Episode 36: 7 Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Bible School Program [Podcast]

(Player not working? Click here to play.)

The Bible school program of the church is so important, but sometimes improvements need to be made. Too often, however, we think these improvements will cost more money than a congregation can afford. In this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah discuss seven very simple ways that any congregation, on virtually any budget, can improve their Bible school program.



The Seven Tips

  1. Clean Up the Classrooms! (Declutter and throw away unused, outdated material)
  2. Update bulletin boards regularly, and paint if you can afford it.
  3. Promote the Bible school program from the pulpit and bulletin often.
  4. Teachers be on time, and start class on time.
  5. Have an efficient check in/check out method, especially in classes with smaller children.
  6. Use your curriculum to its fullest potential. Utilize anything you can to “beef up” the lessons. (Leah recommends Pinterest!)
  7. Have specific goals and objectives for (1) each lesson, and (2) the curriculum itself.


“The 66 Club” [pdf from Waterview Church of Christ]

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free (and get a free eBook) click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Find us on Stitcher Radio

Visit the show archives


Music Credit

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

Do We Really Understand Commitment

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 10.47.37 AM

She had waited for this day for several months. They had been dating for a couple of years and had a serious relationship that they both knew would end in marriage. On this particular night, her months of waiting finally came to an end. After a wonderful dinner, and a walk by the river, he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.  She accepted the beautiful ring and answered with a “yes.”  Did she really know the commitment she was making?

This young man loved the game of basketball. As a freshmen in high school, he tried out for the team and was selected to be one of the ten members of that team. He attended every practice and worked as hard as everyone else on the team, but the coach didn’t use him much in any of the games. It seemed as though the coach just didn’t like this young man, and seemed to take every opportunity to ridicule and poke fun at him. He often rode the bench during the game, even though his team might be many points ahead on the scoreboard. After observing this abuse for several weeks, his parents urged him to quit the team. That young man asked his parents a question: “Aren’t you the people who taught me that once you sign up for something you finish it?” Did he really understand what commitment was all about?

That dream job was finally open. The one he had applied for and had been waiting for–the opportunity of his dreams. He interviewed well and was told the job was his. He had signed his name to a contract at his current job, and the contract still had six more months to go. What would he do with this commitment he had made?

They were close to forty years old and had never had children. Their names had been on adoption lists for several years, but nothing had materialized for them and they were being told that their names were being removed from the lists because of their age. Their preacher was contacted by a member of the church who needed a set of parents for a child being born out of wedlock. Arrangements were made and when that child was born, it went to the home of this couple. After a couple of months of caring for a newborn, the preacher’s wife received a call. The adoptive mother was complaining about how difficult it was to care for a newborn. Their home wasn’t quiet and organized like it had been before. Had they not thought about the commitment they were making?

These and many other scenarios like them all have something to do with commitment.

Commitment. It’s a word we all would say we understand and a word for which we could probably give a definition. But do we truly understand what commitment is all about? More importantly, does our definition of commitment, and our will to be committed to the right things, measure up to what God would have us do?

When I look, even briefly, at some of the people in the Bible I see an understanding of commitment that far exceeds the understanding of commitment today.

Noah committed to the building of a vessel he had had no need for up to this point in his life.

Abraham and Sarai committed to travel to a land they knew nothing about.

Abraham committed to the sacrifice of his son of promise; something he most definitely could not understand.

Ruth, the young Moabite woman, committed to living in a land that was foreign to her because she had committed to the family of her husband.

Esther committed to going before the King on a mission in an effort to save the Jews from annihilation.

Jesus committed to living on this earth to set an example for all of mankind.

Jesus committed to death on the cross, so that I might have a home in heaven.

In all of these brief examples, the commitment was carried out because they were based upon trust. 

How much better would our marriages, our homes, our congregations, our work places, and our lives be if we just truly understood commitment to God and His Word?

Are you committed to your spouse?

Are you committed to rearing godly children?

Are you committed to the church; in particular, your local congregation?

Are you committed to doing your best at work?

