Those of us who attend Sunday evening services (and all of us should) are regularly impressed by the Bible knowledge possessed by even the youngest among us, because we see this knowledge on display in KidSing. But our kids’ Bible learning goes far beyond what they learn on Sunday nights.
I learned last week of a great example of this progress. Beth Smith’s Wednesday night Bible class, for ages four to five years, is memorizing Paul’s list of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 (along with a lot of other information, I’m sure!). To use a sports term, I have “irrefutable video evidence” that this memorization is taking place: I saw “hidden-camera” footage of little Eden Conley, sitting in class and coloring happily, while singing the list of the fruits to herself. She sang every single one of the fruits. And she is one of four in the young class who know the whole list. And as they learn to identify the fruits, they also are learning how to put them into practice.
Notice several lessons from this marvelous, encouraging work:
- Good Bible class teachers teach the Bible. Some Bible class curriculum provides very little Bible study. Good Bible classes are saturated with the word of God, not merely sweet little maxims or friendly advice for life. “Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth” (1 Corinthians 2:13).
- Every moment of a good Bible class has great potential. When enthusiastic teachers are present and prepared to teach eager children, something magical happens. How tragic when students are absent on Wednesday nights. Paul told Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15, emp. added). To put it simply, Timothy had gone to Bible class and it helped him learn what he needed to know in order to be saved.
If children live what they learn in good Wednesday night classes, they will go to heaven. If they live what they learn from modern media or their peers in public school, they will go to hell. A great opportunity is missed every time a young student’s parents choose to keep him away from Bible class. We must send clearly the message to our children that Bible study is valuable, so that they do not grow up to believe the opposite. Remember, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42).