Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Sunday School...

As I write this, I think about the fact that the term "Sunday School" seems to refer to a time on Sunday mornings at church that is for children only. Despite the fact that the four of us were brought up going to Sunday School when we were kids, I honestly don't remember my parents going to Sunday School. (I'm sure my siblings will correct me if I'm wrong....) But if they didn't go, what were they doing when we were in our classes since we all went together. So maybe they did.

In any case, Bob and I have been involved in an adult Sunday School class in every church we've attended since we've been married (all three of them in nearly 36 years). College Church now refers to them as "Adult Communities" but still -- hey -- it is basically Sunday School.

We love it. It's a great opportunity for interacting, on Sunday morning, with a smaller group of people -- getting to know them better, praying for and rejoicing with one another, and having discussion surrounding the morning lesson.

When we first moved to town, we attended three or four churches, but were then invited to College Church by our neighbor-around-the-corner. But -- she invited us to attend her Sunday School class which, at that time, was called the Couples' Class. We went -- we were hooked -- and 24 years later, we are still there. Our Couples' Class morphed over the years, and is now an intergenerational class called Genesis.

OK -- so why a blog about this?

It seems that in many (most?) churches, adult Sunday School classes are totally out of vogue. What's in is a house church or a cell group or a life group (hereafter referred to as an LG) which meets on another day, another time. Church is Sunday morning (or Saturday night) and -- that's it.

Now, I'm all for the LG concept -- but for newcomers at a church, those are difficult to start attending on Tuesday evenings or whatever. It's a more intimate setting, usually at someone's home. Frequently the couple aren't placed into an LG until there are enough new people to form one.

We've gone to church with the MC several times -- both churches they have attended when they were dating/engaged and now married -- subscribe to the cell group/house church theory, so there are no adult classes on Sunday morning. So far, they've not been able to get involved in an LG -- they went to a social get together of an established LG with some other newcomers to the church -- the only other couple that were there that night were the couple that were in charge of the group!

I think it is difficult to get involved in church - particularly in a large church - if you aren't involved in a smaller group within the church -- and if you are there on Sunday morning already why not simply stay for another hour?

Within a few months of getting involved in our SS class when we started at the church, Bob was going to a Tuesday morning men's prayer breakfast. Four years later we started a life group which has been together now for 19 years -- almost the same group of people as when we started.

I love seeing change in churches -- but I do think that there needs to be more (convenient??) ways of folks becoming a community in a church. For young couples with small children, it is difficult to get out of an evening unless they are in a LG that welcomes babies, toddlers, and little kids. With adult classes on Sunday mornings, the parents can be in class when the children are in class or the babies are in the nursery (or with their parents).

Unless there are more ways for people to get to know other people in a church setting, we'll have more and more attending Bedside Baptist or Pillow Presbyterian on Sunday mornings.


At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Ruth of CuzNuz said...

Jan, I couldn't agree more. A Sunday school class for every member of the family is how we have chosen our churches too. But it is sad that even tho our current church offers adult S.S. there are some who drop their kids off at class and then leave to come back later to get the kids. We actually have our church service first and then Sunday school which sad to say makes that easier to do.


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