Returning to the Uniform Series

Returning to the Uniform Series

This past year, our ministry has had some growing pains as we have sought the Lord for direction as to how best to serve Him and His children. Our goal, as it should be for any ministry, is to provide you with resources to understand the Scripture (Scripture is the truth referenced in the Truth portion of our name) so that you might have a vital and growing relationship with the God who redeemed you from your sin and unto yourself. Over the course of the last two and a half months, during a recovery from surgery, it became necessary to further dig into what resources we are offering and how we are ministering to you.

One tool which I keep returning to is the material from Standard Lesson, material which makes up part of what is called the Uniform Series. I keep returning to this material because it forces me to remain simple, but not simplistic, and easy to understand. It does this because it is designed to be deployed across the entire spectrum of your church, cradle to grave as it were, so that the entire fellowship is uniform (go figure) in the text being studied for the week.

Picking up with that last thought, I want to explain why I am returning to the Uniform Series and how and why it should be able to help you.

  1. The Uniform Series is designed for use across the entire Church; every grade level discusses the same text for the week and learns good theology while they go. Naturally, it is adaptable based on the level of material so that you are going more in-depth with your high school students or adults than you would with your 1st graders. For some reason, it had never dawned on me, until discussing with a friend back east that his church was doing a series on a particular book but his children were hearing the same stories that they had heard in kindergarten, 1st grade, and now 2nd grade and a realized that a uniformity of text across your church not only ensures that you learn the whole Bible but it also translates into family worship.
  2. The Uniform Series is ideal for family worship. If everyone has studied the same text, you can return to it in your family worship time. You will be able to utilize it to go deeper in your study, exploring related topics or go back and address questions that members of your household have. You’re able to gather your resources and explore the text in whole new ways as the Spirit leads you.
  3. The Uniform Series is used globally. Chances are, at some point during the year you will travel and many churches across the globe follow the parent of the Uniform Series, the International Sunday School Lesson Series. In so doing we are able to ensure that Christians still get a steady diet of the Word of God even if we are travelling.
  4. As a bi-vocational minister, the Uniform Series helps to serve as a set of guiderails from week to week. The lesson plans are laid out a year in advance so that you know exactly what you are teaching on any given Sunday and then it is simply a matter of spending time in preparation.

 

I also want to address an objection or two…

Objection 1: The Standard Lesson Commentary eliminates the need to do the work of preparing a lesson. Yes and no. There is sufficient material provided so that if a person has never taught a Bible study before, they will be able to step into the role quickly and have sufficient material for a basic understanding of the text. No true pastor would take a pre-packaged lesson and make it his entire sermon but it does make for a solid platform upon which to build a lesson.

Objection 2: The Uniform Series is not used by my denomination. I suppose that could be a problem if your main focus is what is happening at denominational headquarters. IF your main concern is helping your people understand the Word of God, this objection is irrelevant.

Objection 3: We do not use KJV or NIV. Ok. Since you should not be simply opening the annual commentary and reading to your audience, you can adapt the text to your translation of choice, it’s all a matter of doing the appropriate work.

Objection 4 (This is the one I hear most so I am addressing it last): The Uniform series does not go straight through the Bible book by book and verse by verse. Again, yes and no. The Uniform Series does not go directly through a single book in a verse by verse manner. It does cover all 66 books across the six year cycle and you can learn more about that on the Standard Lesson website. There is verse by verse study in each section of the particular book being taught but if you are looking, for example, to pick up 1 Thessalonians and go through every chapter one at a time, this is not the format that you want to use.

Ultimately, the Uniform Series will not be the only lessons offered through our ministry but they will provide a core for us as we grow together.

Until next time, grace to you.

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