Biblical Faithfulness in the Classroom

A new Sunday school year is upon us and ministry leaders and volunteers are busy planning, preparing, and setting classroom schedules. There are so many options for filling up classroom time: hands-on activities, crafts, and games; birthday celebrations; singing and worship; prayer; missions focus; Bible memory work, time to simply hang-out, etc. All good and compelling things. But before you finalize your classroom schedule, consider these words from John Piper in “A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind”:

I was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education — the rigorous training of the mind — is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding. …

The issue of earning a living is not nearly so important as whether the next generation has direct access to the meaning of the Word of God. We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God’s Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. … Lord, let us not fail the next generation!

Taking these thoughts a step further, Albert Mohler lays out the great challenge before us in “The Glory of God in the Life of the Mind”:

Christian faithfulness requires the development of the believer’s intellectual capacities in order that we may understand the Christian faith, develop habits of Christian thought, form intuitions that are based upon biblical truth, and live in faithfulness to all that Christ teaches. This is no easy task, to be sure. Just as Christian discipleship requires growth and development, intellectual faithfulness requires a lifetime of devoted study, consecrated thinking, and analytical reflection.

The above sentiments will require both church and home to prioritize and maximize biblical instruction. The church, for its part, must set the example during the Sunday school hour by developing a schedule that prioritizes biblical teaching and spiritual discussion.

If you are using our curriculum you will note that we highlight two essential elements for the Sunday school hour: the large group Bible lesson and the small group application. These two elements should consume the vast portion of a typical Sunday school hour for elementary aged children and youth. Depending on the age of your students and time availability, you might add in one or more of the optional hands-on activities we include for each lesson. These have been developed to either reinforce lesson themes or introduce some other valuable faith-building endeavor: missions, Bible skills, Bible memory, etc.

This year, let us use our class time wisely so that we may endeavor to put “the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God’s Book” and help our students to grow “in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. … Lord, let us not fail the next generation!”

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Truth78.

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