By Jennifer Johnson
Tired of seeing teenagers head off to college and never return to church? Bob Hall has created a Sunday school class for 12th-graders.
“There just seemed to be a weak foundation for their faith,” he says. As a nuclear engineer, he could answer many of the students’ questions about science, and together they dug into the Bible. He taught the class for seven years.
Now, at Velocity Christian Church (Glen Allen, VA), Hall has a bigger vision for a broader age group.
“I read science articles and I read the comments,” he says. “We live in a combative age—not just skeptical, but militantly skeptical. I think more people need to be equipped to answer the questions, and I want to make it more accessible to the people in my church.”
He put out the word at the end of last year and assembled a team of about a dozen people.
“I use that word team on purpose,” he says. “Some of us are interested in science, some in philosophy, some in history. We’re dividing up the work according to people’s interests and what they want to learn.”
The participants began by developing a 15-book reading list, which they’re currently working through at the rate of one book a month. Since January they’ve met every two weeks to discuss the reading, its main ideas, and the
questions it raises. Next spring, at the end of the 15 months, Hall says they’ll evaluate their progress and decide what to study in more depth.
“Long-term we may try to create our own resources, or offer training for other people in the church,” he says. “We want to be able to answer questions with excellence.”