Reach Your Community, could be a resource to add to the discussion. Consider planning a service project as a class.
• The Formations Teaching Guide mentions the hymn, “We Are Travelers on a Journey” or “The Servant Song” (60). This hymn is not in our hymnal. It is in the Baptist Hymnal, 1991. I am sure Phil can help you find it if you want to use it. I have included a version of the lyrics at the end of this session. A video of The Servant Song has been placed on the webpage (/sunday-school-supplements/).
• The Formations Study Guide addresses “authority in the church” (71) and asks questions about our church’s leadership, authority, and church organization. Consider our bylaws with regards to church leadership and decision-making when answering these questions. Copies are available in the church office.
• Focus on Stewardship:
o “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” –Michelangelo Buonarroti (quoted in The Giving Myths, Stephen McSwain, Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2007, p. 74).
o Remind the class of stewardship dates and emphases (see introduction to this unit).
I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.
• 101 Ways to Serve Your Community, Steve Sjogren (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2001).
• For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)