Sunday School: A Family Matter
As the children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses exhorted them: “Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 31:12).
Gathering together to hear from God’s Word is for every member of the family! A biblically sound and well-organized Sunday school will strengthen each member of the home, not only in his relationship with the Lord, but also in his relationships with others.
Paul described the local church as a place where young men and women would learn from more experienced men and women about their roles in the church and home (Titus 2:3–8). Paul and Peter each challenged gifted teachers to invest in the lives of their fellow members of the body (Romans 12:6–7, 1 Peter 4:10).
Sunday school teachers and family members make a great team when they apply the following principles:
The principle of the lesson aim: Effective teachers know what they want their students to learn. While mom or dad attends a class where they might learn biblical principles for marriage or parenting, son or daughter may be in a class where they are instructed to honor father and mother or to be kind to brother or sister!
The principle of a godly example: Parents know the burden of providing the right example for their children. Involvement in the Sunday school provides their children with additional examples of faithfulness in the lives of dedicated teachers (1 Timothy 4:12).
The principle of creative learning: Experienced teachers deliver Bible truths in creative ways that children are able to carry with them. Often, a Sunday school teacher is able to drive home a lesson with just the right song, visual aid, or object lesson.
The principle of shared labor: Godly parents work diligently to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Wise parents seize the opportunity for like-minded mentors to enter into their labors, encouraging their children along this path (John 4:38, 1 Corinthians 3:6–10).
The principle of a reinforced message: Christian moms and dads pray that their children will embrace a message something like this: the Bible is true, Jesus Christ is the one way to Heaven, and living according to God’s Word is a treasured way of life. How valuable to have a godly teacher reinforce that message in the Sunday school classroom (Philippians 1:27, 2 Timothy 2:2)!
The Sunday school is a friend to the family endeavoring to live out God’s Word. Sunday school teachers can support each member of the home through encouraging words, intercessory prayer, personal visitation, and diligent lesson preparation.
*original article by Tim Christoson, of Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, CA