New Enhancements Coming for 2014!

We have some great enhancements in store for Bible Studies For Life: Kids and Bible Studies For Life: Preschool in 2014.  You’ll find dates added, devotional connections, music organized for easy use, and more! Check out the video below to learn why these enhancements are important and see what’s coming your way.







  1. Jenny Coble says:

    Will the dates be added back for the adults too? Also, can you ensure that the quoted Bible texts are printed in the same translation in both the teacher and learner guides? I miss all the printed extras that were included before the transition to this new version.

    • Jeff Land says:

      Hi Jenny,

      The dates will be included for Adults as well. I am unsure if I understand your question in regards to the translation. In Kids area, we use paraphrases of the Bible story. Are you asking that we use the same paraphrase?

  2. Dannie Marcantel says:

    These are some changes my Sunday School class would like to see in our Bible Study for Life books: (1) Dates on each Sunday’s lessons. This is VERY confusing for many adults when one has
    to search the table of contents to find out which lesson is to be studied. Also, why couldn’t the Christmas lesson be placed in its proper order instead of at the end of the book? Are some churches skipping the Christmas story now? We hope not!
    (2) Making the book a size that will fit in our Bible covers. These are currently too large and very inconvenient for carrying.There is lots of wasted space, so this could easily be cut down to the size of the old quarterlies. (3) More substance to the content. Compared to the previous quarterly, this one seems very shallow and doesn’t go into as great a study of the scripture verses.
    Some pluses are that the book has a better binding and a lot more colorful pictures, but neither of these things really encourage a study of the Bible. We do like the space for Prayer List and the applications made to daily living.
    Since Lifeway doesn’t offer another curriculum we like, we are considering exploring other publishers for Sunday School books if they do not make some changes to this book.

    • James Jackson says:

      Dannie, thanks for the comments. I appreciate you pointing out both what you like and what you would like to see changed. We will consider these comments as we evaluate BSFL.

      I’m sorry you are confused by the lack of dates on the session. Our rationale for doing this is that the material is used by churches in both traditional Sunday School and small group settings. So not everyone is meeting on Sunday mornings. Also, not everyone starts the sessions the same week, nor do they always stay on the same schedule. My own church, for example, did not have Sunday School the Sunday following Christmas. More and more, small group leaders are getting into the habit of referring to the session number rather than the date of a lesson when pointing group members to which session. My Sunday school teacher always puts it as the first line of the prayer request/announcements email he sends out each week. It takes a little getting used to, but it hasn’t been a big adjustment.

      As for the perceived shallowness, again, we are sorry if you are disappointed in the content. Our number one goal with this curriculum is to “connect the unconnected.” By that we mean helping new Christians, non Christians, and people who are not involved in a small group to connect to God and to one another. As such, it is not intended to be a deep discipleship piece. We are committed to being rooted in Scripture, but also to being accessible to people at every stage of their walk with Christ. If your group continues to be frustrated by the lack of depth, you may want to consider the Gospel Project or Explore the Bible.

      Thanks again for the comments. We really do take every critique seriously. Blessings on the new year!

  3. Have been teaching preschool children for 20+ years and was really surprised that the material LifeWay provided for this age child for December 2013 covered Peter walking on water with Jesus, learning a lesson about forgiveness, fishing with the disciples and in prison. These are important and can be taught anytime. Our children, especially the little ones, are bombarded from Halloween through December with Christmas and Santa Claus so it seems to me the one place they should come and hear the truth and meaning of the season is at Sunday School. December is the church’s opportunity to proudly proclaim the birth of Jesus and reinforce in children what is the “reason for the season.”
    I did my own lesson plans covering the Christmas story for the December Sundays I taught. I sincerely hope that in the future your writers focus on lessons plans for little ones that teach the appropriate Christian stories that match the season. I’m anxiously awaiting the spring quarter to see if you provide the resurrection story over Easter. Hope I’m not surprised again

    • Jeff Land says:

      Hi C,

      Because of the changing ways that churches order their curriculum, it’s not clear when they are actually using their material. Many churches, yours I assume, still use the September-August ordering system. However, many are on different calendars and don’t even beging to use the curriculum til after Christmas. This year, we attempted to make the curriculum user friendly for everyone and included 4 sessions online for Christmas along with the one in the book to make 5 Christmas lessons in December. Next year, all of the Christmas sessions will be printed. The Easter Sessions will be online as well as some printed sessions.

