sunday School classes

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by hrhema, May 23, 2002.

  1. hrhema

    hrhema
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    The Sunday School class I attend spends 45 minutes talking about everything except God.
    When prayer requests are taken many times the prayer requests seem pretty trivial to be bringing up in class. Such as please pray that God should show me what color carpet for my house. (I am not joking)

    When they ask if there are any praise reports it seems to turn to something to brag about. Example: I bought new curtains for my house.

    I honestly thought praise reports should be something that glorifies God.

    Is this normal behavior?
     
  2. donnA

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    Well, usually our class is not like that. Can't think of a time when they might have been.
    We spend that 45 minutes sometimes more, we just get tot he sanctuary just before the choir, in bible study and discussion.
    This is strange, but this week our teacher is having to go back to Florida for his father who still lives ther. Since he has written our material(an over view of truths running through out the bible, and seeing God's work all leading to Jesus), we don't have a substute, becasue of this. So this week, we decided to have our Sunday school class on Wednesday night instead. Which was really good, all but two were there. We spent over and almost an hour and a half talking about our lesson and God and His purposes (we were on the book of 1 Kings).
    Do you have another class available to you?
     
  3. longshot

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    No, not normal behavior. In fact it would be kind of embarrasing to me. We take our prayer requests seriously and all, and we try not to let anyone think any request is to trivial. But carpet and drapes? We also have 45 minute lessons that could go for an hour and a half easy. One thing that helps is 30 minutes of fellowship after the morning service and before Sunday School.
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    Sunday school is another one of those man-made things that was never endorsed by scripture, never practiced by the New Testament church of the first century.
     
  5. donnA

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    What the N.T. peoples didn't do bible study?
    How strange that the Bearens were commended for it.

    [ May 24, 2002, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: katie ]
     
  6. Helen

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    Dear hrhema (is there a name we can call you by? Dear xxxx -- you know!)

    Sunday School classes are highly dependent on two things: the teacher/coordinator and the seriousness with which the entire church takes the Bible. I'm afraid denomination is not a help here -- triviality is possible in any denomination and it looks like it has invaded where you are. How does your teacher react to all this? He/she should be the governing force for things like this.

    All that said, one of the things that my husband has said time and time again to me and the kids: God is interested in every detail of our lives. So carpet color could come under that, but probably only as a matter of private communication with God, not for a bunch of people to pray about! It sounds like you folks need a good year or ten of basic Bible there! Is there anything you can do about it?

    You can see from some of the other responses that other classes operate quite differently. Maybe the Lord is using this to bother your heart enough to get you to be His hands here? Is there something He wants you to do? I'll be happy to help pray about THAT! :D

    As far as pinoybaptist's post is concerned, he/she couldn't be more wrong! "Sunday School" simply refers to the training of people starting at a very young age. This is rooted deeply in our Jewish heritage as Christians; for young men to be bar mitzvah'd at thirteen or fourteen, they had to know quite a bit about their own Scriptures and the Hebrew language. The training of children and young people has always been of priority importance Biblically and historically. The fact that adults also want time to discuss is a wonderful thing and very much in line with formal and informal discussions regarding God's Word which have gone on for several thousand years!

    Katie is certainly right -- the Bereans searched the Scriptures DAILY to see if what Paul said was true.

    So all we are missing is Monday School, Tuesday School, Wednesday School, Thursday School, Friday School, and Saturday School.... :D
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    Helen has her belief as do we all and we should respect what others do in their beliefs even though its not my practice. True Primitive Baptist do not have Sunday Schools as they feel its not scriptural. What others do is between them and God and their understanding of worship!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    I am a "he", Helen. 100%. My wife can attest to that, as well as the fact that I have five children all calling me Dad with respect and love.
    [​IMG]
    Now, brother Glen is right. What you do is your problem, but since Sunday School is the topic, I simply commented on what I believe it is.

    The concept of Sunday School was not originally to teach scriptures to children.