Are you committed to letting your light shine before others?

Are you committed to God for life?

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act.”  Psalm 37:5


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

mom author box

Photo background credit: Ed Schipul on Creative Commons

What’s Lost in Your Church Building

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 9.07.41 AM

It read like a modern-day version of the story of Josiah. You’ll recall that Old Testament king was reigning at a young age when the book of the law was found (2 Kings 22:8). But that it was found in the temple speaks volumes about how little it had been followed.

Just a few days ago, an official for a church in England found an original 1611 King James Version copy of the Bible. Where did he find this treasure? He was cleaning out a cupboard right in the church building.

As soon as I came across that story it made me wonder if there are other very important things that can be lost, even right in the midst of our church buildings.

  1. Scriptures. Tragically, in many churches, the Scriptures are lost. Oh, people may bring a Bible and have it open on their lap, but are those in attendance really being fed the pure Gospel? Too many congregations spend more time sharing stories or statistics than they do sharing Scripture. While stories, illustrations, statistics, and even jokes have their place in helping us understand the Bible, absolutely nothing should ever take the place of digging into God’s Word when His people gather.
  2. Service. We come together, we worship, we leave. But do we make an impact on each other’s lives? Many congregations are more like a sporting event: a bunch of people come together and “cheer on” the same thing, but when the event is over, they still do not know anyone else any better. There must be interaction among Christians, and we absolutely must impact each other’s lives. Through encouragement, conversation, prayer, and service to one another, God’s people should be known for how we serve one another.
  3. Souls. I hate to say it, but it’s true: there are people who come to services week after week, but who are lost. They may even have been baptized, but they are just coming to church because it’s in their family history or because they think showing up is the end-all-be-all of Christian duty. Tragically, a lot of church-goers will hear the Lord say, “Depart from me.”

There is a whole world out there who needs to hear the truth, be served by Christians, and be saved by Christ. But while we seek to win the world, we need to make sure that the Scriptures, service, and souls are not lost right in our own auditoriums.


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Photo background credit: Steve Sutherland on Creative Commons


Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.43.16 AM

The late comedian Victor Borge once said that “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” People need to enjoy life. I have often said that one of the greatest lessons having cancer teaches a person is that it is important to rejoice more. Life is a wonderful gift. Too many people are wasting it being negative or unhappy.

Researchers have noted that the average child laughs 150 times a day. The average adult only laughs 15 times a day. We are losing our smiles, and a laugh is really nothing more than a smile that finally bursts.

The presence of laughter improves virtually every situation. I recently read a suggestion from a marriage and family therapist who said that we should tell jokes at the dinner table to our family members. First, of course, we need to sit down long enough to actually enjoy being with our family. Once we do that, some night allow each family member to bring 5 jokes with them to the table on a piece of paper. Then take turns telling them. See if you enjoy your supper time more.

Laughter also blesses mankind with inner peace. Actor Alan Alda once said that “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” It takes a willing heart to open up enough with another person so as to laugh with them. Laughter builds relationships. It rewards with memories. It is positive reinforcement. It reminds us that life is great!

The Bible pictures the Son of God as one who was full of joy. Children do not flock to grumpy people. As Jesus took the young people into his arms, I believe there were wonderful smiles and amazing laughter. It was the most natural thing for our Savior to rejoice. He loved people. He enjoyed being with them. He experienced every emotion a man could experience. The people who are the closest to God are those who are the happiest. How close was Jesus to the Father? His closeness must have made him a man who usually wore a smile.

The promise Jesus gives the faithful servant at the end of time is “…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt. 25:21, 23). Heaven is going to be a place where laughter abounds. There will be nothing to prohibit eternal rejoicing there. Laughter, then, is a momentary taste of divine blessings. It is a prelude to a greater time when we will all be in the presence of God.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” ~ Philippians 4:4


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

jeremiah author box

Photo background credit: MBiz on Creative Commons

An Inadvertent Denial

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 9.10.29 AM

The scene is familiar to most of us. It is one of many sad scenes that are connected to the crucifixion of our Lord. 

