THE SUNDAY SCHOOL:
An Overview of how it started”
The journey of the sunday school into Celestial was of a late entry and relevance.
At the inception of the church, the focus and the core were the choir, the prophets and the sidesmen which were fundamental bodies in the early celestial church.
The creation of a sunday school and the ministry of teachers for children was not among.
Children and adults worshipped and prayed together in the same auditorium.
The crowd wax more and also the need for a sunday school.
But as the church began to grow in strength, size and numbers, the need for a children church was becoming apparent.
Sunday schools and teachers gained grounds from the late 80’s and early 90’s down to the millennium in the celestial church
Certain members of the church, called Baba Ewe( Father of children) who had the love of children at heart constituted the authority of the sunday school with some voluntary members of the sidesmen and women folk who probably didnt find space in the church or had a sense of duty left the main congregation and tutored children morally in high discipline and energy
Parents began to love what they see their children doing singing songs, participating in the service and acquiring biblical knowledge
The church never saw much significance into the children’s church until the landmark celebration of the juvenile harvest came to be and hence cognizance was taken into training and teaching children in a space, called sunday school when parents began to see their children doing things that adults couldnt even dare to do revealing a brightness for the future
The effort and struggles of the teachers was now yielding results that are not appreciated but celebrated with no support or encouragement yet they continued.
The courage of the early Sunday school teachers cannot be left unmentioned as they laid a foundation for the future
The failure to teach our children each has taken them beyond kingdom reach where they are snapped away than uphold our heritage and values
The wave of bible quiz and competitions also gained grounds for the sunday school as youths and children began to reveal exploits in knowledge of the scriptures, and this was supported by the founding father’s with the creation of the popular, “Oshoffa Cup” where children compete biblically to win prizes and gifts.
Children felt elated at such moments as their teachers in the sunday school prepared them to win the grandeur prizes, the true celestial spirit was awakened
Till date, in some parishes, teachers are not seen as a fundamental part of the church body and some parishes still dont have a sunday school or a structure where children are assembled
Whilst the parents often see the sunday school of nothing more than a daycare where they drop their children and come back to take them.
The increase in maternity soon was affecting the church and likewise a surge up demand for more teachers
Some see the teachers like being jobless or valueless with no addition than babysit children and didnt have the support that was needed that we now have at this time.
The results started yielding when early products of the sunday school began to do exploits and upholded the basic teachings and atmosphere of the church in fellowship gatherings and retreats in their places of academics and some remained to be teachers in the fold and take up the role
An awakening began to happen on the part of the youths which began to slowly demand and make more development as the church was crisis ladened with power tussle at the demise of the founder of the church
As we entered into the millennium era, the importance of training children in the way of the lord became more significant and development and volunteering began to rise slowly in the sunday school.
Today, the sunday school has tremendously transformed and is in the agenda of every parish to have a sunday school even though the turnout for teachers is still a little below average.
Most parishes now have a sunday school coordinator, matron, patron and teachers which make up the sunday school body in charge of children teaching, welfare, funding and development.
The celebration of the juvenile harvest and Christmas carol became more colorful as teachers and their children began to show more creativity and more optimistic expectations for the sunday school
Many parishes are putting the sunday school in their plans as it has now formed a structure of importance in the building of any church
And the true celestial heritage, root is been breeded in the scriptures knowledge, the touch of the spirit and the bent of genius in them all in that children environment called sunday school
By Brother Tola Adele