Sunday School Materials

Don’t Pay for These Resources–Just Let me Know How they Worked

I provide the .pdf copies of all these Sunday school lessons as a resource for those out there still trying to teach Sunday school intelligently and conscientiously. I do not expect any money in exchange for them; all I ask is that, if you happen to use this material (and, I hope, modify it for your Sunday school context), that you mention to the class the source of the ideas and that you come back here and let me know that you have used the materials in the comments section. I’d like to hear your experiences, both because I love my fellow Sunday morning pedagogues and because reading your stories might help me become a better teacher.

I started putting my Sunday school materials up here back in 2008, after I’d already been teaching Sunday school for more than a decade, but I suppose starting late is better than never starting.  My consolation is that, if I maintain this page enough, I’ll have Sunday school lessons on a fair chunk of the Christian Bible.  At any rate, take what you need, teach well, and talk to me when you’ve finished!

Amos and the Prophets

On September 28, 2008, I began a five-week study of the conventions of biblical prophets and on the text of Amos. Beyond the obvious (and commonly articulated) warning that prophets are not always and never only prognosticators, I also wanted to explore some of the traditional/epistemological/political difficulties with prophecy, starting with Deuteronomy’s warnings to test prophets against the Torah and eventually working around to modern iterations of “Biblical prophecy” and their relationships with actual eschatological passages in the Bible. At any rate, as I write these lessons, they’ll appear here.

Jonah: A Comedy Among Prophets


The two handouts here come from a two-week stint as substitute Sunday school teacher. I always wondered whether I could actually teach the comedic elements of Jonah and make it work in Sunday school, so here’s my best try. I will teach these on July 20 and 27. If you land on this looking for children’s Sunday school lessons on Jonah, I apologize: you might just have stumbled onto one of the few teachers fool enough to try to teach Jonah to adults.

The Gospel of Mark

In March 2011, because the other teacher of adult Sunday school at Athens Christian resigned due to an imminent move to another part of the state, I became the sole adult Sunday school teacher there.  This series of lessons was the other group’s introduction to the way I do Sunday school.

My approach to Mark is similar to my approach to Revelation (those handouts available further down the page): start with a responsible historical reading, and see what theology emerges.  Anyway, here are the handouts:


In January 2012, at the request of my Sunday school class at Athens Christian church, I started a series on the book of Acts.  I’ll write more here on a morning when I’m not holding a sleepy daughter.

Paul’s Letters

These handouts come from occasions when I’ve taught Paul’s letters in Sunday school. The Philemon lesson I used as a paradigmatic introduction to Paul’s corpus, and I’m drawing on that setup as I teach Ephesians. For the seminarians out there, I neither insist upon nor reject Pauline authorship of Ephesians in Germanic philological terms; as far as I’m concerned, the Church has held these texts to be the letters of Paul for a couple millennia, and that’s good enough for Sunday school. I intend no offense to the insisters or to the deniers. The 1 Timothy series started in medias res because our regular Sunday school teacher had some life happen after teaching chapter one. So don’t be alarmed that part one covers chapter two, part two chapter three, and so on. That’s just the way Sunday school happens sometimes. I might get ambitious and write a part zero that covers chapter one, but I might not.

In January of 2010, our Sunday school class started a study of Ephesians with the help of N.T. Wright’s Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters commentary.  We ended up going through his entire prison-epistles commentary, and the handouts for Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are available below.

Ephesians (Three-Week Version)

1 Timothy

Ephesians with Wright

Philippians with Wright


Colossians with Wright

Philemon with Wright


In October 2011 I began a series of lessons on James for Athens Christian Church’s adult Sunday school class.  Since James is relatively short but difficult to translate, I tried to incorporate more translation-discussion than usual into these lessons.

1 John

Alright, so I did this series for Wednesday night Bible study (substituting for Carl Shearer, who was down with extended illness) rather than Sunday school.  But I didn’t want to put it on my Teen Classes page, alright?  Deal with it!

You’ll notice that the pace of the lessons accelerates around week 3.  I did that because I promised to be done in four weeks, and I realized after two that I wasn’t going to make it.

2 and 3 John

I filled in for a couple weeks after Jan, our class’s other teacher, did a series on 1 John. I managed to get both 2 and 3 John onto one handout. How handy am I?


In November 2010 I began a series on Revelation for the adult Sunday school class, and I timed the first half of the book so that we’d be reading Revelation 12 just before my family left to visit family for Christmas.  I followed my normal course for teaching the Apocalypse, holding to Gilmour’s Four Rules.  (They appear at the head of each handout.)

History of the Bible and Bible Translation

I didn’t teach these lessons consecutively or even to the same group, but they seem to belong together.

The History of Christmas

In the four weeks before we left to visit family for Christmas 2008, the Theos Seekers class (never mind the bad declension) at Athens Christian Church asked me to teach a series on the history of Christmas. I’m not fully accustomed to doing historical lessons in Sunday school, but the topic seemed fun enough, so here are those handouts.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas 2011, I did a short version of the same history of Christmas, and the handouts are these:


In a Sunday school series leading up to Christmas 2007, by request of the class, I taught a series on the history and development of angel-language in biblical and Christian traditions. On December 23, while I was in Indiana, Jan Westfall finished the series with a lesson on the Annunciation narratives and their angels.

Handouts from Sunday School

Links to Texts about Angels

Links to Movies about Angels and Angel-Like Critters

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