Family sunday school

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by John3v36, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. John3v36

    John3v36
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    We have started what is called a family sunday school.

    You bring in the whole family and you have a leader in the group. But, you lead the family and guide the parent in teaching their kids in the class. [​IMG]

    Have you heard of or do you have one of these classes?
    If so, how did it work out?

    [ August 23, 2002, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: John3v36 ]
     
  2. 7-Kids

    7-Kids
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    I think that a family Sunday School is a great idea. It allows the parents, especially the fathers to be involved in the spiritual teaching received by their children. Also, it allows the family to learn together as a family instead of in little bitty pieces. The other benfit of this type of class would seem to be that the children would begin (hopefully) to look to their parents as their spiritual leaders, instead of looking to their friends in Youth Group or even the Youth Pastor. I'm not saying that Youth Pastors are bad, but it is better for the family if the kids rely on their parents (whom God appointed for the task) instead of someone outside the family for their spiritual advice. So I guess I would say, Go for it! :cool:
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The drawback of these is that parents in the mid 30s with 3 or 4 kids have different needs spiritually and socially than children in the 3rd or 6th or even 12th grade. That creates a huge problem becuase you can't feed them all in one setting very easily. The parents should not need a family SS class to be involved in the spiritual instruction of their family. They spend 7 days a week with them. That is when the instruction goes on -- when they sit, when they stand, when they walk about, when they lie down.

    IMO, this is a bad idea because it prevents the church from applying to Bible to every area of life in a fashion conducive to true spiritual growth. My adult Bible study class deals with issues of life that have them interested and participating but it would put younger kids to sleep. They would not learn a thing. If I taught at the kids level, the adults would not be learning anything that applies to their life.
     
  4. Molly

    Molly
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    I agree with SixKids....children should be under the authority of the parents. The parents should be equipped to train and teach their children. The family class is a great way to do that!
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    Sad thing is that many parents run from teaching their children spiritually.

    What is that all about?
     
  6. John3v36

    John3v36
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    Have you seen one at work? Or do you just think it will not work?

    [ August 24, 2002, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: John3v36 ]
     
  7. 7-Kids

    7-Kids
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    Let me answer Saggy first (Is it ok for me to call you that?) Probably one big reason many parents run from this idea of training their own kids is that the world adopted the notion a long time ago that it is better to leave important things to "the experts". Unfortuantely, this ideology has crept into the church, too. :(
    Now, to respond to Pastor Larry. I respectfully disagree with you. Although sometimes in teaching the adults the children will be bored, this is not necessarily bad. The children will at least learn to sit still and listen (if the parents make them). I have noticed this to be a skill that most children still need to learn, nowadays. Furthermore, if the class is handled well by the leader, the kids will not be bored because they will be involved in the process. We are not talking about a lecture here, but an interactive time with questions and answers being allowed and encouraged.
    Also, to say that the kids, especially young ones, will not get anything out of it is simply not true. My oldest child is 8. When he was not quite 5, he was convicted by the Holy Spirit as a DIRECT result of a sermon preached by the pastor of the church we were attending at the time. The sermon was "way above the heads of the kids" in the opinion of the pastor, who tried very hard to get us to put our kids in the nursery or children's church!
    Finally, to say that you cannot meet all the needs of everyone in such a class has no basis in Scripture. How did they do it in the NT church? After all, we are all one body! Shouldn't we start acting like one? It seems that by saying we cannot all learn together and all profit, we are denying the unity of the Spirit. If that were actually the case (that we can't all learn together) then why in the world do pastors preach a sermon to the whole (adult) church every Sunday morning?
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    I have seen places where parents bring their kids to their class (such as mine). It is distracting for teh adults until the kids fall asleep or until the parents take them out for their disruption. When I teach my class, I teach it for adults.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I do not think it is wise to allow gets to get the feelign that church is boring or that church is for older kids. The best trained adult is someone who started young in most cases. Sure the kids can sit still and listen but are the really going to get anything out of teaching on how to deal with disputes with your spouse or how to be a better Christian in the workplace or things like that? Hardly.

    I do this all the time, but I have yet to see one child interact, ask a question, show any interest. The adults love it. I could cancel my Sunday morning service with greater ease than I could my adult Bible fellowship class. But it is geared towards a certain age group in order to address them in their life context.

