Summary: relevance of Sunday school teaching.

Sunday School: Christian Education in the Church.

1 Cor.14:1-18

Here are some samples of kids’ prayers:

Dear God, Maybe if Cain and able had their own rooms, they wouldn’t kill each other so much. It worked for me and my brother!

Dear God, thank You so much for my new baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy!

Dear God, My older sister got married a week ago. They

kissed right in that okay?

Dear God, Mommy told us that old people eventually die. If it’s okay with you, why not let them live? Then you wouldn’t have to spend so much time making new people!

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four in our family and I can never do it. Nan

Dear God, We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School,we learned that You did it. So I bet he stole your idea.

Kids are great, aren’t they?

A tourist is picked up by a cabbie in New York on a dark night. The passenger taps the driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screams, loses control of the car, nearly hits a bus, drives up on the sidewalk, and stops inches from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look friend, don’t EVER do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"

The passenger apologizes and says he didn’t realize that a "little tap" could scare him so much.

The driver, after gathering himself together replied, "Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver - I’ve been driving hearses for the last 25 years!

It’s your first day today at Sunday School. I trust that it will be a great exciting time of learning God’s Word, and not a scary time. So I want to welcome all of you back from summer vacation. Does anyone here know when Sunday school got started in churches?

According to Donald Joy “In the early centuries, no provision was made for the education of children.” Those who you who assumed that Sunday school was right there when Christian churches began, will be disappointed to know it wasn’t around then. It came to be because of Robert Raikes’s attempts at bringing basic literacy to deprived chimney sweeps in Gloucester, England. Few church people liked his innovative idea. So the first Sunday school was held at Mrs Meredith’s kitchen. And he paid her to teach and later employed others. Raikes, the owner and printer of the Gloucester Journal, pondered the fate of the young ruffians disturbing the peace on Sunday. He had visited the prisons of Gloucester and saw how easy it was for the children to slip into crime. Raikes knew the parents of the poor children were "totally abandoned themselves, having no idea of instilling into the minds of their children principles to which they themselves were entire strangers." Some other means of teaching these youngsters must be found, or many more would end up in prisons.

Since the children of the poor worked in the factories all week, they could not go to schools and hence had no education. Raikes decided to establish schools for these children to attend on Sundays. Soon crime rates dropped.

The idea of the Sunday School caught the imagination of a number involved in evangelical churches and groupings. Most notably, Hannah More and her sister Martha founded a number of schools in the Mendip Hills that involved innovation. These lay in the pedagogy they developed; the range of activities they became involved in; and the extent to which publicity concerning their activities encouraged others to develop initiatives. They attempted to make school sessions entertaining and varied. Programmes had to be planned and suited to the level of the students. There needed to be variety and classes had to be as entertaining as possible (she advised using singing when energy and attention was waning). She also argued that it was possible to get the best out of children if their affections ’were engaged by kindness’. Furthermore, she made the case that terror did not pay. However, she still believed it was a ’fundamental error to consider children as innocent beings’ rather than as beings of ’a corrupt nature and evil dispositions.’ I remember the first time I was in Sunday School. Good experience because of the kindness experienced. So teachers, bring excitement, dream, innovate, what your class can become. Make it fun!

By the time of Raikes’s death in 1811, there were nearly a half million children enrolled in his Sunday Schools. It was only in 1810 that the American version of Sunday School came into being and was given permission to come into the churches. Hence, the Sunday school, as we know it, is really a fairly recent invention to follow up on Paul’s charge in 1 Cor.14 (NLT)…

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