Sunday School Promotion: A need for all to grow

Dear BPCWA worshipper, At our Sunday School promotion last week, we saw several young ones promoted to the next level’s class as well as some who graduated out of the Sunday School program.  As part of the encouragement for the children, parents, and teachers, I exhorted them from our church theme 2Pet 3:18   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

The children must keep growing.  At major events organized for children, we prepare and give out certificates for the children.  Both children and parents are often very excited at these significant events for the children, and it means a lot to all.  But we must not miss out on the reason for all these certificates and events.  As the children get older, the children are promoted to the next class and feel that they are moving on.  In the next class, the lessons will cover truths in greater depth, and the memory verses also get more difficult.  But the question is, as the children move to the next class, have they grown spiritually?  Are they more and more obedient?  Are they more and more Christ-like?  Or are they still behaving like a young kid throwing their tantrums?  Children, as you walk in to the next class, ask yourself if you have truly become fit ie grown to be in the next class.  Here are a few things that you can take note of and do better in as you get promoted to the next class:  1) Be more obedient in class.  As you grow into the next class, you must be more obedient.  You must be better at the homework that you are given in each class.  As you grow up, you must remember your memory verses better.  2) Pay more attention to what the teacher is teaching.  Sadly, as we grow older, we are not as attentive.  We think that we are older and don’t need to listen to adults anymore.  In reality, the opposite is true.  You must remind yourself, “This year, I must listen to every word, because I am not a young kid anymore.  I must not disturb my friends, because they too are promoted and I must not distract them.”  Putting these together, it means that I will be learning God’s Word more.  Because I am older, I can now tell daddy and mummy what I learned about God in the Sunday School class today, what I must do, and what my memory verse is. To be promoted is not just about receiving a certificate, but about having changed and grown spiritually. 

As for those that are going to be promoted out of the children’s Sunday School program, it is also a special change for you.  1) Keep growing with the adults.  Now, you must tell yourself that you have been promoted to join the adults in the Basic Bible Knowledge class.  You must attend Bible studies with the adults.  The purpose of Sunday School is so that the children will be able to join the adults. So, you must remind yourself, “Now, the time has come for me to be promoted to the next level of learning.  I have graduated to learn things with the adult.”  So, Sunday School is not over. Only Children Sunday School is over.  I will join the adults’ classes, I will pay attention, and take notes to ensure that I keep learning more.  The years before were just to prepare me for that.  Tell your daddy and mummy that you want to attend Adults’ Sunday School (which in our case is BBK), and not have your education end here.  In the regular schooling system, a child who does not get moved on to Year 7 after Year 6 would feel left out and would fear that he won’t get to grow anymore.  2) Keep memorizing God’s Word in my heart.  Every week, I must do my own memory verses as I read the Bible.  When God says to hide His Word in our hearts so that we won’t sin against Him (Ps 119:11), He was not talking about children only.  I must keep up with my Bible memorization even as I grow out of the Sunday School class.  Though no one assigns me memory verses now, I will choose my own from my daily Bible reading that I do myself.

The parents must also grow.  1) Parents must also grow spiritually.  Sunday School is just 1 out of 7 days to help teach the children God’s Word.  Sunday School does not replace the teaching of the parents in the home.  The parent must teach the child very diligently every day of the week.  Parents love to put their children through extra classes in the secular realm.  On Sunday, Sunday school is an extra class for the children.  Be serious about teaching your children.  Family worship isn’t about getting the family together, just reading verses from the Bible, singing hymns, and praying for 1 item, and then family worship is over.  That is just passing the time and easing your conscience.  As your child grows to the next stage, don’t treat your child like a little kid and merely tell them stories.  Each time you see your child receive yet another Sunday School certificate, your heart should panic a bit because your child has grown.  You don’t teach a Year 6 child his ABCs anymore, because the child has already learned that.  As parents, you must think that each year, you must teach your child in greater depth.  Year by year, if your child does not grow spiritually, then we fail as parents, even if they are growing in their school grades and abilities.  Ask God to help you ensure that this year, they will grow spiritually as well.  But you must be growing yourself first!  Put the certificate in a prominent place to remind yourself daily that you must teach your child at the next level of spiritual application.  2) Parents need to make sure that they attend the adult classes as well.  We don’t think twice about driving the children to school when they are in Year 7, although they already have gone through 6 years of primary school education.  We don’t say – let’s spend the time in McDonald’s instead of going to year 7.  If you have not been coming for BBK, come and learn so that your child will not stop coming to learn.  There must be excitement for you as well when you see the child’s certificate.  You must want them to learn at the next level, and you must also want to teach them at the next level as well.  So, parents too, need to grow.   

The teachers must grow.  Be serious in your preparation.  We spend a lot of time making sure that the material is at a level that helps the children to grow.  The parents may not have the ability to teach at that depth.  Study the material carefully and think of how to teach the child well.  You can’t talk to a child in the same way that you talk to an adult. Think of how to make the child understand the spiritual truth, not just a Bible story.  We have just sent out the Teachers’ Commitment Forms in preparation for Rededication Sunday.  Can you put your hand on your heart and say that you have fulfilled these faithfully to God for His children’s sake?  If not, you must do better this year. 

Sunday School promotion must remind us that it is about the growth of the next generation of worshippers in BPCWA.  Parents at home and teachers in the church have a very heavy responsibility.  You deal with children whose minds and hearts depend on how well you teach them, and how you kneel before the Lord to plead for His help in your teaching.   

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Prov 22:6

Yours in our Lord’s service,