Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I was wondering. . .

If parents paid for Bible class (like they pay for dance class or art class), would they still be satisfied with classes that dole out 80% fluff and 20% (on a good day) substance. At least 80% of the time in the 5th grade class that I "assist" in is taken up in crafts and snacks.

Now I am not saying that parents should have to pay for their kids to come to Sunday school or Bible class. What I am saying is that I think most parents have very low expectations of their kids actually learning anything in a church Bible class. They don't put anything into it (no money, time, thought, etc.) and therefor expect very little out of it.

It seems the main focus in the younger years is to keep the little ones out of parents' hair while Mom and Dad go to their own Bible class. In elementary, the focus seems to shift to fun. "We want kids to think God and the Bible is fun." Then in middle school and high school the focus shifts (at least at our church) to "life issues".

Of course, I strongly recommend against relying on church run classes to give your child a solid foundation of biblical knowledge (or even a strong Christian worldview). But shouldn't Bible class focus on the Bible. Have we really bought into the idea that the Bible is boring? Or that our children are too stupid to understand it? Shouldn't our children be challenged to grow spiritually?

The teacher today actually did that for a full 5 minutes. Then apologizing for getting off lesson went back to the written speech that she is to read off the sheet. I was glad that she challenged the students and sad that it happens so infrequently.

P. S. Wickle made me think of something else. It seems to me that most parents have one main priority for a Bible class. That is safety. At least, that seems to be true for the little kids. Not that I am against safety. But shouldn't we give as much attention to learning as to safety?


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Wickle said...

You have a really good point, there. I get the sense that for most of us, we put up with just about anything, as long as it happens at all.

Applied Christianity said...

Are you saying that most parents would be fine as long as the class exists?

You made me think of a PS that I will add to the post.

Scott Weldon said...

"Are you saying that most parents would be fine as long as the class exists?"

That's exactly right. We have been conditioned to just "expect" a Sunday school class for the kids while we are free to go elsewhere. Most parents probably never do more than the perfunctory "so how was SS today?" question. They probably never truly discuss what the kids are learning, etc. They are just happy to see the little project the kids come home with, believing they are well entertained.

This is why the Family Integrated model is so much more effective in the long run, not to mention more biblical. Of course, we're not there yet as a church, but with God's grace...

Wickle said...

Yes, that's what I meant.

As Scott noted, a lot of people just want to make sure the kids are in Sunday School, but that's it.

We make it a big conversation topic, at least over lunch, to go over the Sunday School lessons and reinforce them. But I know that that's a minority approach.