Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's Talk About Christian Education

I substituted in Little Bit's Sunday school class this week. I haven't taught children's classes, except the occasional helping out like this Sunday, in about 3 years. I wrote about quitting here. Anyway, after that long of a break, teaching again was eye opening and made me think about many, many things.

So I'ma gonna blog about 'em. And this series has the potential to get me in all kinds of trouble but here we go.

Before I delve into all the things I got to thinking about yesterday, I must make sure everyone knows the origins of Sunday School. Here is a link that has a brief summary. It may not all be 100% correct, but most of it looks like what I've read elsewhere. If you know of another source, please share!

Sunday school began to change with the beginnings of free public education. Oh boy is there a lot to talk about on the beginnings of public schooling! But that is not what this series is about, so I shall refrain. Here is some information on how Sunday school changed after public schooling started:

As the public school began to emerge and change to suit the needs of the entire American population, Sunday school was the agreed mode of teaching the specific doctrinal truths of different denominations. The purpose of this was to make the public school truly nonsectarian by taking religion out completely. According to McClellan, though, most families saw the public school and Sunday school as complementary. Public schooling was a way for all children to be trained in the same moral values, and then the specific theological beliefs were covered in Sunday school.

Read more at Suite101: The Role of Sunday School in Society: Education and Morality Training in America

Now Sunday school was no longer just about general "education" but specifically about religious education. So it is with this background that I will jump forward to the 1970s. In the next post. :)

Part 2 here.


  1. "...this series has the potential to get me in all kinds of trouble"

    Dealing with the things that matter most usually does get you into trouble. Particularly when you tell the painful truth.

    But I'm with you, Brenda.

  2. You have peaked my interest....

    really, really like the new blog look, I click on it and I just smile at the bows and ribbon the side! I just LIKE it!

  3. This looks like a very interesting series. I'm looking forward to reading what you have found out. (P.S. -- my comments have been hijacked again, so if you get any nasty comments from "me," please know that I didn't write them.) Mary R.

  4. Hmmm, I'm all for trouble. :)

    Looking forward to your insights, Brenda..

  5. Looking forward to it too. I have many non-mainstream thoughts on church in general and especially Sunday school. Some of our Top 10 Most Shocking Church moments were had in the children's area.

    (did you know I used to be the children's coordinator for one of our churches - long ago?)

  6. I should mention this:

    One of the ministers at our church who spoke yesterday, stood in the pulpit and decried a "godless education system" (They homeschool- I didn't know that), talked about protecting daughters from dating and the other traps the world has set for them, nd even the importance of the work wives are called to at home along with a whole bunch of other topics that I have never, ever, ever heard at my church.

    Of course, I was thrilled but couldn't help but wnder how his message was received by the majority of those listening. I also wonder how long it'll be before he graces that pulpit again!

    It was good to know that there is someone else in my church (where it seemed like we were fish out of water from a lifestyle prspective) views these issues thesame way we do. You know I'm going to make contact with this family- and soon!

  7. HA!

    I find that when I'm the most vulnerable to flack, it's because I'm saying something convicting.

    "this series has the potential to get me in all kinds of trouble"

    My response? A favorite quote of mine . . .

    "Shiny, let's be bad guys."

  8. Q - You made me smile. Thanks. :)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)