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THE SUNDAY SCHOOL YEAR IN REVIEW

posted Apr 24, 2015, 9:53 AM by Linda Dickinson
By Denise Rene Hannah, Sunday School Superintendent

On Sunday, May 17 we are hosting our Annual Sunday School Picnic… a time to celebrate this past year.

I want to thank the Board of Ed, all of our teachers, and the Elmwood congregation for their flexibility, creativity and servant attitude this year. We changed things. We pruned things. And we tried new things! 

Just to review:

  • We eliminated doing a week long VBS last summer and switched to a Backyard Bible Club which met once a week for 6 weeks.

  • We switched our traditional Sunday school hour from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and had mentoring groups available at 9 a.m.

  • Our children’s curriculum changed. We had a monthly verse with a theme. Each week had lessons reflective of that theme, but each lesson was self-contained. We did this so that if children visited they would not be behind or lost if that was the only week they came that month.

  • Our teachers taught in teams, once a month.

  • The last Sunday of the month, we did a Children’s Mini-Lesson in church, and the adults got to participate.

  • We held an All-Church Christmas Event - with a guest appearance of Gloria the Chicken, instead of our traditional children’s Christmas pageant.  Gloria was part of a puppet show called: “Hay, Guess Who’s Coming to our House?”

  • Finally we did the Walk with Jesus that shared the events of Holy Week and the Love of Christ with our community.

Things change, and through it all people have served, prayed and encouraged with a gracious, sweet spirit. We know that the only thing that does not change is Our Lord and Savior, and the truth in His Word.

Sunday, May 17 is the traditional “end” of our Sunday School season, but I want to challenge us all to think of it as our call to action for the wonderful things and changes that will happen in the coming months. It is time for us to take back our ground, and what has been stolen from our communities and churches. That ground is our communities’ future: OUR CHILDREN!  

We know that less and less children and families are growing up in church. In 1950, less than 4% of the population claimed to be atheist or non-religious. Today 23% of people between the ages of 18-29 claim to have no religion. Phil Zuckerman, a sociology professor, wrote in the LA times this past January, that children raised in non-religious families are just as moral as their religious counterparts-and perhaps more so. There were lots of holes in his research and methods, but in today’s society more and more children are growing up in non-religious homes that believe Zuckerman’s theories.

We all know the Word of God says, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Children in our community need to be trained in the Word of God, not the word and ways of current culture that does not follow our Lord. If their parents are not teaching them the truth, we need to stand in the gap and be their teachers and mentors. It is our responsibility to make disciples and to mentor the next generation.

Research shows that if person does not accept Christ as their Savior before the age of 14, the likelihood of them ever doing so is very slim. Ninety percent of all people that go into full time ministry or missions felt that calling on their life before the age of 12. We have to pray and focus on the ages 5-13 window as much, or if not more so, than the ages 10-40 window.


So here are some things I am asking each of us to personally do:


  • Invite at least one family, child or adult to our Sunday School Picnic on May 17.

  • Pray for the Board of Education as they decide our “what,” “where,” and “when” to do this year’s summer outreach.

  • Pray for that outreach.

  • Volunteer for that outreach.

  • Pray weekly for at least one unchurched child in our community to accept Christ.  If you don’t know any unchurched children, pick up our community newspaper and pick a child out of a dance, music, or sports team picture.

  • Believe that the words of Psalm 78 will reign true in our community.
    “For he issued his decree to Jacob; he gave his law to Israel.  He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them- even the children not yet born- that they in turn might teach their children.  So each generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.  Then they will not be like their ancestors- stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful refusing to give their hearts to God.”

  • And finally, expect great things to happen and for our quiver to be full this fall at our Sunday school kick-off.




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