Deuteronomy 6:7-9, Deuteronomy 11:18-19, 2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Tim 3: 14-15 and Ephesians 6:4.
Bible class is one of the avenues for a parent to use to help them with the instruction of their children. Not only can they can take them to classes, but parents can and should encourage children to do memory work and preparation of Bible lessons.
While in an ideal world each parent would step up and take responsibility for their child’s Bible knowledge, the reality is that it just isn’t happening in too many homes. Family life is often too busy. Both parents are working outside the home. Extra-curricular activities and sports become the focus of any free time. There are many are single parents trying to keep their head above water. Then aside from single parents, there are a large numbers of families where only one is a Christian who puts emphasis on spiritual training.
All of this puts extra importance on what we are doing in our Bible classes. We may be providing the only Bible instruction that a child ever receives. Therefore, we had better take our work seriously! James 3:1 is a verse that tells us just how serious our responsibility is. However, along with that responsibility will come great joys if we are working to give it our best efforts.
Let’s not lose focus of why we have these classes. It’s about the children, not the program! I believe that it is better for one qualified teacher to teach a larger age group of children (with helpers if needed for crowd control or help with activities) than several unqualified people filling classrooms. We do not need teachers who are burned out, bored, and just filling space. The setup of the Bible class program is to help and service us, not the other way around. We aren’t there for the “program”. We don’t have to be slaves to the system that has been set up. However when we put unqualified teachers in a classroom to make the system work, it is no longer serving us, but we are serving it. Instead of being a tool for us, it has become our master. Just because you have always had a class for every age group, doesn’t mean you always have to. Doing what you’ve always done is fine if it is still working, but needs to change if it is not working. We are there for the children and to give them the best Bible education program possible. Do not just let any person be a teacher of our children! We need teachers who are prepared, trained, excited, motivated! When our children go to school for their secular education, what is our criteria? Would we just take any warm body off the street who is willing (or coerced) into doing the job? No, we wouldn’t stand for that it our schools, so why do we settle for so much less in our child’s Bible class education?
I once heard a congregation say that they were going to ask “so & so” who never attended on Wednesday nights to teach at that time so that they would be more faithful in their attendance. That is a backward approach! Would you throw a weight onto someone who was drowning in the ocean? Essentially, that is what we are doing when we give heavy responsibilities to a weak Christian. We need to use our best people for our classes! If for some reason we don’t have enough qualified people, then first combine classes into larger groups with fewer teachers and secondly, make it a priority to get your people excited, motivated, and trained take on this great work! Teaching our children is too important not to give our best!