Some of you know that until I came here to First Baptist that I did not work as a pastor, but as a software engineer. We were part of a Baptist church in Rochester, NY through most of my adult years, from the time I was 25 years old until I was 49. We raised our oldest children there. During all those years, why did we nearly always go to Sunday school at church? Because it was easy getting our little children going on a Sunday morning? No. Because it was easy getting Renee and I going after being up in the night with young children? No. Because the Sunday school classes were always so exciting or helpful? No, not always. Because we wanted others to think we were such good Christians because we went to Sunday school? Big No!
Then why did we keep going? One reason was that it was the best place for us to get to know new friends and interact with existing friends. Our sense of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ was higher because of our time in Sunday school. Another reason was that I wanted my children to get used to going. Because we persevered in bringing them when they were young, it wasn’t long before they expected to go and would be upset if we didn’t. This was good for them and good for Renee and me!
The biggest reason we nearly always attended Sunday school during those years was because we knew that those classes taught God’s word to us and our children. And that over time God’s word would produce a crop in our souls and lives. We knew this would happen even if the classes were just ordinary rather than stellar. Why? Because God’s word will always produce fruit in those who are submitted to it. I wanted to be a godly man and I wanted to do all I could to help my wife and my children to know and enjoy the Lord God. Sunday school is a very useful tool in every Christian parent’s tool belt. Bringing your children to Sunday school won’t automatically make them love the Lord, but it is one means toward that end.
Why shouldn’t you bring your children to Sunday school and you go do something else during those 45 minutes? I know that some of you do that. Please allow me to plead with you to consider stopping that practice. Here are two reasons. The first and best reason is that you need more of God’s word in you. Your life will change for the better as this happens. God’s word will change you, my brothers and sisters. And like me, you need changing!
Secondly, when you drop your children off to class and don’t go to your own class, you are teaching them something. What? You are teaching them that classes to study God’s word are just for children. They want to be like you and if you don’t value God’s word, it is likely that they won’t either. As they get to be teens, I’ll bet you will sorely want them to be looking to God’s word for help. But you need to be modeling that … before their teen years and during and after. So, be a mom and dad who are happily eager to know more of God and to have his word change you. Do it for yourself. And do it for your children.
Finally, adult Sunday school is for all adults, not just parents. What are the adults studying in Sunday school this fall? We’ll be returning to the book of Revelation. We studied chapters 1-3 last fall-winter and we’ll be starting in chapter 4 this September. If you didn’t attend last year, no worries. I’ll work hard to help you get the most out of chapter 4 and beyond. You won’t be lost. The first fall Sunday school class will be Sep 10th. A guest teacher will be leading the adults that day, and I will be starting Revelation 4 on the following Sunday.