Great Reasons for You (Yes, You!) To Bring Your Entire Family to Bible Class
Our congregation is putting forth its best efforts to offer Bible classes Sundays at 9:30 and Wednesdays at 7:00. But there’s one thing that can derail these wonderful efforts—a lack of attendance! Like a sports car with a powerful engine but no tires, the greatest efforts on the part of teachers do little good if few people are there to participate in them.
Let’s us all to devote ourselves, as much as possible, to attending every Bible class, every week.
The most plentiful teaching happens during the Bible class. We have a limited number of slots available to present needful teaching to the congregation. Not counting the Lord’s Supper talk and invitations, we have only 104 sermon slots available per year. This seems like a lot, but life is complicated, and the Bible is a big book! These 104 lessons barely scratch the surface of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). These 104 lessons barely arm a Christian with the skill he needs to wield the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).
The Bible class times offer an additional 104 slots per year to explore the Scripture. If you want to understand the message of the whole Bible, you’ll need to come to Bible class as well. Reading the bulletin, reading the Bible at home, and small group Bible studies with fellow Christians help too.
The deepest teaching happens during the Bible class. We have time set aside in the worship service for public reading of Scripture (1 Tim. 4:13) and sermons (Acts 20:7). Hopefully people learn something during those times. But it is unavoidable that those sermons will be more basic. They have to be understandable to a broad audience—young and old, seekers and skeptics, Christian and non-Christian, college bound and non-college bound, spiritual infants and spiritual adults, married and unmarried.
If you want the meat of the word (and you do, don’t you!) then Bible class is the place. Tuck a napkin in your collar and bring out your steak knife! A few weeks ago, we spent 45 minutes on just a few verses of Scripture—and we weren’t getting bogged down in meaningless controversy. It took that long to truly appreciate the message of that paragraph. It was interesting, eye-opening, and encouraging. It was the kind of study doesn’t happen in the context of a worship service. I wish every member of the congregation had been able to participate in that discussion.
“Everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
The most personalized teaching happens during the Bible class. During worship services, everyone must basically sit still and pay attention. But during Bible class, everyone is invited to raise a hand, ask questions, make comments, interact with the text, and participate in the discussion.
Part of our purpose in “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some,” (Heb. 10:24) is to be “encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Questions people in class are some of the best ways to be encouraged, and to learn how the message of the Bible applies to real life in all its stages and circumstances. As we study and comment together, we discover meaning that we would have missed alone.
The most kid-centered teaching happens during the Bible class. Above, I mostly have been talking about the adult Bible classes. But one of the very best things we do as a church body is provide Bible instruction to children ages toddler to high school. These classes are age-appropriate, full of fun activities which enhance learning and encourage memorization, build up trusting and joyous relationships, and lay down a foundation that will be hard for Satan to undermine later in life.
Parents make sure the members of your family have read the lesson beforehand, and completed any brief assignments given by the teacher. They work long and hard to provide these questions. Ask your kids about class at some point during the week; ideally, in the car on the way home. This is a powerful way to reinforce the teaching done in the classroom, and to make sure your kids are engaged. “These words ... you shall teach diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:6-7).
Parents, I encourage you to make bringing your kids to Bible class on time a huge priority. When God judges our parenting, He will not be nearly as concerned about how many homeruns our children hit or how many A’s they brought home on a report card, as He will be concerned about whether we brought them up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Bible class is one excellent way to do this. Don’t take whining or reluctance or excuses for answers. Put your foot down and make Bible class a non-negotiable part of your activity as a family. If you start this pattern at age 3, they won’t find it odd at age 13, and they will likely continue it in their own homes at age 33. If you stick to this pattern, you will figure out creative ways to make dinner, homework, and extracurriculars all find their appropriate slots around Bible class. There is nothing “more fun” or “more important” than God.