Church School Growth
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Church School Growth
Pages 143-145

Teachers' Gifts

Teacher and ChildrenThough society, culture and a whole gamut of other things have changed in the last two hundred and thirty-eight years, the Christian gifts required by the Sunday school teacher, and the problems and joys that face him or her are essentially still the same today. Then, as now, teachers need to encourage curiosity and be an animated question mark themselves for their pupils thinking minds.

Church School Students

In researching this page, I came across some other groundbreaking work in schools for children around the country. These were probably more like day schools rather than the Sunday school model that developed in Gloucester in 1780. Nevertheless, they are remarkable examples of the concern for impoverished children in the cities and the lack of education amongst them. On August 13th, 1736, the "Society Promoting Sunday Schools" was founded and between 1736 and 1841 had one and a quarter million school students enrolled. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K) founded six-day schools in London in 1700, and by 1704 had fifty-four schools with three thousand students. By 1712, one hundred and seventeen schools with five thousand students existed. By 1741, they had two thousand schools. These and other magnificent efforts were happening in England under the hand of God to promote schools and provide Christian education and literacy for working children.

Like many of the great movements of God, it initially did not go that well and after six months Robert Raikes ministry closed down. The reason is that they found it very difficult to keep discipline! Thinks don't change a lot, do they? The Rev John Wesley advertized Sunday schools widely in England, Wales and Scotland and they sprang up almost overnight. Under Wesley, it was seen as a form of Christian education and not just simply a way of keeping the children off the street and of teaching them their letters.

Clean Hands

Initially, Raikes had paid for qualified teachers to lead the Sunday school but this developed into a lay ministry as it was down to this present day. There weren't many rules in those days. One that amused me was that Raikes wrote, "All that I require are clean hands, clean faces and their hair combed. If they have no clean shirt come in what you have on." He frowned on cursing and swearing and encouraged kindness and obedience to parents. This video shows how church schools sprang up all over the World from their beginnings in Gloucester England. This video is 2 minutes and 20 seconds long. A complete overview of all of the Tellout Online training videos can be viewed on YouTube. Video 6 of this series on effective Sunday school can be found below.

Object Teaching

Teacher and ChildrenThough society, culture and a whole gamut of other things have changed in the last two hundred and thirty-eight years, the Christian gifts required by the Sunday school teacher, and the problems and joys that face him or her are essentially still the same today. Then, as now, teachers need to encourage curiosity and be an animated question mark themselves for their pupils thinking minds.

Church School Students

In researching this page, I came across some other groundbreaking work in schools for children around the country. These were probably more like day schools rather than the Sunday school model that developed in Gloucester in 1780. Nevertheless, they are remarkable examples of the concern for impoverished children in the cities and the lack of education amongst them. On August 13th, 1736, the "Society Promoting Sunday Schools" was founded and between 1736 and 1841 had one and a quarter million school students enrolled. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K) founded six-day schools in London in 1700, and by 1704 had fifty-four schools with three thousand students. By 1712, one hundred and seventeen schools with five thousand students existed. By 1741, they had two thousand schools. These and other magnificent efforts were happening in England under the hand of God to promote schools and provide Christian education and literacy for working children.

The second Sunday school method that Jesus sometimes used was "object teaching." He taught us not to be anxious about food or clothing. He did this by taking a flower in Luke 12.27-28 and saying, "Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you of little faith!" A little thing like a wildflower illustrates how much God cares for each of us! This teaching method video shows how in the same way the Sunday School teacher can capture their student's imagination by using objects such as a pebble, a stamp or a matchstick to teach Biblical truths! This particular Sunday school method video is 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. Video 7 of this series on effective Sunday school can be found below.

Teach By Example

Finally, teach by example. Jesus showed in his life what he intended in his teaching. The children hear our words but most importantly they see our lives. We live out our Christianity and the children see our actions and learn from our words. How has the Sunday School changed since the days of Robert Raikes? What were his motives? Look for examples of those seven teaching methods that Jesus used. This video is 3 minutes and 4 seconds long. Video 8 of this series on effective Sunday school page 155 can be found at Video 8.

"Church School Growth"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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