“Life in Christ is formed in a believing community, and expressed in daily living.” (Living Faith, 8.1.2)
“We live in Christ as we study the scriptures learning to think and act in a Christian way.” (Living Faith, 8.1.5)
Note: The resources included in this list have not been produced by The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Leaders are encouraged to adapt these resources to fit with the theological and educational approach of their context.
Learning in community how to live as followers of Christ is a lifelong calling. As the above statements from Living Faith affirm, the church is called to nurture the faith of believers so that we will be equipped “for every good work.”
Ongoing faith development is just as important for adults as it is for children. Church communities can support adults in their faith journeys by providing relationships, resources, learning opportunities and conversations that draw them into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
There are a few things to keep in mind while selecting a resource to use with adults in your congregation:
- What are the needs of the adults who will be using the resource?
Contemporary adult faith formation is person-centred, which means it is guided by the needs and interests of the participants. Adults are more motivated to learn when the topic addresses a need in their life. Those needs could be related to their roles as workers, spouses, parents, grandparents, neighbours, disciples or friends. They could address certain life tasks, situations, spiritual questions or faith journey challenges that occur at different stages of adulthood. The best way to find out the needs of adults in your congregation is to ask. It is as simple as saying, “If we were to start a discussion group in the church that addresses a topic that is of interest to you at this time, what would that topic be?”
- Does the resource provide opportunities for engagement for different types of learners?
For adults, learning and growth is a process of active inquiry. When considering resources to use with adults, consider whether the resource suggests or inspires engagement. You want to move beyond talking to experiencing. Prioritize variety to address the needs of different types of learners (e.g., prayer, spiritual practices, silent reflection, goal setting, mission projects, creative engagement through art, drama and music).
- Does the theological and educational approach align with that of your faith community?
The Presbyterian Church in Canada is part of the Reformed theological tradition. Many of the popular Christian resources available come from other Christian traditions, which means that the beliefs reflected in them may not align with Reformed beliefs. This does not mean that they aren’t good resources; it just means that they need to be evaluated before use and adapted to suit the Presbyterian context. A good summary of The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s beliefs can be found in Living Faith . You can also use this tool for choosing curriculum created by Dr. Tori Smit.
A Note about Purchasing Resources
Some of the printed adult resources that are published in the United States, such as the curriculum created by the Presbyterian Church USA, can be challenging to acquire if the publisher does not ship to Canada. Newer resources, such as the Follow Me curriculum recommended in this resource, are available as a digital download. Some resources are also available through Canadian distributors of Christian resources. If you are having trouble acquiring a certain resource that you would like to use as a church, please email Canadian Ministries.
Types of Resources
Some of the resources suggested in this document are traditional: Bible studies, curriculum and book studies. Others reflect current trends in faith formation: intergenerational resources, spiritual practice ideas and online course offerings.
Still not sure what resource is best for your group?
If you would like to chat further about what resource might best suit the adults in your congregation or to talk about best practices in adult faith, please email Canadian Ministries.