08 January 2009

THE ADVENTURES OF GRAYING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Sunday School Lesson

Red awoke in a sweat. Had he just dreamed about his favorite Bible verse, or had he really volunteered? From day one in Boot Camp, he had heard the old maxim, “Never volunteer!” Still, if God is calling for volunteers, doesn’t He already know who will answer?

At the church, Red and Mary headed for their classroom. The Senior High Class was, as usual, empty when they arrived. Red recalled his high school days, when there was a Sunday School class for each of the four high school age groups. Those days were long gone at Graying.

At 9:45, Susan Seeker entered the room. “Hey, Mr. Painter. Mrs. Painter. Sorry I’m late. Mom had to stop to get gas and she dropped me off out front so she could get to that sale at the Mall before the 11:00 o’clock service. Where is everyone?”

Just then, the Rector twins sauntered in. “Hey, Suse,” muttered Rob, as he flopped onto “his” sofa.

“Any donuts,” asked Rich. “I really only come for the donuts. Aw, who got the strawberry jelly one?”

Red and Mary just smiled. The Sunday ritual had begun.

“OK,” Red began, “let’s turn to Romans 2. Did you read it like I asked last week?”

“Oh, I read the whole letter,” Susie chimed. “It was pretty dull. What was Paul talking about, anyway?”

Rich and Rob dropped their heads. “Sorry. Didn’t get to it. No time. After basketball practice, homework, soccer, and working at Mac D’s, there just isn’t time for stuff that we don’t have to do,” said Rich.

Rob added, “Yeah, and Dad says it’s the Pastor’s job to teach us that stuff. That’s what we hired him to do. You know, Mr. P, Sunday School was a lot more fun when we didn’t have to think. Like when we saw all those videos of the vegetables. Maybe we ought to do that again.”

Patty Kidd walked in. “What did I miss? Sorry I’m late again. Things were kind of hectic when we got here. Dad thought the computer ate his sermon. Lucky I was there to find it for him.”

It was 10:10 before the sleepy teenagers had finally roused themselves to a point where they were ready to actual read the lesson verses. Some interesting discussion began, but in the remaining 15 minutes, not much was accomplished.

After the closing prayer, Red repeated his request that the kids read Romans 2 and sent them off to the “Meet and Greet” in the Fellowship Hall.

Before he and Mary went upstairs, he added to his notes for the Session meeting.

1. Lack of spiritual and personal discipline.

2. Leadership must lead.

Tomorrow night’s meeting will be interesting, he mused.

So, will Red accept the call to become the Evangelism Elder? Will the Session listen to what he has to say? Should he and Mary just head out to that Bible Fellowship Church out by the Turnpike? Who ate the strawberry jelly donut? Join us tomorrow for the next episode of Graying Presbyterian Church.

7 comments:

Rev Kim said...

Great story! Can't wait for the next installment.

We only have a few in the sr. high age range, and we don't have a youth group. Guess why? With sports & school, they just don't have time. Our children's Sunday school is very well-attended, but there are four or five parents who drop their kids off for Sunday School, pick them up in an hour, and don't bother to come to worship - unless the kids are doing something in worship.

Sadly, I'm not surprised. In a recent survey we did to see what kind of Adult Bible studies the congregation would like to participate in, overwhelmingly the responses checked were "I don't have time to attend Bible study" and "I don't see the need to study the Bible outside of worship." And people wonder why they - and the congregation, I think - aren't growing. The only people who offered suggestions are the 6-10 who are already involved.

Sigh.

Reformed Catholic said...

Mac,

as I mentioned yesterday, this saga could be a case study of SPC.

Kim,

I hear you ... we have the same issues with kids Sunday School.

As far as adult education, the same people are in Sunday School, the Wednesday night home video study, and the every other Sunday bible study. The excuses from the others are the same as you were getting.

I'm glad to see some people in a class, but the classes are not very challenging. When Serendipity House had their old studies, they were challenging, asking hard questions, and expecting the participants to do their homework.

R.C.

Quotidian Grace said...

Boy does this sound familiar. El Jefe and I taught senior high SS for a couple of years at our previous church. Sometimes it was a tough gig, sometimes it was rewarding.

Unlike Graying PC, we had enough kids to divide into two sr. high classes--fresh/soph and jr./sr. That helped break up some sibling groups which was good.

Still, only a couple of them took it at all seriously. But those who did were really a treasure!

Mac said...

QG:

Last year, my five member Sr. High class requested that we abandon our "store-bought" curriculum and pursue two topics:

1. The 5 points of Calvinism
2. A Bible study of The Revelation.

After my co-teacher and I caught our breath, we agreed. What a great year.

Quotidian Grace said...

Mac,
Yes, I think kids will respond to a serious study, too. Of course this requires adults who are willing to lead a serious study. Kudos to you and your co-teacher!

When I led Bible in 90 Days I had 4 of my high school students form a group and complete the study on time!

We never used the curriculum from the PCUSA, Cokesbury or anywhere else. They are all boring and tepid.

We did a series using The Case for Christ which the kids liked and we had good discussion.

Viola Larson said...

I think that shows that young people really want serious material. They want to deal with real Christian issues.

An extra question, has anyone else noticed how the verification letters are starting to turn into actual words? this one was fullylew.

Reformed Catholic said...

Mac,

"The 5 points of Calvinism" ... wow, if you said that to the kids around here, they'd ask "Calvin, who ??"

RC