Baptists > Everybody Ought To Go To Sunday School
 Whether it's a small age specific class
or a large group taught by a master teacher, the Baptists have continuously succeeded in this approach to convey the truths of God's Word
   Having begun as a British method of teaching street orphans two centuries ago, the modern Sunday school movement continues to be one of the most appreciated ministries in Baptist churches.
   Contrary to the false assumption that Sunday school is for children only, this educational ministry spans all ages from toddlers all the way up to our senior saints.  By establishing classes for all age groups, the needs of the students can best be met.  Thus, teenagers can enjoy a time of Bible study with their peers as can children, singles, couples, etc.  The Sunday school is for everyone.
   However, it continues to evolve.
   Not too long ago, a family would enter the church facility and then split up to go to their respective classes.  Their teachers would greet the class, take roll, and then commence to teach the Bible lesson.   A Sunday school quarterly might be used as well.
   With the advent of television and computers, much has changed.  Those schools which have adapted continue to experience growth; both numerical and spiritual.  As a result, teaching methodologies have changed dramatically.  Visualization of Bible lessons has become common including the use of everthing from computer generated graphics shown on a screen to accessing the Internet to review information that coincides with the lesson.
   For example, this writer teaches an adult Bible class.  Every quarter, the church supplies me with a packet that includes the teachers guide, a commentary book on the lessons, a CD which contains expansions of the lesson including graphics, visual aids, and transparencies to be projected onto a screen using an overhead projector.  The Baptists will be the first to tell you that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.  As a result, I am well equipped and able to present a multi-media lesson to a contemporary group of twenty-first century adults.
   Not only has the content of Sunday school lessons changed, but the way in which we structure classes has evolved as well.
   Churches are designing lesson series for the whole family, those who are new believers, spiritual enrichment classes by theme, recovery classes, etc.  Otherwise, the value of setting up courses with a targeted need being the theme has caught on more and more.  It is not uncommon to find a growing Sunday school where there are age segmented classes along with those for divorcees, a new believers class, an adult class studying a book together, a class for those with hearing impairments, and a large teen class that includes grades nine through twelve just because teens like to be part of a big group.  Otherwise, the now old fashioned view that every age group must have its own class with no variations from that rule is no longer so hard and fast.  The modern day Sunday school that is still growing has adapted itself to the needs of the current generation.
   Furthermore, the size of classes has been an ongoing discussion amongst Baptist schools.  After many years of experience, it has been decided that no rule of thumb really exists.  It simply depends upon the need and what works at any given time in the development of a strong school.  Some use master teachers who effectively pull in large classes.  For example, all of the adults might sit under one teacher or all of the teenagers might do the same.  Others use small groups taught by many teachers as a way of not only communicating God's Word but also to establish close relationships.  Others use a combination of the two.  At any rate, the approach to size is best determined simply by what works in the particular community and culture.  Either way, the Bible is being taught to those who want to learn more about Him.
   Finally, Baptists have continued to be successful because they are able to maintain their solid faith in the inerrent literal Word of God while adapting to the time and culture in which they minister.  Therefore, there is no doubt that we will continue to do so in the future.
   There could even come a day when Sunday school classes are conducted in homes by groups whe meet to listen to a teacher who teaches multiple classes simultaneously using advanced computer technology.  He might even appear as a holographic image.
   No matter what the advancements might be, the Baptists will be there and those of our ranks who are most successful in outreach will grasp the culture and the technology to the glory of God!
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