Why Sword Training?
The word of God is described as the sword of the Spirit. To the early Christian, the sword (or machaira) was a short blade, perhaps even a dagger. As a weapon, such a short blade required skill and precision to be effective.
Just What Is Sword Training?
Sword training is a Sunday School curriculum for children age 4 - 5th grade. It teaches the nature of God and his Kingdom through a three-year cycle based on 144 Bible stories.
What Makes It Different?
We train your teachers how to use our material. One reason volunteers quit teaching is that they become disengaged, because they aren't sure how effective they are in their teaching. Sword Training equips your teachers with practical skills and connects them to a vision that becomes a reality through their efforts.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (ESV)
Children learn three timelines, with 48 stories in each.
Old Testament, Life of Christ, Early Church
We train your teachers for you.
Building and maintaining an effective Bible teaching program in churches is tough work! First you’ve got to find volunteers, and the hardest part is convincing them that they aren’t signing up for a lifelong commitment. Then you buy material, which half of your teachers don’t use anyway. And that’s not to mention the challenge of finding substitutes. That's why as part of our package, we will provide you with online training for your teachers.
While we can’t promise that using Sword Training will do away with all of the challenges of running a top-notch Bible school program, we have designed it to help with some of the major hurdles.
Structure. Every week, the class follows the same basic structure. (It’s of course modified for the younger ages.) Once your teachers get the structure, weekly prep is minimal compared to other curricula. The focus becomes the children and their learning.
System. Our Bible class curriculum is based on the teaching methods used in classical education. The key to starting with Sword Training is to begin by training your teachers. Once you’ve done this, substitutes can step in at a moment’s notice, and with no preparation be 90% as effective as a teacher who prepared. (OK, we made up the 90%, but you get the point.)
Kids have sponges for brains.
We believe that God designed our children's brains to be like sponges. Never again will their little hard drives be so effective at soaking in information. Later in life, they will develop an amazing ability to use logic and reasoning to make sense of things, but this doesn't really kick in with force until about age 12. Because of this, Sword Training is based on proven educational principles used in classical education.
Focus on the Facts. In some ways, Sword Training is rather old-fashioned. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean boring. In fact, it’s tons of fun! We use interactive drills and games to learn the information. In other words, repetition. It just works!
So That's Why It's Called Grammar School! Sword training uses principles from what's called the "trivium" to teach the Bible to young people. That's a Latin word meaning "three roads." The basic idea is that children first learn grammar, which consists of facts and information. Later they learn to use logic to make connections between those facts. Ultimately, they develop the ability to synthesize their learning into wisdom and apply that wisdom to life. Sword Training is focused on the grammar phase of education.
Not a lot of fluff. Lots of Bible.
Biblical literacy is at a low-point in America. This is true in society as a whole, and it’s true for children raised in church. We are unapologetically Bible-centered. The power, majesty, grace, and faithfulness of God shows through in the story of the Bible. We don’t have a lot of fluff. We’ve found that many curricula have pages and pages of teacher notes. Once you get our methodology, the vast majority of the reading you will need to do to be totally prepared for Sunday will come from the Bible. We think that’s a pretty good approach.