My church's adult Sunday school class ended up doing a six-week study of one of John Ortberg’s inspirational and easy-to-read books. A member of the class loved the book and wanted to share and teach it—and who can argue with six weeks off as a teacher?

Before that, we’d been through many of N.T. Wright’s “For Everyone” study guides, and we'd organized a successful unit on Islam and Christianity, taught well by an instructor from our county college. We’ve read Adam Hamilton; we've added online conversation to our Lenten study. Now what?

I’m tired of the sitting-in-a-circle discussions, and the group may be too. So my husband and I have come up with an Old Testament unit—not a Bible study, but a drama-based class that would have participants acting out stories from the Old Testament. Our goals are

  • To enliven the class setting and have a good time

  • To encourage participation (acting) by everyone

  • To learn or relearn stories that participants have forgotten or never learned but are too embarrassed to admit it (and to bring in new people in the same situation)

  • To try something that might infect other parts of the church. The skits might be shared with children in Sunday school, might draw in their parents and—if I’m not being too Oscar-hopeful here—might be used with kids and/or adult actors in worship.

But here’s the rub. I need scripts, some thoughtful discussion questions and some (not too much!) historical, geographical and political background for each story. Has anyone tried something like this? Have you found resources or created your own?

All suggestions welcome. And good luck to all adult educators who are thinking fall already!

Debra Bendis

The Century contributing editor worked at the magazine from 1994 to 2017. She has degrees from North Central College and Northwestern University.

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