The Dangers of Sunday School
It has been long known that people learn values by observation and osmosis, rather than by specific teaching. The education of values just helps them understand, but not to obtain those values.
Schools, sunday schools and other places have an important part to play in the education of children, but in terms of teaching children values, – this is mostly done in the home.
We noticed in our church many years ago that our children grew spiritually better when we cancelled sunday school. We were in between buildings and unable to hold Sunday school for a long period of time. So instead of sending our children out during the sunday service to a “children’s meeting” we kept them in with the “big people.” Although this was unintentional it had the result of teaching the children to value what their parents value.
When you send a child out to his or her own thing, you are saying subtly that what the parents are doing is not important enough for the child. Later in life the child holds the same values – “church is not for me.” So we discovered that a sunday school, if held concurrently to a service, can teach bad values. They learn is by osmosis.
So for me the things that matter in youth work is:
- The environment the youth are in,
- The adults they are surrounded by,
- And the values of that those adults hold.
To produce good outcomes in young people, its the atmosphere they are surrounded by that untimately makes all the difference. Teaching kids morals, or doing programs will only ever have a limited effect.