A story of outreach
Bible Study America
We are a national ministry of the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association. Formed way back in 1863, the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association is the last of the full-time State Sunday School Associations (with a full time paid staff and a year-round program of services and activities) in existence in the United States today.
We exist to promote, equip and encourage leaders, teachers and workers in local Christian churches to be effective in their ministries through biblical training and resources.
The Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association is a registered 501-c-3 non-profit, interdenominational organization whose services are available without membership or membership fees. The two primary goals for the organization are to (1) promote Sunday school and Christian education through the local church and (2) to provide education, information, inspiration and resources to Sunday school and Christian education teachers, leaders and workers.
In recent years, general interest in Sunday school in our home state of Pennsylvania and across the entire nation has declined rather dramatically, with more than a 25% decrease in attendance over the past 20 years.
Realizing the importance of the Bible and Bible study for all Christians, our P.S.S.S.A. Board of Directors took action to expand the focus of the organization to include all forms of Bible study, not just Sunday school. And they also acted to reach out to churches and Christian education workers all across the nation through a variety of programs, including this BibleStudyAmerica.org website.
Our goal is to provide you and your church with the information, ideas, and resources that will help you and your teachers and leaders to:
Continue, improve, and start new Bible study programs and classes, including Sunday School
Train Bible study and teachers and leaders to be even better and more effective in their work for the Lord
Provide churches with information and promotional materials to start, improve, and promote Bible study programs
Encourage individuals to read and study the Bible, the Christian's "handbook for life"
Please let us know what you think of our BibleStudyAmerica.org website. If you have any other suggestions or ideas, we also hope you will tell us. And, if we can help you in any other ways, please contact us.
WHAT CAN BIBLE STUDY AMERICA DO FOR YOU AND YOUR CHURCH?
The following are some of the programs and resources offered by the P.S.S.S.A. to local churches and to Christian education workers:
The Annual Pennsylvania State Sunday School Convention. Each year the P.S.S.S.A. sponsors the annual PA State Sunday School Convention. The one-day event is usually held either near the end of October or in early November. The event begins with an opening devotional session that features an inspirational message by a special guest speaker. The event then continues with five different workshop periods that include a total of 25 or more workshops. During each workshop period, we try to offer workshops for teachers of children, teachers of youth, teachers of adults, Sunday school and church leaders, plus workshops of general interest. The 156th Anniversary Convention will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Newville First Church of God, 475 Shippensburg Road, Newville, PA. Keep watching for more information about the 2018 event coming soon.
“42 Reasons Why Everyone Should Love Sunday School.” This is the P.S.S.S.A.’s newest book. The book is designed as a six-week daily devotional guide. Each day’s reading is based on one of the 42 different reasons why Sunday school is important and why all persons of all ages should attend Sunday school each week. The book, written by P.S.S.S.A. Executive Director, Rodney Pry, is also available here on the Association’s website (CLICK HERE). Actual copies of the book are available through the Association’s “Sunday School Stuff Store.”
“Teaching As Jesus, The Master Teacher, Taught” DVD. Over the years, the “Teaching As Jesus, The Master Teacher, Taught” workshop has been one of our best and most popular live Local Workshop Training Events. In 2017 we placed a condensed version of the workshop on video. The workshop was written by Rodney Pry and was presented on-screen by Shena Fodor. The DVD and a worksheet are packaged in an attractive plastic case.
Local Workshop Training Events for Teachers and Leaders. Workshop training continues to be one of the major focus areas for the P.S.S.S.A. Currently we offer 18 different three-=hour workshops that can be presented through local host churches in both Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2017 we added a new workshop entitled “Keys to a Successful Sunday School.” Churches are encouraged to host one of these workshops as an “in service” training event for their teachers, leaders and members. Each of these workshops can be presented for a flat fee of just $300.00. There is no minimum number of participants necessary for a workshop.
