Why Every Adult and Child Needs Sunday School

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

If adults and children read their Bible every week and hear sermons on Sunday, why do they need to attend Sunday school?

The Command to Teach

The Bible is very clear to parents in the command of God that “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut 6:7). That means when you are at home with them sitting around in the evening, talk about God and His ways. When you walk or go anywhere with them, use that time to talk to them about the ways of God. And when you lie down at night, read them a Bible story that deeply implants moral character so that they can drift off into sleep with that lesson in their minds. And when you get up in the morning, pray with them and speak to them about God’s purpose for their lives today and every day…so all day, all the time, we are to “talk to them” about the ways of the Lord, so that they might actually not depart from them when they’re old (Prov 22:6) .

Teach Your Children

If you don’t teach your children and grandchildren about the things of God, then they’ll pick up their view of God from the world, and it might not be the One, True God of the Bible. Right now and every day, you are planting seeds and watering and fertilizing the seed of God’s Word, allowing it to enter the deepest parts of their hearts. You might not even realize they’re listening, but they are. Once during a sermon I mentioned the Apostle Peter’s betrayal of Jesus before the rooster crows, and a young child promptly did a “Cock a doodle doo….” right there during service! And I was actually pleased by that because the child was obviously listening to the message, even it if didn’t look like it at the time.

More Caught than Taught

Children seem to learn more by seeing and observing than by our words. This is especially true if our words don’t match our actions. Our children and grandchildren can’t hear what we’re saying if our actions are drowning them out, so very often, more is caught than taught, and they will likely do what you do than do what you say. In that regard, if a parent neglects Bible study, church attendance and Sunday school, the child will see that these things must not have real value to adults and their parents, and they too will value these things less.

Adults and Overcoming

The psalmist said, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11), and by storing up the Word of God in his heart, he “might not sin against” God as often. Of course, that works for us too! Anytime temptation strikes, we can recall Scriptures to help us avoid falling into sin. That’s what Jesus did in the Temptation in the Wilderness, so when we’re tempted, we can bring those Bible verses out of the vault to use against the temptations we’re facing. The Word of God can keep us out of sin, but when we sin, that can keep us out of the Word of God, however that is exactly the time we need it most, and most adult and children’s Sunday schools have lessons about incorporating the Word of God into their lives and memorizing His Word when we are in need.

A Power Source

Attendance nationally is falling for church attendance, Bible studies, and Sunday school, and what this means is a huge source of godly power is lost. Did you know that the Word of God has the actual power of God in it? Scriptures declare “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). That means it cut those who need healing and afflicts those who believe they are just fine. It cuts, but not to kill…but to heal. The Bible is able to discern what our true motives are, what our genuine intents are, and who we really are (Rom 3:10-12, 23). Scripture is like a self-diagnostic tool that analyzes us and then corrects us, but it also empowers us, so what a waste if we neglect Sunday school and Bible studies. If we get into the Word, the Word will get into us, but only we have a sincere hunger and thirst for the Word.

Spiritual Famine

No one eats one meal a week, and yet many Christians only hear the Word of God during Sunday morning services. That’s a setup for spiritual starvation, and when we’re spiritually starved of the Word, we’re ill-equipped to take on the day and everything that could happen. And we’re less equipped to discern truth and error in biblical doctrine. We can more easily believe a lie. This lack of spiritual bread also negatively affects us because we can’t recall Scripture when we’re being tempted. We’ll likely neglect teaching ourselves and our children/grandchildren the Word of God, and we’ll have a personal famine of the Word, meaning we’ll lose much of the very power of God that comes through His Word and the study of it.

Conclusion

Even though I am a pastor, I attend a Sunday school class and I learn a lot from Jason our teacher, and from the other students too. We all learn from one another as iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17). You do yourself and your children much good when you are taking in supplemental lessons like Sunday school and Bible studies on a regular and consisted basis.  We’re actually commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim 2:15), and what better way to do that than in a Sunday school class.  You are equipping yourself and your children to better face the temptations of life and in facing the peer pressures of the world. Children are like us; they face temptations, they’re sometimes belittled before others, and they’re constantly being bombarded by the world and the things of the world. They (like we) need a lot of help, and the seeds of the Word of God you plant early in the lives of these children (and yours!) may someday grow up into eternal life. These are reasons enough for us to not neglect Sunday school, for both children and adults.

Here is some related reading for you: 5 Kids Sunday School Lessons About Love

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan Sumner October 29, 2021 at 8:51 am

That is a huge topic for discussion.
As for me, that is really needed thing, but we see that the generation is changing and we shouldn’t force them to do it.
They should accept that in their minds, But we can guide them to the right decision. Our mission is to teach and educate them!

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Jack Wellman October 29, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Hello Bryan. It’s not really “forcing” children to go to Sunday school but fulfilling part of the mandate all parents have regarding their children and that is to instruct them in the way that they should go, but when they are adults, they are free to do as they want. Generation changes cannot dictate our decisions for our children.

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