    I have cut and pasted some excerpts from an article on this subject written by Elder Hulan Bass of Lockhart, Texas:

     
  9. redwhitenblue

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    As far as trival prayer requests go....absolutely nothing is trivial to God. If it's important to us then it's important to him.

    karen
     
  10. Jonathan

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    Yes it is. Rather, it is common. As you have already read on this board, when you ask this question to other concerned, conservative Baptists, you are likely to get the type of "our class is the greatest collection of thinkers since Mars Hill" answers. Not to disrespect their answers but if their classes are as they say, they are blessed but not in the majority.

    Sunday school classes are but a reflection of the churches in which they exist. In fact, the only expectation that is placed on the average adult Sunday school class is that the teacher show up and not trip too badly over the lesson text.

    So to the specifics of your concern: the problem with your class is that the focus is on the individual, not God. That your class has grown accustomed to spending the first 45 minutes in "structured fellowship" may be little more than an indication that the folks in your class desire some "down time" with fellow believers. After all, most folks show up to a Sunday school class (heck, a church for that matter) because of the relationships they have with the folks that they expect will be there.

    In other words, I like to go "where everybody knows my name". In the early going, if I can get that AND an engaging conversation about what the Word of God says, I'm way ahead of the game.
     
  11. Ernie Brazee

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    Sounds as if many need a good church. For 36 years our Adult Sunday School class has been the feast from the Word.

    Our former pastor and present one teaches books of the Bible verse by verse.

    A couple of years ago our pastor taught a series on the dangers of CCM, in the light of scripture. The tapes for this series are available to anyone interested.

    The reason so little time is spent on the lesson is the teacher is unprepared and uncalled so is glad to be let off the hook. As a former military instructor I have seen this ploy used by unprepared and uncating instructors. Just fill int the time.

    This is a travesty that in church this would be tolerated by the pastor!!

    Ernie
     
  12. Chris Temple

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    Unfortunately, yes, but it need not be. Teaching time should be a minimum of 30 minutes. I teach for 45 minutes out of a 75 minute class (15 minutes coffee/announcement time, 15 minutes prayer requests/praying). SS is designed to study the Bible. Although prayer is important, it should be limited so as to praise God and make petition to him. It is not necessary to pray for any and all requests at prayer time. If there is an overabundance of prayer requests, pray one general prayer of praise and petition for all. On Mondays or Tuesdays I send out a detailed prayer list on email for members to pray for during the week.

    It is the SS teacher's responsibility that the class be kept on track regarding time and content. If the SS teacher is not primarily teaching God's word he is not doing his job.
     
  13. hrhema

    hrhema
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    The lesson about why Parents should teach their children is interesting but I believe the real purpose behind Sunday School is and was that churches wanted a way to reach children who did not receive any kind of religious training at home. This is the purpose for bus ministries.

    Unbelieving parents usually will send their children to a Sunday School where they will have some seed planted in their hearts. Many an adult has been reached because their children got saved at church.

    The world does not train their children so the church has taken on that responsibility.

    I could care less what history states was the reason Sunday School classes was started nor could I care less if you try to take scripture
    from the Old TEstament to get on a soap box against Sunday School. I just know that it has been a wonderful tool for many years to reach unchurched children and in turn this has led to many thousands of adults finding Jesus.

    My concern about my class is that again why would I want to invite anyone to come to church with me and sit in a class where all they will get is the latest gossip and bragging rights. Then they will get a hurried lesson that leaves you kind of empty. I have no problem with 15 minutes of eating donuts and drinking coffee and talking.
    When prayer requests are taken they need to be taken seriously.

    Every other church I have attended the prayer time was for souls, sick individuals, family problems. Not trivial things.

    You would have to understand the class I attend.
    There are lawyers, business owners etc in the class who are so worldly minded and money minded.
    Their whole world seems so shallow.

    There are also people in the class not as lucky financially as these who I know feel very humiliated because of their status in life. This I think the Bible speaks out against.

    I have attended other churches in my life time and in the classes there was always mixed people with different financial status and no one bragged on what they had or asked for other members of the class to pray for such things.

    I liked it better in a couple of the churches where all adults met with the pastor in the main sanctuary for their Bible lesson.
     