“Teaching To Change Lives” Mini Workshop. Is your church located within a two-hour drive of Harrisburg? If so, we can offer you a very special opportunity to host this new mini workshop. The workshop contains information to help all teachers in all areas of the church and Sunday school to become even better and more effective in their work for the Lord. The workshop is intended for presentation on a weekday evening. The workshop is FREE, but donations from participants will be requested. (Normally, it would cost $25 per participant to attend a similar event.) Even if your church is more than two-hours from Harrisburg, this program may still be available to you but an additional mileage charge may be added if donations do not cover the expenses of the event.
The P.S.S.S.A. Is On Facebook. Have you checked out the Association’s Facebook page? You’ll find information about the P.S.S.S.A., teaching tips, ideas and resources for all teachers, a new video about the Association, links to hundreds of other resources and much, much more. Check it out and “like” us at www.facebook.com/SundaySchoolHelp.org.
“Celebrate September as Sunday School Month.” Each year the P.S.S.S.A. encourages churches across Pennsylvania and beyond to “Celebrate September as Sunday School Month.” Each year the P.S.S.S.A. also creates a Sunday School Month kit that contains reproducible information sheets and other resources to help churches plan and carry out a Sunday school celebration to get the new Sunday school year off to a great start. Most of these kits are offered either free or at a very low cost to interested churches.
“The Great Bible Challenge” Book. The importance of the Bible as our guide for daily living cannot be overstated. The Bible is our “handbook” and our “road map” for our walk with Jesus Christ. Here at the PA State Sunday School Association, we believe that anything that helps focus attention on the Bible and creates interest in God’s Word is good. And, that’s why we created our “The Great Bible Challenge” book. Among the more than 165 ideas and suggestions contained in the book you will find a variety of ideas for ways to hold your own “Bible Quiz Challenge,” creative Bible study ideas, children’s activities and games, teaching tips and much more. The book is available through our “Sunday School Stuff Store.”
The “WHO AM I? Bible Quiz Challenge” Game. This game includes 154 different cards that each contain clues to the identity of a person from the Bible. Each card contains four different clues to the person’s identity, starting with a rather difficult clue and moving to a very easy clue. As the clues get easier, the number of points received for correctly guessing the person’s identity decrease. Each card also contains scripture references that can be used with a Bible search or for additional study about each of the persons. The game has been designed to be both fun and educational, and it can be played with just two persons, a family, a Sunday school class or even a large group of people. The game is suggested for ages 10 and up. The game is available through our “Sunday School Stuff Store.”
The “I Love Sunday School” Promotional Project. Are you looking for a way to effectively promote the importance of Sunday school within your church and community? Then we would like to suggest that you consider using our “I Love Sunday School” promotional program. The kits include a 20-page guidebook, a DVD with 10 different promotional videos, a teacher training CD, reproducible sheets, 9 different full color posters and much, much more. To order, go to our “Sunday School Stuff Store.”
Our Website (what you are now reading). Our popular Internet website was updated in 2019 to give it a new, modern look. The site still contains a wealth of information about the PA State Sunday School Association and our many programs and activities. It also contains informational articles about Sunday school, a video about the importance of Sunday school, our “Sunday School Stuff” store and much more.
“Why is Sunday School Important?” Video. Many people today would have us believe that Sunday school is an old, outdated idea. It that true? We certainly don’t think so! And, to help tell people why Sunday school is important, we now have a video about this very important program and why all persons of all ages should be involved each week. The video is available through our website and DVDs are available FREE of charge.
“Sunday School Stuff.” What is “Sunday School Stuff?” It is the P.S.S.S.A.’s exclusive line of literature and promotional materials that can be used by individuals, churches, Sunday school teachers and members. Literature items available include books and special Sunday school promotional materials. The promotional items include placemats, car magnets, buttons, candy treat packs and much more. Each of the items contains contain a popular Sunday school slogan. To see all of the items that are available, visit the “Sunday School Stuff Store,” here on our website.
