The Church of God
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Northwest Region

Sunday School


A Bit About        Sunday School

From the 2003-2004 Sunday School seminar of The Church of God, titled, “Launching Out For Souls”:

The Purpose of the Sunday School 

Sunday School is a department of the Church. It carries on its activities as a “Part” of the total church program, never “apart” from it.

Sunday School is one of the very vital teaching arms of the Church. It is first and foremost a teaching agency. The organizational structure is such that it hasfor its aim the effective teaching of God's Word.

Involved in this purpose of teaching are these areas of responsibility; namely, (1) evangelism, (2) edification, (3) discipleship, and (4) accurate Bible interpretation.

Teaching to win means teaching to see individuals coming to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is here as the word is taught that we witness souls studying and then applying the Word of God to their lives in such a way as to accept the claims of Christ on their lives.

Teaching to develop into a fuller and richer spiritual life through the ministry of teaching God's Word.  The Sunday School, through teaching, is strategic in its potential for equipping men and women spiritually to carry the message of God's love into their daily experiences.

Additionally, the Sunday School will help build Christian character and train people in Christian service. It will also help build the Church. As the Sunday School grows, church membership will increase.

History of Sunday School

The Sunday School is the oldest auxiliary in the Church. The Bible records, "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, and after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues..." (1 Corinthians 12:28). It has been said that the Sunday School is the auxiliary which reaches from the cradle to the grave. It encompasses all age groups.

The Sunday School was discussed at the first Assembly of the Church, held in Cherokee County, North Carolina, on January 26th and 27th in 1906. The following statements can be found in the Minutes of that Assembly:

"We highly favor this important service as a means to teach the people to reverence God's Word and the house appointed for worship, and also, to elevate the morals of a community. It is, therefore, the sense of this assembly to recommend, advise and urge every local church to have a Sunday School every Sunday during the whole year. We advise the workers to do all they can to propagate the Sunday School interest, and search for places where there are none and organize where it is possible to do so. We believe a Sunday School may sometimes be organized and run successfully where a church could not be established at once, thereby opening and paving the way for more permanent work in the future. It is further recommended that Sunday Schools be held in the forenoon when it is possible to hold them at that time."

It can readily be seen that from this early General Assembly the Church has sought, through teaching, to extend the outreach and influence of Christ in our communities.

Insight from the "Sunday School Helper"

The following is taken from an old Church publication, titled “Sunday School Helper,” writen by former General Sunday School Secretary Edna Rhodes Rye and published by the White Wing Publishing House:

INTRODUCTION

Sunday School, according to Scaff, is “An assembly of persons on the Lord's day for study of the Bible, moral and religious instructions, and the worship of the tru God. It is a method of training the young and ignorant of the duties we owe to God and to our neighbor.”

The Sunday School is the only educational institution of our time that serves all ages, all sexes, all conditions, from the cradle to the grave. The Great Commission of Christ is to teach all nations.

The Sunday School is distinctly a religious school, and is to furnish religious education; hence, we should find in our Sunday Schools:

1.  Devout study of the Word of God.

2.  A spirit of sincere worship.

3.  The unsaved converted while in attendance.

BIBLE INFORMATION CONCERNING SCHOOLS

God gave Moses commandments to gather the people together and teach them. (Deut. 4:9, 10.)

Includes all: Men, women, children and strangers. (Deut. 31:12, 13.)

Samuel: Head of the school of prophets. (1 Samuel 19:20.)

Elisha: Head of school at Gilgal. (2 Kings 4:38.)

Jesus: Taught people on Lord's day. (John 20: 19-23.) Taught on the Sabbath. (Luke 6:6.)

Paul: Taught people on Lord's day. (Acts 20:7.)

Prophesy: For our children to be taught of the Lord. (Isa. 54:13.)

Jesus commands to teach all nations. ( Mark 28:19)

Paul declares we should warn every man and teach every man in all wisdom. (Col. 1:28.)

THREE STAGES IN GROWTH OF SUNDAY SCHOOL

1.Early Christian Schools.  These schools were instituted for the pruspose of preparing converts for church membership. The scholars were required to memorize passages of Scripture, and their books consisted of parts of the Bible in verse and sacred poems.

2.Schools of the Reformation Period. In 1529 Martin Luther founded schools for the purpose of instructing people along the lines of reformation.

3.Modern Sunday School.  These date from 1780 when Robert Raikes of Gloucester, England, began to collect a few children from the streets of that city on Sundays and paid the teachers to instruct them in religious knowledge. The improvement in conduct and morals of the children was so marked that, when Raikes published an account of his success, his example was followed in several other places. In 1817, the American Sunday School Union was formed, becoming international in 1875.

      The Sunday School was discussed at the first Assembly of the Church of God held in Cherokee County, North Carolina, January 26, 27, 1906. The following paragraph was taken from the Minutes of this Assembly:

“We highly favor this important service as a means to teach the people to reverence God's Word and the house appointed for worship, and also to elevate the morals of a community. It is, therefore, the sense of this assembly to recommend, advise and urge every local church to have a Sunday School every Sunday during the whole year. We advise the workers to do all they can to propagate the Sunday School interest, and search for places where there are none and organize where it is possible to do so. We believe a Sunday School may sometimes be organized and run successfully where a church could not be established at once, thereby opening and paving the way for more permanent work in the future. It is further recommended that Sunday Schools in be held in the forenoon when it is possible to hold them at that time.”

THE BIBLE IN THE SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Bible is the text book, and the only text book, used in the Sunday School. And when the aims and purpose of the Sunday School are considered no other text book is needed.

WHAT THE BIBLE WILL DO FOR THE LOST. “From a child, thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim. 3:15. What the Bible did for young Timothy, it will do for the lost pupils in the Sunday Schools.

In Isaiah 55:11, we read: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” The Word of God taught in the Sunday School will surely accomplish its intended purpose; it will not return unto the Lord void.

“For the word of the God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12.)

WHAT THE BIBLE WILL DO FOR THE CHRISTIAN. The  Bible is the Christian's food and will make him strong if he studies it.

“...I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up...” ((Acts 20:32).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom...” (Col. 3:16.)

The study of God's Word, the Text Book of the Sunday School, is also a safeguard to the Christian—“It is his weapon of defense.”

“They word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.

“And take... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17.)

The Bible, if studied by the Christian will make him a strong, happy, vigorous Christian. It will keep him from sin and in a state of mind and spirit where he can be of service at all times.

THE PURPOSE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL

1.  Win Souls:

Before any person can start a Sunday School they must have a desperate desire to see souls saved. The passion for souls must burn hot in their veins and they must feel this as definitely as any calling.

2.  Teaches the Word:

      “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isa. 54:13.)

      When beginning a Sunday School, the desire that the precious seed should be sown in hearts of young and old should take hold of our ambitions and we shouldn't quit until it is accomplished.

3.  Builds the Church:

      The natural development of a successful Sunday School is the church enlargement. If the two former desires and ambitions are carried out, the Church will find herself enlarging, developing, spreading out into greater fields and doing more for God.

4.  Helps the Community:

      In developing any Christian cause, all statisticians say you develop the community. Help means to assist, and we naturally help the community in which we place our Christian efforts.

The Church of God
P.O. Box 450
Charleston, TN 37310-0450
(423) 339-8264

onefold@gmail.com

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