  14. Headcoveredlady

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    Hi,
    We have opted out of Sunday school for a while now. Knowing that it is not Biblical, but humanistic. I say that not to offend those who desire to serve through this means.
    When I say humanistic it is because that is what I have seen repeated over and over. In fact last week in our church we had a visiting missionary. Our pastor wanted every one in the service for this, not in their respective programs. He even announced at the end, "Teachers, please teach your children about missions." He said not a word about parents or fathers, teach your children, which is what the Word teaches us that it is the parents responsiblity.
    Do we stop to wonder why so many who are in Sunday school all their lives do not continue in the faith, when they are grown? Maybe they are not being taught at home.
    I know that Sunday school can be useful to the unsaved children. But, I see no where in Scripture that someone else ought to teach my child about Biblical things. I hate to say this, but a majority of those I observe who teach are quite immature and have not control of their own children.
    I see this over and over and over again. I see moms and dads who have rebellious children wanting to teach mine! It makes me so sad inside my heart. I think what the Body of Christ really needs is solid teaching to fathers to teach that they must first rule well their own homes and mom's must first teach their own children not to rebel. These teachings are sadly missing.

    As far as the Bereans I agree to a point. We are told in Scripture that the Bereans were of noble character because they searched out the Scripture in order to see if what they were being taught was correct. That to me sounds like when Paul came or someone else to teach they searched Scripture to see if it matched up. They searched on their own DAILY.

    HCL
     
  15. hrhema

    hrhema
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    The problem is that the majority of churches now of days do not follow the instructions of the Book of Timothy and Titus for leadership.

    The church I attend there are deacons who have no business being deacons. They act like they are not even married. They roam the halls instead of going to SS or Worship services. They have absolutely no control of their families. Their wives are big gossips. Their wives sit by themselves service after service.

    The same about Sunday School teachers. A lot of them have no business teaching a class. some hav e taught so long they are just used up.
     
  16. Headcoveredlady

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    Amen, Hrhema,
    I see this all too often too. Men who are "leaders" in our church who cannot pay their bills because they have too much debt, men with disobedient children, women who want to lead who allow their children to dress as prostitutes. And the list goes on.
    I personally seek for godly Titus two women to teach me and from my husband and Pastor. Then as I grow I can teach my children. Because I and my husband are the ones who will be asked of God at judgement to give an account how we taught the children He gave us.

    HCL
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    I think I understand; I can recall a similar situation I was in once in a similar Sunday School Class, and you're right, their whole world seems so shallow. And when one is not in the same income bracket as some of these, one can easily feel inferior, not that anybody says anything, just a kind of attitude. So, maybe in correlation with your other post about unfriendly Baptists, you are being urged by the Holy Spirit in many different areas, to seek another church?

    Our SS class in the church I attend now is taught by the pastor. He leaves the first 10 minutes or so open for questions, if anybody wants to bring up comments or questions about current events, something in the Bible, whatever, that is free time. Then he gets on with the lesson. He took a show of hands one time to see if anybody wanted to change this and everybody seems to like the current arrangement. [​IMG]
     
  18. donnA

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    I've been in this same situation. Some very good frinds of our, he is a lawyer. We aslo had several other business people/owners in our previous classes. As we were the lowest income in teh whole church. Still are. But never once has anyone ever made us feel less becasue of it. And I've never felt humiliated becasue I didn't have what they have. I have always been happy with just what I have. Who is in a clas(their finacial situation) does not matter, only my heart toward God does.
    And they weren't/still aren't, shallow. They have lives that reflect Jesus. As a matter of fact, teh lawyer friend is the one who has worked on our sons case, for about $10,000 less then he would normally get. He even told us we could name how much we wanted/could pay him. We aren't the first ones either. So even though I know there are some like what you all are saying, not all christians who are professionals in high paying jobs are.
    Just thought you'd like to know they aren't shallow paople.
     
  19. donnA

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    I just don't get whats wrong with bible study.Or group bible study. Seems to me there is a problem when there is no bible study.
     
  20. Ernie Brazee

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    The problem is with the heart. The heart in tune with God will hunger for his word!
    Ernie
     

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