    I have no problem if parents want to keep their kids with them in church, provided they are quiet and non-distractive. I was saved at 6 years old in an adult service. That is not the point. A 6th grader can learn something in high school English but it is not the best place for them. We do not have any problem with this in any other context in life. Why do we think it should be different in church. If there is any place that teaching should be age graded, it is in church because the material is so much more important. If a 3rd grader misses the point of a 6th grade math lesson, it doesn't really matter. If he misses the point of a SS lesson, there are eternal issues at stake.

    If I say that they had age-graded classes, what Scripture are you going to use to disagree?? The reality is that Scripture does not tell us how; it tells us what to do. That we are all one body is not the issue. Why ahve different churches in that case. To say that we can all learn together ignores the basic realities of life. People at different ages learn different ways.

    Because they are, for the most part, adults ... a further demonstration of the proof of my argument.

    I am not saying that it is sin to do it the way some of you are suggesting. I am simply saying I do not believe it is the best way. Furthermore, I believe some of the arguments (one body, fathers teaching spiritual things, etc) are off base and without real merit.
     
  10. 7-Kids

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    Actually, I do have problems with age segregation in other areas of life. That is one of the reasons I homeschool. One of the other reasons, and probably the main one is that I believe that parents ought to teach their kids. Please, I am not trying to turn this into another homeschool debate. There are already about three other threads like that right now. I am just saying that what I said before is NOT inconsistent with what I do in every other part of my life.

    Having said that, let me address the rest of it. Yes, kids can be distracting in an adult class. The parents need to deal with this. It really comes down to parenting. If you are not doing a good job of parenting during the week, a family Sunday School is a really bad idea. However, I have found that if I teach my kids to be still at home they will also be still at church. As a rule, the only disruptive one is the baby. The only reason this is a problem is because some people freak out if I nurse (even with a blanket).

    As far as the topics being uninteresting to kids. Well, I will just say that I always enjoyed the topics of the adult class immensely when I was a kid. And I wished that I had more practical instruction on , say parenting, before I became a parent. Waiting to learn about how spouses should relate until you are already married is a bad idea. These adult topics are the ones the kids will have to deal with most of their lives anyway. They ought to be exposed to them early and regularly. If we started treating kids as if they could handle adult material, then they would handle it just fine. When we take our kids into class with us they behave (usually) and the older ones (8,7,5,3) actually ask questions either in class if that is allowed or at home. It is really frustrating to have to wait until we get home because very often the thought has been lost or confused by the intervening time.

    I believe that the church, and especially the family, should operate as a unit. I do not think it is WRONG to have age-segregated Sunday School any more than I think it is wrong to send your kids to public schools. I just think it is better to do things as a family. With the father as leader in charge. That is what we try to do in our family. It is very difficult because ever since we had kids, the churches we have been in have fought us on this. It is a shame that the church seems to think they should make obstacles for families that are just trying to do what we think is right!
     
  11. Headcoveredlady

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    Amen Sixkids,
    That was excellent. This has happened to us to. Because of it I am very sad with attending the church we do. I am ready to find a family friendly church. Problem is there is none where we live. It is very sad when the church fights parents in this area instead of encouraging it.
    We attended a meeting at our church and a missionary came to present the work that the Lord has accomplished in the area he was working. After the meeting my Pastor announced that all Sunday School teachers ought to make sure they reinforce what was said here to their Sunday School students. While, there was nothing wrong with him encouraging someeone to teach, there was never any encouragement to the parents to go home and teach their children.
    We are not encouraged in what we do, but ridiculed. We are ridiculed for not using nursery or Sunday School. We are ridiculed for me not going out with the ladies while my children are with sitters, and a host of other issues related to this. Sad...

    HCL
     
  12. John3v36

    John3v36
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  13. 7-Kids

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    Thank you Headcoveredlady! I sometimes feel as if I am all alone on this issue (besides my husband I mean!) It is very encouraging to know that I am NOT the only one who thinks this way. Thank you for the encouragement and also to the person who private mailed me (you know who you are). I really appreciate it. Helps me to "Keep on keeping on" if you know what I mean.
     
  14. Farmer's Wife

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    HCL and SixKids, y'all would be GREATLY ENCOURAGED in your Biblical stand at the Baptist church in which I am a member. [​IMG] The nursery is for nursing only! There are no age-segregated Sunday Schools. There is no 'ladies day out' hogwash! Oh my, how boring we must be...he,he,he! [​IMG] Everything we do as a church is FAMILY ORIENTED (all members included)! HCL, Just how far are you from Northeast Louisiana, anyway?! Now, let me get my map and see how far we are from Corpus Christie, Texas. ;) It is a blessing to see Godly women boldly stand for Biblical family values! Keep standing firm!
     
