Teaching the Bible is one of the most incredible responsibilities to have, that’s why it’s important to have a good grasp on what Scripture says and how to communicate that truth. In the 8 months of working as a youth pastor, I’ve designed all of the curriculum – I’ve honestly never been a fan of pre-written Bible lessons. However, when I was given the opportunity to use Logos Bible Software’s curriculum on Abraham, I couldn’t resist giving it a try. In the end, I have many positive things to say, plus a few criticisms. Please consider this software in your life and ministry, as it is a valuable resource.
1. Positive Reactions
There are several great things to say about the Abraham curriculum:
a) The format is so helpful. I don’t know about you, but in my office, there’s curriculum everywhere. Boxes containing student handouts/booklets, teacher’s guides, cd’s/dvd’s, etc. are quite bulky. On the contrary, having curriculum via downloadable software saves a ton of room AND it is easily accessible on a computer for studying. The format trumps hard-copies by a long shot, in my opinion.
b) There is a lot of material! Overall, the Abraham series goes through 8 lessons – on average that will take about a couple of months. Within each lesson, there are great looking Power Point lessons (for sermons and small groups), handouts (for sermons and small groups), videos, and a significant amount of commentary notes.
c) Carrying over from the “b)” information, the amount of material is also quite versatile for different computer formats. What I mean is that both pdf files and word documents are available, as well as Power Point AND Keynote slides for those who differ on their software choices.
d) “Abraham: Following God’s Promise” is well-balanced in regards to giving the teacher liberty and flexibility. From what i can tell, the designers are of different theological backgrounds. However, there wasn’t much that I noticed contrasted with my doctrinal perspectives. Therefore, while there was a good amount of commentary notes included, I didn’t feel like I was constricted into teaching someone else’s lessons.
e) The lessons were applicable to my context. I work primarily with 7th-12th graders, and while “Abraham: Following God’s Promise” is not necessarily restricted to a certain age group, I thought that the lessons adapted and applied to the life of students fairly well. The topics that were prevalent in the life of Abraham were things such as failure, trusting in God, calling (very important for people who don’t know what career they want to pursue), and God’s mercy. Overall, I could see this material useful for students, young adults, and older adults.
2. Negative Reactions
a) Honestly, I don’t know if it saved me time to use these lessons. I was expecting to cut off about an hour per week in studying, but with altering things like my preferred Bible translation on the PowerPoint slides, forming my own teaching outline, and producing student handouts that fit my personalized outline, I probably spent the usual amount of time studying and preparing for Sunday School (that’s what I used this curriculum for). Now, as you can see, this wasn’t the fault of Logos. I’m just ultra-particular when it comes to teaching the Bible.
b) The handout questions were a little too vague at times. Obviously, the Microsoft Word format makes it easy to alter the questions, but still it’s something worth pointing out.
c) It wasn’t very Christological in content. While it didn’t avoid the fulfillments in Jesus Christ, personally, I thought more attention could be given to how the lessons point us to Him. Then again, that’s the responsibility of the teacher, not the curriculum.
Hopefully, it was evident that I enjoyed using this software curriculum. The pros tremendously outweigh the cons. If you are a teacher looking into Bible curriculum, I would give my recommendation for “Abraham: Following God’s Promise.” You’re not out of a job when it comes to being a teacher, you’re simply given helpful material to communicate Scripture – that’s what I think should be the goal of Bible curriculum. If I were to give a rating in stars, I would award it 4 1/2 out of 5. Much thanks to Logos for providing this software to me in exchange for an honest review!