According to Matthew 26:69, Peter was “…sitting outside in the courtyard…” while Jesus was being put on trial. That phrase, “put on trial,” is used very loosely. If the term “kangaroo court” had been invented at that time, it would most assuredly have qualified.

We probably remember how a servant girl recognized and identified Peter. We also remember and are saddened to read how the one who had earlier proclaimed Jesus to be “…the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16) now was denying that he was ever with Jesus. Further, he denied that he even knew Jesus (cf. Matt. 26:70-72).

Most of us probably remember that the girl informed Peter that he was being betrayed by his speech. We are informed by those who know the Greek language that she could have been talking about his dialect or his accent.

At this point, Peter “upped the ante” and began to curse and swear. Those words may not be used in exactly the same way in which we use them when we talk about somebody cursing and/or swearing. We usually use those words to describe the language of somebody who is “talking dirty.” There is evidence to support the idea that Peter was suggesting that he should be under a curse if he was not telling the truth and was swearing as one might do in a courtroom.

Even though that could be the case, let us not miss the point that Peter was using his language to try to deny that he knew Jesus. I’m wondering if the same thing is not being done by some today who claim to believe that Jesus is “…the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

When I curse and swear in the sense in which those words are used in our current day, could I inadvertently be denying that I know Jesus? When those around me hear a steady string of expletives and/or euphemisms (words like gosh, golly, jeez, darn, etc.), do they get the idea that I really know Jesus and am doing my best to serve Him? When they see things that we post or tweet and see those not-so-cute little expressions like “omg” and others that will not be used here, am I denying that I know Jesus? Again, when I “share” or “retweet” something that may be innocent enough, but comes from a source that has one of those words in it, what am I saying about my allegiance to Christ?

I realize that I’ve raised a lot of questions. Maybe it is time to state something I know for a fact. The One from whom Peter was trying to distance himself by his speech said:

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt 12:35-37).


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

dad author box

Episode 35 : Five Devotional Ideas for Busy Families [Podcast]

(Player not working? Click here.)

Many families feel as if they need to have family devotionals, but are so busy. Others feel as if they lack creativity to come up with ideas for family devotionals. In this episode of the podcast, Adam is joined by five busy moms–Erin Wells, Rebecca Stewart, Connie Rader, Kathy Pollard, and Amber Tatum–who share simple and valuable family devotional ideas that any busy family can do.



Kaio Publications’ “Family Devotional” Object Lessons

[Video] Rebecca Stewart’s son singing “This is My Father’s World” (Facebook)

“Life and Favor” (Kathy Pollard’s blog)

“Training for Worship” devotional ideas [pdf]

[Blog post] “8 Tips for Family Devotionals

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free (and get a free eBook) click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Find us on Stitcher Radio

Visit the show archives


Music Credit

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

3 Ways a Wife Can Strengthen Her Marriage

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.10.24 PM

Here at A Legacy of Faith, we are dedicated to strengthening marriages. We are saddened by the weakened state of the family, but we believe there is hope. There is hope for strong, committed marriages. There is hope for thriving families built on the kind of faith that is passed on for generations. Today’s post is for any woman who would like a stronger marriage. Let me share three things that a wife can and must do to strengthen her marriage.

