Study Resources - Matthew
In 2023 the Rt. Rev. David M. Reed invites the diocese to study the Gospel of Matthew. He states, “I chose this Gospel for us to study throughout the Diocese in 2023 for several reasons. In keeping with our World Mission emphasis, it can lead us to discover, or re-discover, the missionary imperative given by our Lord.”
The diocesan Christian Formation Committee has put together Bible study recommendations for children, youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. These recommended studies may be used during Sunday school, mid-week formation, or anytime a church gathers to study the Bible together. One resource for adults can also be used as a daily devotional study of the Gospel of Matthew for individuals.
For children we recommend either Lesson Plans That Work from the Episcopal Church or Rotation.org writing team lessons on Matthew. Lesson Plans That Work is a free resource that follows the revised common lectionary. There is a lesson for younger children and older children based on each week’s gospel. Almost every Sunday, aside from a few in Lent, has lessons from Matthew’s Gospel. The lessons include an opening prayer, story time, an activity, a closing activity, and a closing prayer.
The Rotation.org lessons are designed to teach the same Bible passage over a few weeks. Pick one or several the lessons you’d like to use (i.e. art, science, games, etc.) for each passage of Matthew. If you choose four lessons you can teach the same Bible story for four weeks at a time and use these lessons through the whole of 2023! The lessons are organized by Spring/Summer and Fall, but feel free to use them at any time of year.
For youth groups and youth Bible studies the committee recommends using Faith Lens from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Fathom: The Teachings of Jesus from Cokesbury, or Matthew in 28 from Download Youth Ministry. Faith Lens follows the lectionary and connects a world event to the Gospel text for the week. This study could be used for the whole year, a new study is published each week! Fathom: The Teachings of Jesus explores the Gospels. According to the website “teens will gain a ground level perspective of the message of the gospel from the writers and their sources. With each lesson, your group will become transformed by the teachings of Christ who became flesh and lived among us with grace and truth.” Matthew in 28 is a $5 download of images from the book Matthew that are meant to be posted on social media. The website link includes ideas of how to use this resource for your youth group.
Adults are invited to choose from three studies, “Seek First the Kingdom: the Kingdom ofHeaven in Matthew” written by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson and the Rev. Dr. John Lewis for the Diocese in 2017, the Gospel of Matthew 8-week study from the Bible Project compiled by the Christian Formation Committee, and/or A Journey With Matthew from Forward Movement. The “Seek First” study includes an opening prayer, background information on the text, commentary on the Bible text for each lesson, and discussion questions. This study would work well for in-person Sunday school or Bible study groups that are willing to do a little reading ahead of time or have a facilitator who can read and summarize the Bible background information. For the Bible Project study groups will watch videos together and then have some discussion time so this could also be done via Zoom for groups that are meeting remotely. The Forward Movement study is a 50-day study that can be used either by individuals or groups. This would make a great study to hand out to folks on Easter or Pentecost to encourage adults to study Matthew at home.
If your church has intergenerational formation time some of the above lessons such as Lesson Plans that Work or The Bible Project could work for you depending on the ages of your group. For groups with more young children we would recommend Lesson Plans that Work and for those with older children or Youth the Bible project lessons could work well. If it is in your budget we also recommend using Genon ministries Living in Faith Together studies from Year 3 including Spring Units 1 and 2, Fall Unit 3, and Winter Unit 1 and 3.
If you need more ideas or suggestions of how to study Matthew with your congregation or how these particular studies could be used please reach out to Suzanna Green, Bishop’s Deputy for Christian Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congregations may also search St. Mark's Bookstore's online Bookshop Portal for other titles not included in the Christian Formation list. Bookshop is an online bookstore that supports independent bookstores. Both shops provide several options for shipping. Questions about St. Mark's Bookstore, books, or delivery options may be directed to email@example.com.