“The Five Habits of Highly Effective Bible Teachers” Booklet. This is a little booklet that ever teacher in the church should read. The booklet – written by Dr. Bill Niblette – has only 24 pages, but in those pages you will find a wealth of information that can help every teacher – no matter how long they’ve been teaching – to be even better and more effective in their work for the Lord. For more information and to order, contact the P.S.S.S.A. office or visit the “Sunday School Stuff Store” here on our website.
“Before You Say ‘NO’” Audio CD. As you work to recruit new teacher for your Sunday school, do you give those prospects anything to help them as they consider your invitation? Well, we now have an audio CD that we would like to suggest that you give to every teacher that you try to recruit. On the cover of the CD case you will see this message, “So, you’ve been asked to be a teacher in your church or Sunday school… BEFORE YOU SAY ‘NO,’ please listed to this CD!” The message on the CD is not designed to coerce the prospect into becoming a teacher; rather it is designed to help the person make a well-thought-out, prayerfully considered decision. The CD also includes a sheet with information and instructions for churches as they work to find and recruit new teachers.
The “Youth Poster & T-Shirt Contest.” Each year the Sunday School Association sponsors a statewide contest where children and youth are given the opportunity to create a traditional poster, computer generated mini poster or T-shirt on a special Sunday school theme. Entries are judged at the county level with winners from the four age groups going on to the statewide final. In counties where there is no official county contest, local churches may hold their own contest.
Helpful Books for Sunday School Teachers and Leaders. Several of the P.S.S.S.A.’s most popular workshops, “Steps to Sunday School Success,” “What Every Sunday School Teacher Needs to Know and “The Missing – Reaching & Teaching Young Adults Through The 21st Century Church” are available in book form for use by individuals and local churches. Other books that are available include: “Starting & Teaching Focused Bible Study Groups in Your Church," “The Art of Invitation,” and “Check Out What’s Cool in Sunday School (229 ideas for celebrating and promoting Sunday school).” For more information, visit our “Sunday School Stuff Store.’
“The Herald” Newsletter. Sharing information and ideas with teachers and leaders has always been a major concern of the P.S.S.S.A. One of the ways this information is distributed is through the Association’s printed newsletter, “The Herald.” The newsletter, which is printed three times each year, contains news and information from the P.S.S.S.A. Free subscriptions for “The Herald” are available for all interested persons.
“The e-Herald” Newsletter. Each month the P.S.S.S.A. sends an E-mail newsletter to over 1,900 individuals and churches across the nation. This informative newsletter is presented in an eye-catching format that provides information and resources for all Sunday school and other Christian education teachers and leaders. To receive the newsletter, E-mail your E-mail address to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to send us the E-mail addresses of other teachers and leaders from your church.
Sunday School Tracts. Tracts are one of the best and most effective ways to witness to others about the importance of Sunday school, the Bible and Jesus Christ. To help churches and individuals plan and conduct a Sunday school tract ministry, the P.S.S.S.A. has prepared over a dozen different tracts. Most of the tracts are printed in full color and are available in any quantity. To see the tracts and read the messages contained on each, go to the “Sunday School Stuff Store” here on our website.
Service Awards & Recognitions. Each year the P.S.S.S.A. presents a special recognition award to persons who have served as a Sunday school teacher, assistant teacher or Sunday school superintendent for 50 years or more. Special recognitions are also available for persons who have has Sunday school perfect attendance and for churches that start new Sunday school classes. Contact the P.S.S.S.A. office for more information and for applications.
Special Speakers. P.S.S.S.A. Executive Director, Rodney Pry, and other speakers are available to come to local churches and other meetings to speak about the importance of Sunday school, the Bible and the work of the Sunday School Association. For more information, contact the P.S.S.S.A. office or call 717-652-1930.
The primary concern of the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association is that all persons, young and old, come to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, and that they know His Word, the Bible, and how to apply it to their lives. We believe that Sunday school and Christian education through the local church are important ways to reach these goals in the world today. By working to help promote Christian education and by educating and inspiring Sunday school and other Christian education workers, the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association can help YOU and YOUR church to better serve the Lord.