Digital Curriculum Helps Church Groups Stay Connected

Dwight Horrell of Haw Bluff Baptist Church in Ivanhoe, N.C. teaches his Sunday School class through an online video meeting.
Photo by Joy Allmond

NASHVILLE (BP) — As the coronavirus spread across the country and across North Carolina, Dwight Horrell decided to do something he’d never done before in his nearly 50 years of teaching Sunday school — take his class online.

His church, Haw Bluff Baptist Church in Ivanhoe, N.C., had a little experience in livestreaming, with pastor Jacob Lewis placing his sermons on Facebook Live.

But with government and medical experts recommending no group gatherings larger than 10 and asking people to stay in their homes, Horrell asked his class to join him for an online version of Sunday school.

Everyone in Horrell’s class received an email on how they could prepare and how they could join via Google Hangouts for their weekly discussion of LifeWay Christian Resources’ “Bible Studies for Life” lesson.

“To those my age or who feel intimidated in using technology this way, doing this is worth it,” said Horrell, 75. “Just because we’re not gathering physically doesn’t mean group discipleship needs to stop. I don’t want to waste this opportunity to bring hope to people in a world of heightened worry and suffering.”

Horrell is among thousands of small group leaders who have used digital methods to continue meeting with their classes during the COVID-19 crisis.

Since launching on March 20, more than 3,800 churches and 21,000 individuals have accessed LifeWay’s free digital curriculum at, according to Todd Adkins, director of LifeWay Leadership.

Ronnie Richardson, discipleship pastor at Clarke-Venable Baptist Church in Decatur, Miss., said the platform made it easy to sign up and set up the curriculum for the classes.

“Most people are eager to continue meeting and appreciate the access to the curriculum online,” he said. “Any church that is currently meeting online should definitely take the step toward providing their curriculum digitally.”

Richardson said the shift to digital was driven primarily by the social distancing guidelines, but it has also provided Clarke-Venable Church the opportunity to try out digital curriculum for future use.

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Source: Baptist Press