The acceptance of social norms in the church without examination is helpful for maintaining peace, and unity, but, at the same time, it can be a source of harm to the church, and its members. A couple of these social norms, which deserves scrutiny, is Sunday school and youth ministry as a whole. These ministries in the church, which are geared toward its younger members comes with well intentions for many of its leaders. Nevertheless, they contradict Scripture’s teaching on how children are to be raised in the fear, and admonition of the Lord. The Bible repeatedly places this responsibility on Fathers, and not the church’s institution of youth pastors, and youth leaders.
The Sunday school concept can be traced back to Robert Raikes’ Sunday School movement in England in the 18th century. Raikes’ Sunday School movement was an attempt at social reform in Gloucester, England, which pre-dated state schooling, and became very popular throughout the country. However, his movement was not received well by everyone. One of the objections raised to the movement was the concern that it would interfere with religious home-based education, which was the norm at that time. Much has changed since then. Today, it isn’t the norm for fathers to be the teachers to their children on religion. Instead, the children are handed over to church institutions, just as they are handed over to the public school systems for education. The parents have forgotten their God-given duties to their families, and have grown accustomed to the new social norm of trusting institutions with the raising of their children.
Nevertheless, it is God’s desire, in these last days, that the church turns the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Therefore, churches should build up the fathers in the faith so that they will be equipped for the work of ministry to their own families (Hebrews 12:12-13). The church should empower men to obey Scripture’s commands to them, and it should be careful not to be overly helpful by taking up the responsibilities that God has clearly assigned to others. To make that mistake could disrupts the harmony, and structure which God designed families to have.
Many of these institutions, which claim to be modern day churches, are not churches at all, but corporations that aims to grow their businesses buy meeting the needs of the customers. This seeker sensitive model of religion is not run by pastors, but businessmen, who do not have the best interest of Christ’s sheep in mind, but, instead, are hirelings. To learn how to shepherd Christ’s sheep by modeling one’s church after their example will only produce a seeker sensitive corporation that is incapable of submitting to Scripture’s commands and guidance, because the goal of such models is not evangelism, discipleship, and loving God’s people, but mere earthly success that is based upon meeting people’s desires. To learn more about this seeker sensitive consumer driven church model, click on the link entitled, “Church of Tares“.