The Adult Sabbath School Class

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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Teach your children well

As a rule of thumb, roughly two-thirds of all kids drop out of church just as soon as they get out there on their own.

Adventists, Baptists, Catholics – makes no difference; we all lose about two-thirds of our young adults.

But roughly half of those kids who left will end up back in church. And most of those who do come back will do so for one, simple reason: they now have children of their own.

No, most people want their children to grow up right. So they sign-up their children for piano lessons, and they drive their children to swim practice, and they work two jobs so they can afford to live in a place that has good schools . . .

And they even show up in church with their families in tow, willing to put up with the archaic music and the boring sermons and the incomprehensible doctrines if that’s what it takes to raise good kids.

So be careful with this week’s lesson. You may think you’re “just” discussing how we can pass along our values and beliefs to our children (and grandchildren).

But for some of your class members, you’ll actually be talking about the only reason they’re really in church.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
1. What command does God give in verses 4-6? Why is this important when it comes to passing on your values to your children? What are some of the ways in which your children reflect the “loves” (and the hatreds) they’ve seen in your life? What happens when you try to pass on values that aren’t really important to the way you live?

2. What principle does God give in verse 7 – and what are some the examples given in verses 7-9 of this principle in action? What are some of the ways that you can demonstrate your beliefs and values to your children in everyday life? What are some of the advantages of sharing your faith in this way . . . and what (if any) are the weaknesses?

3. What kind of help do you need in putting Deuteronomy 6:4-9 into practice? Where can you go in finding this help? What kind of help does your church provide – and how can it be more helpful?

Note: some of your class-members will be grandparents, trying to pass along their faith to grandchildren whose parents will have nothing to do with church. How does Deuteronomy 6:4-9 speak to their concerns?

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