The purpose of Sunday school– “to keep children out of our hair so we can worship” according to one Pastor. I found this quote at Doug's Blog on Vision Forum's website. This is actually a “guest blog” from Scott Brown.
Scott also mentions one church's policy about removing a child that is disturbing someone's “worship experience”. He actually quotes the policy in the blog. Quite honestly, had this happened to me, I would have gotten up and left to find a church that believes children are the blessings they are. Maybe my reaction is harsh, but I'm sure as the mother of my children my “worship experience” would have been disturbed knowing that a congregation of the Lord's body didn't want my children being a bother.
A while back I wrote about taking the children out of Sunday School. (Do I Dare Say It) Reading Doug's blog reminded me as to part of the conviction we felt about sacrificing our children on the altar of Sunday School. Here are some of the reasons we decided to do SS at home as a family.
1. Deut. 6:6-7 says we are to teach our children when we sit walk, rise, and lie down. It is the parent's responsibilty to teach their children.
2. There is no evidence in Scripture that the early church seperated the young from the old. The church was comprised of all ages.
3. Hubby went through his Bible-soft program and printed out every reverence to teaching/teacher. We went through several of the verses and found that God, parents, or church leaders were the teachers that God chose. (Remember Job's friends–they were horrible teachers.) *We did this more for our 9 y/o than for ourselves, but it was interesting to see.
4. The teachers that teach the children are volunteers. Every quarter, there is an announcement from the pulpit, and in the bulletin needing teachers. If you are a member of the congregation and are a warm body, you've met the qualifications. My children are more valuable to me than this. Quite honestly, some of the people that we have allowed to teach our children in SS are not the type of person that we want our children imulating.
We had been part of an age-integrated church for several years. SS wasn't an issue, because we worshipped tother. The Bible studies were interesting for the adults and engaging for the children. But the last several years the church had not been healthy. There were a couple of major and several minor attacks by the Evil One and in the end he won. The doors have been closed for 3 years now.
After being beaten down we gave in. I am ashamed to say at that time, it was easier to do it than to explain to the children and to the many nosey people as to why we didn't do SS. We gave up this convictions for convenience. It has been difficult to backpeddle, we feel alone. We don't feel connectted to the people at our church. We don't go to Wednesday service because it's all age-segregated class with a prayer and a song thrown in at the end in the auditorium. We come in for worship on Sunday morning, and sit down. Maybe we visit for a few minutes after church, and we go home. I am in a small ladies Bible study with 4 others from the church, but since we made our decision, I feel alone there too.
Thankfully, God has provided a respite of sorts on Wednesday night. We have found a reformed Baptist church (reformed theology is new to us too) in the city that is working it's way through Pilgrim's Progress. It has been very interesting and our children enjoy it too. Most of the people homeschool or are pro-homeschooling.
We have no idea what God's plan is for us, but thankfully He is not blind. He knows the plans for us to prosper us and give us a hope and a future and we will trust in Him.