BGCT to offer more curriculum online
By John Hall
Texas Baptist Communications
The Baptist General Convention of Texas Bible Study/ Discipleship Center plans to offer free online curriculum for children's Bible studies in September.
Downloadable material for children up to sixth grade will be available on the Baptistway Press website, www.baptistwaypress.org. Four age-specific materials specialized for preschoolers 5 years old and younger will be available. Curriculum for older children will be broken down into studies for grades one and two, three and four, and five and six.
The BGCT will post the curriculum in month-long blocks to give teachers more time to plan for the studies. The children's material will be a continuous study program.
Twelve topical studies for older youth also will be available.
The site also will provide a commentary to accompany the adult curriculum. That commentary will be written by Jim Denison, pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
Free downloadable Bible study material in different languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean will continue to be available.
Dennis Parrott, director of the center, said the online lessons represent a compromise the section had to make to further its ministry. Many people were asking Baptistway to publish the material, but funds became increasingly tight as the stock market fell, and distributing printed lessons was not economically feasible.
BGCT staff discovered they could minister to churches worldwide and stay within budget by offering the materials free online.
Online curriculum may be the most effective way of delivering Bible study materials, Parrott said, noting churches around the world are using online products from other publishers with a great degree of success. The material is cheaper and more convenient for many class leaders.
“We at first approached this as the next-best thing, but we're starting to wonder if it's not the best thing,” Parrott said.
He encouraged churches to continue supporting the printed Bible study to provide support for ministry in financially strapped congregations.
“When you buy adult materials, you allow the Baptist General Convention of Texas to provide curriculum for other churches,” Parrott said.
Churches throughout Texas, the United States and around the world already are using free Baptistway Press online materials, Parrott noted. He believes the upcoming materials will have a similarly strong impact on churches of all sizes, locations and budgets.
“It's a neat thing to know we can provide that kind of ministry to the churches that need that kind of financial assistance,” he said. “We can also provide it to churches who simply don't want to use anyone else.”