Monday, June 05, 2006

How do I get these kids to listen?

Good Morning, One and All! Hope you had a lovely Sunday, and enjoyed worshipping with God's Family. We had a great day inspite of terrible weather. The weather here is quite a factor, because most people walk to Church. One young lady received Christ as her Saviour last night, so we are satisfied with this week's work.

I have been surprised as I read different blogs, at the idea that good mothers keep their children with them at Church and don't send them to Sunday School. What's wrong with Sunday School?
Well, I 've heard alot. I read about unprepared teachers and problems with other children. I personally loved SS, and I feel that learning Bible stories, especially illustrated ones during childhood, helps the grown-up Bible student learn better. So, what can we do to make our Sunday School better? We must prepare better teachers!

Several years ago, I was given a book called How do I get these kids to listen? by children's evangelist Ed Dunlop. Its published by Sword of the Lord Publishers. It is an interesting book, an easy read. Don't get me wrong, its an easy read, but you learn a lot! We must do our best to reach the children. I personally prefer working with kids rather than adults, because kids have less to un-learn and less emotional baggage.

If you are SS teacher, you'll enjoy this book. If you've ever felt called to teach, you'll enjoy this book. If you aren't a SS teacher, why not? Are you involved in the Lord's work somewhere else? Good! Oh, you're not? Let me encourage you!n Get involved! Help! Serve the Lord!

Have a great day!



Susan said...

My husband has that book, and I need to read it! I can see it from my desk as I type. Thanks for reminding me of it. I've taught for years, and every now and then I need something fresh to get me motivated again.

Mrs.B. said...

Most of the people that I've come across on the blogs, that are against Sunday School hold to Reformed Theology. They believe that parents are the ones commanded to teach their children, and it's not anyone else's responsibility. I've heard them also say that Sunday School tends to make parents abdicate their Scriptural command to teach their children the Bible.

There seems to be a big movement towards 'Family Integrated Services'. The people who believe this say that Sunday School is not found in the Bible and therefore shouldn't be practiced. Most are also against inviting lost people to church because they believe the Bible teaches that Sunday Morning church is not meant for evangelism of the lost but for edification and equipping the believer.

It was all new to me and I'm certainly no expert. I also don't mean this to be critical against anyone who believes this way because some readers of my blog believe this way and even though I'm not really sure I agree, I still count them as my friend.

Rhonda said...

Yeah, I have some friends here that believe that, and let me tell you, services at their church are wild!!!! The preacher there is my husband's best friend and we have talked this issue quite a bit.
1. Just because it isn't mentioned does not mean that it is wrong. Think Trinity, not there, per se, but I believe in it!

2 Unless all kids are well-behaved, you are going to have too many interuptions that Satan can and will use. I personally have seen mothers hide behind their babies so as not to pay attention.

We go over it with our friends and agree to disagree. But I love coming home to my own Church!

So glad you are back, and that you stopped by!

Susan, let me know what you thought of the book!
How did friend day go?

Rhonda said...

BTW Mrs. B
At our friends Church, they have Sunday School after Church for kids who come alone from unsaved families. They also have a men's SS, but they don't have classes for women, because of the same principle of the kids. They say that women are to learn from their husbands. So, no class for them.
And when I asked the pastor, our friend, about Titus 2, he said that women are to teach women, but only the things listed in Titus 2.

Just because I should learn from my husband doesn't mean I can't also learn from someone else? The same would apply to the kiddies. Mom and Pop should be the primary source of Biblical training, but 2 hours on Sunday could only help!

Sorry about the rant!


Mrs.B. said...

I agree, unless their children are well behaved then it's hard to run the service in decent order.

I think part of the problem is that some churches have become TOO insistant that mothers partake of nursery and such. I know of a couple of people who would rather have their children with them and the kids are well-behaved but every time they attend church (they're in the process of looking for a church) a bunch of people will come up and insist that they use the nursery or Sunday School.

I've just recently read that in the late 1900's children didn't attend church with their parents until they were old enough to behave. And Sunday schools were started to teach unsaved children how to read the Bible so that they could learn about Christ but they weren't held during Sunday morning church, they were held after church.

I've also had them say that they feel it's wrong to try and evangelize a child without their parents. They say the church needs to try and reach families. But what about children whose parents aren't interested in Christ, are we just supposed to leave them be and hope that their parents become interested some day? Some of these things sound great in 'ideal' circumstances but many of us don't come from 'ideal' circumstances!

There is a tape put out by Vision Forum Ministries called 'How Modern Churches Are Hurting Families'. I listened to it and could see some of his points but for the most part I think he pulled things out of context.

As far as the Trinity....they would argue (I've bad discussions about this on other blogs) that even though the word 'Trinity' isn't used, it is implied. There is nothing in Scripture that implies Sunday School. They say in Bible times that children were right along with their parents in the service.

Whew...this was a long comment. I think I was on a rant too! LOL

Rhonda said...

Well, I can see their point, up to a point. But you see, I am a missionary. We "preach the Gospel to every creature" and that includes poor kids whose parent just don't care!

Unless somebody can give me reason NOT to do it, we're gonna have Sunday School!

I've missed you Mrs.B!

Mrs.B. said...

I've missed you too Rhonda, your blog is one of my favourites!
{{{HUGS for Rhonda!!}}}

In fact, I just realized that I don't link to you and I'm going to change that right now (now that blogger is finally working correctly today!)