  1. Respect your husband. Ephesians 5:33 says, “…let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Our husbands need respect. Moreover, husbands don’t have to earn the respect any more than a wife has to earn her husband’s love. As wives, we expect our husbands to love us even at our worst. If he ever told us, “I’ll love you when you earn my love,” we would be crushed. How many wives, though, think that we’ll respect our husband only when he does something worthy of respect? Respect should be offered freely because of who he is – your husband. He will love you better. (Although, that is not the reason we ought to give the respect.) Even if he doesn’t love you better, you still need to give him respect because he is the man you made a covenant with. He is the man you agreed to love and honor above all other men. That should mean something!
  2. Don’t belittle your husband. Sometimes wives think that complaining, making fun of, and talking negatively about their husbands is just the thing to do – especially around other women. On the Building Godly Family video series, our brother in Christ, Steve Higginbotham, made a very radical challenge to married folks. He said that he and his wife had made an agreement to never speak negatively about each other. Can you imagine that? Imagine never making a sly remark about what your husband does or doesn’t do around the house. Imagine never joining in with the girls when they start talking about how clueless their husbands are. Every time we belittle our husbands we are taking away a part of him. If we have an issue with our husband, we ought to discuss it with him (in a respectful manner). If the issue isn’t resolved, there is still no benefit to our marriage to talk about it to other people. Truly, belittling your husband is just a way of making ourselves look a little better than him when we are around other people. Never belittle him and when someone makes a snarky remark about him or any other husband, respond with a positive remark. That will stop the “husbands-aren’t-worth-anything” bandwagon in its tracks!
  3. Honor marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all…” Marriage is an honorable institution, but you would not know that by listening to society. Sadly, you wouldn’t even know that by listening to some Christians. It just seems that there are so many jokes and negative comments about marriage in general. We have all heard about the “ball and chain.” We have all heard about “having fun before you are tied down.” Frankly, some people make it seem as though your life is over once you are married. How sad! The Bible teaches that it is honorable to be married. Everything that comes with marriage is honorable – the sexual relationship, the children that follow, the years of commitment ahead.  We should not only honor our own marriage, but we should honor other marriages. If more women had a “hands off” attitude about other women’s husbands, marriage would not be in the sad state of rampant divorce that is today! Marriage as an institutional whole and individual marriages should be held in “honor among all.”

We can have stronger marriages. Implementing these three simple, albeit hard behaviors will help us to strengthen our own marriages and also strengthen the marriages of others.


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Leah Faughn

Photo background credit: Christopher Thomas on Creative Commons

4 Groups Who Do Not Like Responses in Church

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 8.49.26 AM

“As we stand and sing.”

Those words are often used as the final line of sermons all throughout the world. Traditionally, congregations stand together and sing what is commonly referred to as an “invitation song,” with words to encourage someone to respond to the message of Christ. Many times, no one publically responds.

But sometimes, someone does. It is wonderful! When there is a baptism, or when someone states they need prayers of forgiveness of encouragement, it is a remarkable moment. It is a time of celebration and joy. It is a time for an outpouring of love.

However, there are some who cannot stand that people are, as one of my elders likes to put it, “walking the aisles.” Some even hate that people are publically willing to make their stand with Christ.

Who are they? Here are four groups.

  1. The devil and his angels. This is the most obvious. Satan hates faith in God. He cannot stand it when someone walks away from a life of sin and selfishness and humbly obeys the will of the Lord. Trust me, when someone responds, he cannot stand it, but he also is not giving up the fight for that person’s soul. He is biding his time, but each time someone steps to the front of an assembly in this way, he hates it.
  2. The denominational world. “Why can’t we all just do what we want?” In so many words, that is the mantra of denominationalism. We get to do what we want and God will just have to accept it. However, when someone responds to the pure message of the Gospel, the denominational world does not like it. Why? Because it is further proof that the Bible, and the Bible only, can and must be obeyed with no additions or personal preferences.
  3. The world around us. So many people in the world don’t really mind that people “go to church,” but they do mind when we are growing, faithful, and committed. Why? Because our faith, as did Noah’s, “condemn[s] the world” (Hebrews 11:7). When someone publically responds, he or she is saying that they are going to follow Jesus only, who is “the way” (John 14:6). Our world does not like the concept of there only being one way.
  4. Some in the pews. What? Does that shock you? It is, tragically, true. There are some who sit in the pews of the auditorium each week who are not happy when someone responds. For some, it throws their schedule off. For others, they just think that it is nothing more than insincerity or emotionalism. For others, they know they need to respond as well, and this just grows bitterness in their heart. And for some, they are only in the building because of culture or family, so any little thing out of the ordinary throws them for a loop.

No matter how many times I get to be present when someone responds, it just never gets old. It is a time of joy, but not for everyone.