  15. 7-Kids

    7-Kids
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    Thanks again for the encouragement! [​IMG]
     
  16. TheOliveBranch

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    HCL and Sixkids, I was in your shoes in the church we attended. We moved a little farther north and attended another church that segregated the classes. But the teachers were taught at a special meeting what was being taught in all the classes, so the same thing was taught but at all the different levels. This made it easier for us as parents to go over the subjects with the kids. It also reinforced what they had learned. I had attended a church that had family Sunday school, but I really didn't like it. Maybe it was the way it was done, but the level was too shallow for adults, too high for the youngest (2-6 yr olds), and it was distracting.

    As for nursery, I have never allowed my children into one. Still can't find Biblical basis for one, and I can't see taking the nursey workers out of preaching to watch my children. My little ones sit thru service, and we go to service as a family. I had so much grief for doing this. I even had an evangelist ask me to take the baby out, even though she wasn't making a sound. I took my baby, & family and left. Now that we're here in Jersey, our church is so small, they don't have room for a nursery. This is one of the many reasons we stayed with this church. [​IMG] We can sit together, all of us, and not have to endure all the people reminding us that there is a nursery.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    [ September 01, 2002, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I will chime in one last time here [​IMG] ... It is always interesting to see someone claim biblical family values without offering one verse of Scripture to show where this is biblical.

    Then it is interesting to see someone give the very reason that I earlier gave and then apparently act in spite of it anyway. Olive Branch said, level was too shallow for adults, too high for the youngest (2-6 yr olds), and it was distracting. I am thinking to my "Bingo." Someone has figured it out. What kind of spiritual level is someone at if material that kids can understand is helpign them grow in their Christian walk? That would be great for anew believer but even an adult new believer learns differently than children do. And what are we doing for our kids if we are teaching things at an adult level? It seems to me that would be a key factor in all of this. We are either encouraging adults never to move past the basics or teaching kids that God is boring and only for adults. Either way, we lose and they lose.

    Additionally, most churches have a number of kids who come without their parents. Their parents have never taught them anything. Where do we put them??? With their parents?? At home??? I hardly think so. If we have a separate class for them, then we segregate them from teh church kids, preventing relationships that might expose them to a godly home and we take away an opportunity for ministry on the part of our children who could be taught that those kids are people to reach, not to segregate into a different classroom.

    As for nurseries, I have never been in a service where a noisy baby helped the atmosphere. I have seen many where active babies who would be well taken care of in a clean nursery with qualified workers have distracted people from the message at hand. If we had a baby who was a constant problem, we would ask them to use the nursery. We have a speaker in there so the service can be heard. It helps the worship not to be distracted by things that can be solved easily.

    I think there are a lot of issues that many people never really think about in this matter. I would encourage more sober reflection on the mission of the church to reach all ages by equipping them to live life in view of sound biblical teaching.

    [ September 01, 2002, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  19. Headcoveredlady

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    Pastor Larry,
    I am sorry that you are so disturbed by noisy babies. Just today my just turned two year old got money out at offering time without being told, prayed without being told and got the hymnbook and tried to sing without being told. This child was also quiet for 90% of the sermon. When this child made a noise that so often seems to upset those who MUST have this child in the nursery we removed the child to the foyer. My child is being trained by us and I would not have it any other way. And to suggest that the child come to church to learn how to play is ridiculous. I know you did not say children ought to come to play but that is what they do in nursery. I have heard from many moms who say once the children get in the habit of nursery it is very difficult to teach them how to sit in church. I have seen four and five year olds still in nursery because their parents were involved in "ministry." The children would cry their eyes out while their parents "ministered" to others.
    There is no Biblical basis for any of these programs that take authority away from parents. I have not seen one Scripture. And I have been told by a sixty year old woman that when she was a little girl there was no such thing as a nursery. This is a modern invention that comes from the same theory that children are best taught by the "experts."
    If you like other people to teach your children that is your business, but to discourage me from training mine is not honoring to the Lord. And it is precisely that attitude that I frequently encounter at church that causes me to wonder if we even belong there.

    HCl

    [ September 02, 2002, 12:24 AM: Message edited by: Headcoveredlady ]
     
  20. John3v36

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    [ September 01, 2002, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: John3v36 ]
     

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