~Mrs. B

Tina Leigh said...

Wow what a discussion! How I agree with yall! There are so many women who go to church without husbands.The men are not the spiritual leaders of their homes. How many women have brought their husbands & familes to Christ I wonder? What about Lydia the dealer of purple cloth? You see they have substituted RELIGION for a relationship with Jesus. Yall made an excellent point..good job! I am all for Sunday school! It is a wonderful tool. The purpose of Sunday School...Evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship..carring out the Great Commission through small Bible study groups. Sunday school doesnt have to be on Sunday & it doesnt have to be at the church but if each group is not doing all of the five it is unbalanced & may be ineffective and it's true if your are teaching 5 year olds or 50 year olds. Sunday School should be the mini-missionary arm of the church! Oh I love Sunday School!

Rhonda said...

I am honored Mrs.B!

Tina Leigh,
Thanks for stopping by and joining in! I didn't even think of the moms whose husband are not spiritual (saved or not)! They need all the support we can give them to raise their kids in the LOrd!

You two have a great day!


Anonymous said...

Argh! Long comment alert – sorry in advance.

Hi Rhonda, I love your honesty and openness. I too have visited many blogs where parents have given their 'biblically based' reasons for not agreeing with Sunday School or any kind of school. I totally understand why they want their children close to them in church, as a mother I yearn to have them beside me constantly, but it is neither practical nor sensible to their growing interest in a loving God to force children to become as little adults and sit still for up to 2 hours.

What are the biblical reasons? Do they not know that St Paul was taught at the feet of Gamaliel – and this would have been from very young age (as those given into the priesthood and religious leadership were)? Do they not remember Samuel taught at the feet of Eli? Do they not remember our Lord Jesus being separated amongst his family and friends on visiting the temple? An obvious sign that He was not tied to His mother’s apron strings as it was not noticed until they were quite a way from Jerusalem – they didn’t find Him for 3 days!!

I realize that we are instructed to lead our children on the right paths to God, but do we not trust our brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we not one body in Christ? If you do not feel this way about your church then should you really be at that church? It is our lives at home and out and about with our children that will speak to them. It is the way we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the joy that we share in the stories and glory of God with them. It’s not that we keep them with us every second of the day for fear of what may be taught to them out of our jurisdiction. God will cover them with His grace and mercy. Only He can save our children, we can do nothing except trust them into His hands and live the life that He has given us through His Holy Spirit.

I do want my kiddies to hear the preached word from as young an age as possible (youngest I think a child could listen to the word is age 6, but many kiddies even at age 6 would struggle). But to keep them in church now (at ages 2 and 4) would they be listening and taking it in?

I do feel it is my responsibility as a parent to ensure that my children learn about Jesus and God in the best way possible. I do not fear the instruction of my beautiful sisters who work in our children’s church. I do not think that I am shirking my responsibility to my children and passing the buck. I think that I am trusting my bretheren.

If there is no Sunday School at a particular church then there needs to be understanding amongst the congregation that children are children, beautiful, full of life and joy. Children should be seen AND heard for their angels forever behold the face of God.

Anonymous said...

p.s. I love you all my blogging sisters! :o)

Rhonda said...

Amen Mrs.Blythe!!!!!!

YOu're right! If you don't trust the people in your SS and your Pastor, who put them there, then maybe you need to worship elsewhere.

They say parenting is like flying a kite. You need to know when to let uot the string and when to pull in.

Thanks, mu friend!


Mrs.B. said...

Excellent thoughts ladies! (o:

Joy said...

Hey!! Just wanted to say hi to a fellow overseas missionary!! Love your blog!

Sharon said...

I am one of those believers who is not a fan of Sunday School. I have many reasons why I am not fond of it and some of them touch on more personal, negative experiences, but there is not room here for a full essay (thank goodnesss).

Let me just say that for 1800 years, there was no concept of Sunday School (children attended church with their families and evangelists expended their efforts toward adults pretty much exclusively...the main exceptions being orphanages and work houses.)

I don't think it was a coincidence that the Sunday School movement began at the same time roughly as the public school movement; indeed most of its defenders and proponents were active in both movements; and their writings are often filled with socialist tendencies.

My great-grandfather was a preacher who was adamantly opposed both to school "consolidation" (trading in small, country, locally-run schools for bigger ones run by the government) and Sunday School. I have a scrapbook of articles and letters he and others wrote on this subject. It is elucidating to see how absolutely shocked believers were back then (later 1800s) at the very idea. "Did these Bible teachers intend to tempt fathers to neglect their biblical duties of family worship and Christian education?" "Did they actually think they could teach the children better than their own parents could?" "How could the parents be certain their children were not learning apostasies, since they were not old enough to judge rightly for themselves?" The Sunday School proponents were very busy indeed assuring people that it would ONLY be for the children of the lost and orphans... They would truly be shocked to learn that children now attend Sunday School even to the very exclusion of worshipping in church with their families and hearing the Word of God preached.

Rhonda said...

Thank you for stopping by, Sharon!
I definitely agree that parents are the primary source for Biblical training. It pains me to see so many spiritually neglected children, whose parents should know better.

In our Church, we have phases. Small children are out of the preaching, but not the worship service. The primaries are out for Sunday school and then in with the whole Church for the morning sermon, then out again for the evening sermon. The juniors are out only for the Sunday school hour, but back for morning and evening sermons. So the kids get age-appropriate training, and preaching of the Word. I think its a good compromise!