Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Great Duty

Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion
that Sunday School is intended
to ease them of their personal duties.
The first and most natural condition of things
is for Christian parents
to train up their own children
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

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Jessica said...

Sadly, many parents today seem to think that they've done their job by sending their kids to Sunday School and VBS, youth group etc. Not only are they not teaching their children, they are assuming that their kids are learning sound doctrine when often its Bible story time without teaching them age-appropriate theology. I realize thats not always the case - there are some great Sunday school teachers and curriculums out there, its just that ultimately its the parents who are responsible for teaching their children and for being sure that what they might be taught in a Sunday school class is both relevent (not playtime) and doctrinally pure.

I'm glad that we attend a church that doesn't even have Sunday school - its not an option. The children sit in the pews next to their parents and learn to sit still and listen to the pastor. I think our children are able to understand much more than what they are given credit for in many churches today.

scooter said...

I myself am a Sunday School teacher. We belong to a small congregation that is does not affiliate with a denominational system. We have a doctrine, but we are sovereign. Each of our teachers choose their own lessons and it really is not an easy task. I am thankful though that each child sitting in my classroom (ages 10-13) is being taught the Word daily in their own homes and that if I make an error they are quick to question. Their parents hold me accountable, so I rely on the leading of the Lord in my lesson planning. I think Sunday School is a good thing, but it should not be the only thing, and parents really should be aware of what their children are learning and speak up if they feel it is inappropriate for their age or full of errors.

a mom of many said...

Very well said Jessica! I agree, our children has been underestimated & families poorly served by our modern churches. We also have our children with us during services. Our family feels it is clearly how worship is described in scripture.

Lori said...

I think that if we neglect this teaching at home, not only are we missing out on a beautiful time of fellowship as a family, but we are making assumptions that are dangerous to make. Assuming your child is "saved" simply because they prayed a prayer. My children still attend Sunday School, VBS, etc, simply because my husband wants them to. But honestly, if you ask them WHY they go you won't get a deeply spiritual answer. You will get: my friends are there. Honest enough.

I want to not only teach them the doctrine that lies the ground work for understanding, I want to live it out right in front of them. How better can we do that but to show genuine enthusiasm for God's word? My prayer is that they will develop the same passion/longing for the words of God. I can only lay the wiring and then pray for God to turn on the electricity. But I can't leave that up to a Sunday School teacher. It's far too important. And who loves my kids more than my husband and I? Who is more qualified and positioned to demonstrate the unconditional love that God has for them? No one. I consider it the greatest honor of my life!

April said...

This is in response to Jessica on June 30th, okay your church doesn't have sunday school and you make a point of pointing out the children are in the pews with the parents. I grew up in churches that were biblically sound and still taught sunday school... starting at 945am which was then followed by church at 1045am, and I was in a pew beside my mother and father. I was taught a great deal from my sunday school teachers at each age level as I grew and it was taught at a level befitting my age level and understanding of the bible. Then as I sat in "Big Church" as children call it sometimes, I was able to understand what was being preached from the pulpit because I already had a foundation of bible studies that I could use to help decipher the larger more important message.

I believe both are a good option, I have never once regretted my time in Sunday School and in College enrolled in a class that taught about the foundational views of Sunday School, I believe what you are talking about is children's church which takes the children from big church into a classroom like setting while the adults are in church. I do not like Children's Church either but sunday school is something entirely different.

Ellen said...

We began attending a church this spring that is family integrated. I actually found the link through a post you wrote sometime back about family integration. It is a blessing to have our children worship with us. I love that we are all together and not seperated as soon as we go through the door. For our family, this is the best option for our worship.♥

The Mold-ee :) said...


Donalacasa said...

I agree with Jessica. This has been a pet peeve of mine and Friend Hubby's for many years. People who roll their parenting responsibilities off on others, whether it is Sunday School teachers, children's church leaders, youth pastors, or whatever. We believe that all of those people are great in the life of a child, but they should be the side dishes of a child's spiritual food, not the main course.

"And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then] You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up." Deut. 6:6-7 AMP

The emphasis is on the word YOU.


Naomi Costales said...

I feel it is important that the biblical foundation in the child be done by the parents and with the parents as they live to glorify the Lord in their duties as parents. Children's questions should come to the parents first and not to a teacher or pastor first. As for church attendance, I'm a firm believer that families should worship together. Other avenues offered within the church (Sunday school, VBS, youth groups, etc.) do not really encourage family worship but instead segregate families. I often found with my own children when we USED TO let them attend these other avenues, it was more about fun and hanging out with friends and not so much about learning Scripture and the Word of God. This broke my heart so we prayed and found that it was not for us. Lastly, when families attend worship together, if questions arise from the child, the parents were sitting through the same teaching and will be able to answer their child's question as needed. We parents have one of the greatest responsibilities to raise our children unto the glory of God and that is not to be replaced or pushed aside at any given moment.

Amy said...

A big problem is that many adults don't know what to teach their children. They didn't get a sound doctrinal foundation either. I have noticed that there is a lot of "feel-good" preaching going on too that doesn't really have much to do with deeper concepts and avoids any implication that something might be wrong.

One great metaphor is that we need to always use an original pattern. Using a copy of a copy of a copy leads to serious flaws in the finished product. Even if we have to make adaptaions we must always start with the original. Likewise, if we don't learn the gospel ourselves from the Bible but pass on the simplified versions we get from casual church attendance, we will not be able to give our children the knowlegde and conviction to stand up to the MANY temptations that bombard them daily.

Tara said...

I struggle with this very thing. As Amy said, many parents feel unable to pass on sound doctrine because they don't have a good foundation themselves. I was not raised in church and sadly fall into that category.

Eve said...

I so enjoy receiving these encouraging posts in my e-mail! This is a topic I think every parent can find ways of improving in--especially me!

I posted about how we do this in our family / homeschool @ Inchworm Chronicles here:



Anonymous said...

I agree with Jessica. We have no Sunday School. And as far as parents not knowing what to teach their children, why not study it out on your own? Studying takes time, energy, effort, and will-power, but this is your soul and the souls of your children. This alone should give us the impetus we need to study God's Holy Word for ourselves. Pastors can be wrong. Be like the Bereans, who studied the scriptures to make sure that what they heard was true!

We do not have Sunday school because we believe that the Bible says, "And when they came together into ONE PLACE..." They all met together, they learned together, they worshipped together. They were not separated to learn or worship. I am not trying to start a debate, but to give something to think on...

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