Start With Adults!

I appreciate and applaud Tim Stafford’s plea for a fresh look at the needs of children vis-à-vis Sunday school [“This Little Light of Mine,” Oct. 8]. However, a fundamental shift needs to take place in the way we view the business of Christian education before we can see any significant reversals in the decline of this venerable institution.

The place to start turning this sluggish beast around is not with children, but with adults. We have seen our Sunday school more than double in the last four to five years through an all-out focus on adults. We began by contributing to the “burial mound for unused Sunday school literature,” and, for the most part, we develop our own adult materials in house. Then we expanded classes to hours we were told adults wouldn’t attend, and they came.

A serious commitment to the ongoing development of adults through Christian education will build a solid base for a solid children’s Sunday school.

Robert Bayley, D.Min.

Central Presbyterian Church

Saint Louis, Mo.

I found it interesting that in the same week Time magazine featured a cover story titled “Do we care about our kids?” Tim Stafford concluded that we don’t. That seems hardly surprising in a country that spends a billion dollars every year killing off children before they see the light of day and imposes cruel and unusual punishments on those who try to stop the slaughter.

Tom Pittman

Spreckles, Calif.

The most important issue was not mentioned, and that is the lack of biblical and theological education for those who teach Sunday school. This education, in a strong academic level, has never been offered except on the college and seminary campus. By a dependable survey, only 10 percent of all who teach youth and adult Sunday school ...

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