Covenant Discipleship Communicant’s Curriculum
Get Covenant Discipleship to use with your church right away:
- Buy the Covenant Discipleship Curriculum
- Download the Covenant Discipleship Leader’s Guide for free
- Download a sample of the Parents’ Handbook (introduction + first two chapters) for free
About Covenant Discipleship
(From author Ed Eubanks)
When Richard and I worked together at the same church, we realized that we had a problem with membership: specifically, we had families who were diligent to teach their children the faith, and who were seeing their children come into a believing faith at a variety of ages.
This was a problem because neither he nor I had ever encountered a church that admitted children of different ages as full members that also offered any sort of “communicant’s class.” Yet we were both convinced that a communicant’s class was an important offering for a congregation to make, since it provided children attending with a familiarity with the faith, an introduction to the beliefs of the congregation, and an orientation to life in the church. And every church that we had ever worked with had offered communicant’s classes as an age-based event: once a child reaches a certain age, they were invited to go through the communicant’s class to consider joining the church.
We faced the dilemma that many congregations do: if we offer an age-based communicant’s class, we end up requiring some children to wait-- sometimes for several years-- after coming into saving faith in Jesus Christ before being admitted to the Lord’s Supper, while at the same time we would be putting subtle pressure on other children to profess a faith that they may not yet have. On the other hand, if we choose not to offer a communicant’s class at all, we deny all children the opportunity to gain a well-ordered introduction to faith and life in the church. Could there be a third way?
Around that time, Richard and his wife Anne had begun homeschooling their children for a season. Among the benefits of homeschooling, Richard and Anne were pleased with the way that homeschooling allows every subject and lesson to be conformed to the child, not the other way around. As a result, Richard and I began to discuss what it might be like to let a communicant’s class be offered in a similar manner to homeschooling. After all, we reasoned initially, who better than the parents to lead children through this material in the first place?
And so the original Covenant Discipleship Student’s Workbook came to be. We tried to distill the contents down to the most basic categories and topics:
- Foundations of Faith
- Fundamentals of Theology
- First Principles of Church Life
We organized the entire structure in workbook format: some basic introduction to a concept, followed by directions that led students to think through their own answers and come to their own conclusions. Lots of questions, lots of blank space. We wanted to point the children in the right direction, not feed them the right answers. We provided a summary at the end of each lesson so that the students could re-cap what they had thought and learned.
As we began to put the Covenant Discipleship Student’s Workbook to use, response was generally positive. The most common feedback we received, however, was that many of the parents wanted more help with guiding their students through the materials. They found some aspects particularly difficult to discuss-- and to know how to lead a discussion about-- with their children.
Thus, we developed a companion volume, the Covenant Discipleship Parents’ Handbook. In it, we offer frequent cues toward biblical lines of thought on the questions, point parents to where to look in Scripture and in other key literature (such as the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms), and recommend outside resources for further study.
Together, these two volumes comprise the complete curriculum. For Pastors, church officers, or others who will be leading parents and families through the process of completing the study of the curriculum, we have also developed a brief Covenant Discipleship Leader’s Guide, which is available as a free download from this website.
In the Covenant Discipleship Leader’s Guide, we give an overview of the purpose and goals of the curriculum, suggest some ideas about how to organize and execute a Covenant Discipleship Communicant’s Class, and provide a list of recommended resources to have available for lending to parents and families. If you would like to download the Covenant Discipleship Leader’s Guide, follow this link for a free PDF version.
To examine the curriculum before you buy it, you may download this sample of the Parents’ Handbook (the introduction and first two chapters) for free.