But for the faithful, there is no greater moment, and I pray every week that, whether I am preaching or not, I get to see this wonderful moment again and again…

…no matter who doesn’t like it.


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Photo background credit: Ryan Hyde on Creative Commons

Reachable Goals

Imagine what it would be like to try and hit something you cannot see. If you have ever been to a birthday party and there was a pinata or a “pin the tail on the donkey” contest, you may remember how difficult some of that was.

How about trying to bowl strikes without being able to see the pins? Actually this is not as hard as you think, because bowling lanes have markers and arrows that make it possible for a person to aim at something other than the actual pins in order to have success. In fact, in 1933, a man by the name of Bill Knox demonstrated this fact. He had a screen placed just above the foul line so that he could not see any of the pins. He could not see most of the bowling lane, either. But Mr. Knox used this method to bowl a perfect 300 game, 12 strikes in a row!

How did he do it? He used a method called, “spot-bowling.” This method simply suggests that a person use a close marker on the lane just past the foul line. You just use the same motion and hit that close mark every time. It makes perfect sense. If your form is good, then easy targets will line you up for success.

The concept that produced “spot bowling” is an idea that really can work for us in our daily Christian lives. We often miss the mark when we place our spiritual targets too far away. We end up feeling like miserable failures and our faith is weakened by how many times we find the gutter. But if we will set reachable goals with nearby targets we will hit them. This involves consistency in form and confidence that God will help us to improve every time we do our best.

Stop looking so far down the lane! Find a reachable spiritual goal and hit it! Hit it again, and again! You will find that in attaining reachable goals, you will have the confidence to be a stronger Christian than you ever thought possible.

Being a Christian is not as difficult as many people make it. It is not about your perfection, it is about faith, obedience, determination, and executing the simple plan of the One who will perfect all things for us.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:14


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

jeremiah author box

An Adopted Treasure

Her birthday is Wednesday. It doesn’t seem possible, but she will be ten years old. It is not true that she has been a part of our family for a decade. She’s been a part of our family and our hearts since we first learned that there would be an addition to our family. 

I’m sure that is the case with most families. As soon as it is discovered that a child will be born, the love already starts. There are months of prayer and preparation. Both anticipation and excitement build.

However, it was not quite that way with her. Unlike most families, we only found out that she would be our granddaughter seven weeks before she was born. One Friday night, we learned about two unmarried people who were about to have their third child. They literally could not afford to take care of this child. Our oldest granddaughter was born a mere seven weeks from that evening. As she made her grand entrance into this world, she was handed to our daughter-in-law who was in an adjacent room. She has been “ours” ever since. 

Her daddy (our son) got it exactly right recently when we were able to hear him preach. She cried, he choked up, and Grammy and Grampy tried to wipe away the tears when he referred to her as “our adopted treasure.”

She is, indeed, that–and so much more–to us.

We have five grandchildren. Each one of them is special to us in his or her own unique way. I am not writing these words in order to leave the impression that our adopted treasure is more special to us than any of the others. Each of them is a treasure. She is the only one who happens to be adopted. 

The reason I’m writing these words is to try to help all of us (including me) get some semblance of a grasp on how important we are to God. You see, our son and daughter-in-law had to make some serious decisions in order to provide a home for an infant who really had nothing to “bring to the table.” 

Sacrifices were made in terms of time, energy, and financial resources. Our granddaughter is a part of our family because of their selfless demonstration of the kind of love we may read about in the Bible, but may rarely see “in real life.”

In a somewhat (but much more significant) way, my Father decided that my salvation was worth the ultimate sacrifice. He was/is willing to provide a home and identity for me, even though I had/have nothing to “bring to the table.” As the song says, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”

I will never fully understand God’s love for me. I can, however, be eternally grateful for the purpose of our Lord’s mission.  Paul was inspired to write that He came

…to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal. 4:5-7).

Even though he made me cry, I’m glad that our son used the expression our adopted treasure when talking about his daughter. I’m praying that my Father looks at me in the same way.


To Receive Every Post via Email for Free, Click Here

dad author box