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?