“The most wasted hour in the week.” In these words, Wesley Shrader, writing in Life magazine has characterized the one hour a week during which a minority of Americans receives formal religious instruction. One wonders if even the one hour in 168 is worthwhile for this purpose.
A Work Of Wonders
Though the Sunday School seems to limp along, it often accomplishes wonders. Only an all-wise God could utilize untrained volunteers, meager physical facilities, and limited materials to change the course of so many lives. Handicaps that would stagger the secular educator meet the underprepared but faith-filled teacher and superintendent, and the Lord gets for himself and us the victory. The truly dedicated teacher feels that time is so short for the learning of so much important content that the Sunday School hour should provide the most challenging, fruitful experience of the whole week.
The Demand Of The Times
Today, Sunday Schools should and must offer experiences that are unique. When William Wordsworth wrote, in the early nineteenth century, “the world is too much with us,” he knew less than half the secular pressures of the century to come. Over a span of several generations, our whole society has grown increasingly secular. American social institutions are bent on doing good to man without reference to the Eternal. Two objectives actually dominate our lives: acquiring more and more material possessions, and seeking the ultimate in pleasure. Many nominal Christians, young and old, live from Sunday to Sunday without contact with the things of Christ. In the day schools, activities are highly secularized, except for concessions to five carefully-rationed verses from the Old Testament, a mumbling of the Lord’s Prayer, and an occasional ...1
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