One Sunday evening in Jeffersonville, Indiana, a young dad entered the church auditorium lobby carrying a crying toddler. Apparently, their walk through the education wing had reminded the little guy of his Bible class that morning. Aden wanted to go to class again. I patted him on the back and consoled him with the offer that he could sleep through my sermon. Maybe it was a coincidence, but he immediately perked up and wanted to get down and play for a few minutes before worship began.
Aden’s momentary agitation was eloquent testimony to the importance of the church’s Bible education program. Responsible Christian parents never question the need for taking their children to school every day. By the time a student graduates from high school, he has been in the classroom 16,380 hours (assuming perfect attendance). But many parents worry that an academic education consisting of 16,380 hours is insufficient preparation for life, and so they make great sacrifices to send their graduates to college. But how many hours has an 18-year-old sat in Sunday morning and Wednesday evening Bible classes? Only 1,404 hours—assuming perfect attendance and habitual promptness.
Of course, parents who bring their children to Bible classes probably have them in worship services too, and some families have daily devotionals. These additional teaching opportunities must add up to an impressive number of hours, right? Not really. Two Sunday worship services, two weekly Bible classes, and five home devotionals (averaging 15 minutes each) add up to only 4,446 hours by age 18. This number of hours (again assuming perfect consistency) equals the academic training a child receives by Christmas break of his third grade year in public school. Parents, every worship service and Bible class is a learning opportunity of utmost spiritual value. Make the most of your time!