      I’m sorry that you have had frustration with the material. It was certainly not our attempt.

  4. Linda Glover says:

    My adult Sunday School class has named all the same frustrations that Dannie Marcantel has stated above. The lack of dates and the size have been major complaints. I would not be surprised if there isn’t a move in our church to look for a different curriculum.

    As a substitute teacher, I found it very difficult to even find the lesson in the Preteen book the Sunday I had to suddenly cover a class. It is not user-friendly. Surely, if the suggested/possible dates of use can be put at the back of the book, they can also be put at the top of each lesson. The Preteen book also flows from one lesson to another without any large title font or anything that helps you to see where the new lesson starts. Again, it may seem minor, but is another annoyance.

    I got the app and purchased lessons for the Adults and the Students. I thought Preteen would be with the Student category, since the word Preteen, I presume, is used so as to avoid the word Children or Kids. Again, not clear in all the information for someone who is just a substitute.

    I also like having the Bible passage and focused verse printed in the teacher’s book. It just makes teaching and studying easier that way.

    • Jeff Land says:

      Hi Linda,

      The dates on the Preteen Curriculum will be on the table of contents in the Spring quarter. The beginning of each session is noted by a large photo bar that spans the entire page.

      The Bible Studies For Life: Kids Family App is free and is the one that coincides with the preteen curriculum.

      Due to space issues, we have never printed the Bible passage in the leader guide. I understand your point, but for the best use of space (and some copyright laws) we don’t print them in the Kids’ leader guides.

      I’m happy to help with any concerns that you have. I appreciate your feedback.

  5. Miriam Flail says:

    Well it is me again complaining about the literature for three-year olds. Last week we taught the lesson on Adam and Eve and I was very upset about the picture that you had in the resource pack to go along with the story. From the picture you could not tell who was Adam or who was Eve. I know that you could have found a more pleasing picture for three year olds than this one if you had looked at earlier pictures from previous years such as in 1998. the picture was dark and aluring to a society that I do not necessarily approve of. The pictures need to be bright, colorful, and able to see what is what in the picture. The kids like the pictures but I did not even show them this picture. Luckily, our one year teacher had a picture that was appropriate to show the kids.
    Now , on to the coloring sheets. I love having the coloring sheets but these sheets are for three year olds not second graders. They need to not be so busy with all of the material. Please consider making the coloring sheets more pleasing to a three year old by making them more simple for them to color. The pictures are divided into to many small parts, they need to be large parts for the kids to color. I am sure that someone in your graphic department can make a picture suitable for three year olds. I have been very disappointed in the material for this quarter and hoping that next quarter will be better as you have promised.

    • Jeff Land says:

      Hi Miriam,

      I’m glad that you like having the coloring sheets. We are working on making them easier to use. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the Adam and Eve picture.

  6. First let me say that I have been in Southern Baptist church using literature for over 50 years from “Baptist Book Store -Life Way so I am not new comer to your literature.
    I have heard almost every frustration from our teachers listed in previous posts. Frustrations include: no dates; dislike of size of quartley; content; arrangement of lessons especially birth of Christ not in December, big disappointment in children’s books, and it goes on.

    Solutions we have already addressed: youth have purchased and using different material for their weekly studies; in the process of reviewing and using sample materials from two other companies with our other children’s classes.

  7. I just wanted to say, at first our church was annoyed that the dates had been removed from Bible Studies for Life for kids, because we normally followed the traditional quarterly ordering schedule, but I have now grown to appreciate it. Dec. 29 we didn’t have Sunday School because we had a special holiday service, and in the past that would have meant we would have just skipped a lesson, but now since curriculum is undated we taught every lesson we paid for.

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