The problem of education in our congregations

I would like you to consider Pastor John Frasier's blog post entitled "On the State of the Missouri Synod and the Problem of Christian Education in Our Congregations," (found at: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=22875).

This part in particular, resonates with me quite strongly:

Simply teaching the Bible to a group of children raised on a steady diet of entertainment in the church simply doesn't move the needle. They are bored to tears by it. If you doubt what I'm saying, just look at much of our Sunday School and VBS curricula. They are full of gimmicks, games, and crafts. They are sadly short on sustained Bible teaching, Scripture memory, and catechesis. At some point, the medium becomes the message. How we package our teaching can actually speak louder than what we're trying to teach. For many children, learning the Bible just becomes the means to an end of getting the piece of candy, or being entertained. Sooner or later, every activity becomes cashed out in terms of its amount of pleasure.

It's deplorable that our Sunday School children aren't learning much about their Lutheran faith. What's worse is that the puppet shows and sing-a-long powerpoints are no longer confined to the Sunday School room--they've taken over the Divine Service!

Whether you think of it as a protracted adolescence, or just one more chapter in the baby boomer era, the truth is that the adults have left the building. The generation of Christians who were brought up in a society that valued entertainment only as an adjunct to a productive life (as opposed to being the center of it) has largely passed away. What's left in our Church leadership are folks who have been brought up in the entertainment culture. Deep, intellectual, and spiritual insights are no longer valued (in fact, they're usually dismissed out of hand). They're replaced by bumper stickers, sound bytes, t-shirts, three-minute pop/Christian songs, and generic "be a good person" messages from the pulpit.

So yes, we should be concerned about our children's spiritual growth, but don't forget about the grownups!

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