Elmer Towns: Sunday School will boost Bible knowledge

"Pastor, I need to speak with you." Ryan Thompson sounded upset. A computer programmer with an $80,000 annual income, this young professional was a leader among the young adults at Immanuel Church.

"What's the problem?" Pastor Kohler asked brightly.

"This!" said Ryan, holding up a copy of Turmoil, a million-selling novel about the end times. "I just finished reading about the Second Coming, and it's terrifying! Did you know that the Spirit Jesus has already returned to Earth? It says here that demonic agents are in control of Egypt, Japan and Argentina. The Battle of Armageddon will take place in Africa sometime before 2010."

Then with a trace of accusation in his voice, Ryan pleaded, "How come you never told me about this?"

Pastor Kohler shook his head. How could this brightyoung man be so easily deceived? He thought, Doesn't he know anything about the Bible? He answered, "The story is much more exciting than that! You hold a fictitious hypothesis, whereas the Bible tells of true-and scary-future events. Didn't you learn that in Sunday School?"

"I've never been to Sunday School," he replied. "Isn't Sunday School for kids?"

Biblical literacy is at an all-time low, even among churched people. Many don't even know the most basic stories of the Bible. Blank stares accompany a reference to David and Goliath. To some church members, Daniel in the lion's den could be a reference to someone's membership in a service club!

Most modern church services don't include a lot of Bible teaching. Modern worship services include Scripture readings, and the sermons are aimed at helping worshipers deal with the issues of life. But it seems modern people don't want to listen to theological explanations in their sermons. So where is the modern Christian taught the essentials of Christianity?

Lack of biblical knowledge leaves Christ's flock with no depth to their personal faith. This, in turn, makes them vulnerable to the aggressive "evangelism" of those practicing Islam, Buddhism and Mormonism. Will failure to impart Bible knowledge leave church members ripe for deception?

Action Point: If all your members' knowledge about the Bible was learned from your sermons, how much would they know?

Elmer L. Towns;Stan Toler. What Every Pastor Should Know about Sunday School (Kindle Locations 174-178). Kindle Edition.

Elmer Towns will be speaking at several upcoming All Star Sunday School Training Events. To Schedule an event at your church, contact [email protected]