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The Boy And The Sunday School by Alexander of Cappadocia

IV THE SUNDAY SCHOOL OR CHURCH SCHOOL

The Sunday school is the biggest force of the church in the life of the boy. At times he refuses to attend the stated worship of the church, but if the Sunday school be in the least interesting he will gladly attend it. Its exercises and procedure must, however, be interesting, and rightly so. The boy has the right to demand that the time, his own time, which he gives to the Sunday school, should be utilized to some decently profitable, pleasurable end. Education, even religious education, is not necessarily a painful process. Discipline of mind or body has ceased to be a series of disagreeable, rigid postures or exercises. Medicine has no virtue merely because it is bad to the taste, and modern medical usage prescribes free air and warm sunshine in large doses in place of the old-time bitter nostrums. Even where the boy spirit needs medication, the means employed need not be sepulchral gloom, solemn warning, other-world songs, and penitential prayers, with great moral applications of the non-understandable. The germs of spiritual disease give way before the sunshine of the spirit, just as fast, if not faster, than the microbes before the sun. The Sunday school, then, should be a happy, joyous, sunny place, brimful of ideas, suggestion and impulse; for these three are at once the giants and fairies of religious education, and are the essential elements of character-making.

To produce all of the above, three things are needed: adequate organization, careful supervision, and common-sense leading. The first is imperative, because all education is a matter of organization. The second is part of the first, as supervision is the genius of organization. The third is fundamental, for all expression -- true education -- depends on the teacher or leader, whose innate idea of the fitness of things keeps him from doing, on the one hand, that which is just customary, or, on the other hand, that which may appear to be just scientific. The science of yesterday should be the tradition of today; that is, if we are making progress in educational processes. Today's science also should be fighting yesterday's for supremacy. Common sense lies somewhere between the two.

The only two of these three Sunday school essentials that this chapter deals with are organization and supervision.

The Sunday school should be a kind of a religious regiment, martial both in its music and its virtues for its challenge to the adolescent boy. Now, every regiment, in peace or war, is properly organized with battalions, companies, and squads. Everything is accounted for, arranged for, and some one definitely held responsible for certain things -- not everything. The organization covers every member of the regiment; so should the Sunday school.

In Sunday school nomenclature the regimental battalions are |Divisions| -- Elementary, Secondary, and Adult, by name. The companies likewise are named |Departments,| each division having its own as in the |Elementary| -- |Cradle Roll,| |Beginners,| |Primary,| and |Junior.| The squads in each case are the |Classes| that make up the Departments. It is essential that the Secondary, or Teen Age Division, which enrolls the adolescent boy, be adequately organized.

Regiments, Battalions, Companies, and Squads must be properly officered -- must be supervised. Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants and Corporals are the arteries of an army. In Sunday school language, the head of the regiment is the General Superintendent, and all the heads of divisions and departments are likewise named Superintendent. The leader of the squad is the Teacher. Then a properly supervised Sunday school is organized not unlike an army, and would be, according to a diagram, like the following:

General Superintendent
|
-- -- -- + -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -+ -- -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -+ -- - | | | | Elementary Secondary Adult Special Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent

Cradle Roll Intermediate Organized Bible
Superintendent Superintendent Class
Superintendent

Beginners' Senior Home Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent
or
Primary Teen Age
Superintendent Superintendent
or
Junior Boys'
Superintendent Superintendent
and
Girls'
Superintendent

Thus the modern school of the church would have at least twelve superintendents to oversee its work, to say nothing of the special workers, such as Training, Missionary and Temperance. This may seem like an unnecessary array of officers, but the experienced will admit that they are essential to good results in teaching boys and girls of varying requirements. Not until the Secondary or Teen Age Division is adequately supervised, will the teen age boy or his religious education be properly cared for.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ON THE SUNDAY SCHOOL

Frost. -- The Church School (.65).

Cope. -- Efficiency in the Sunday School ([USD]1.00).

Lawrance. -- Housing the Sunday School ([USD]2.00).

-- How to Conduct a Sunday School ([USD]1.25).

Meyer. -- The Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice (.75).

SCHEME OF ORGANIZATION OF THE MODERN SUNDAY SCHOOL

DIVISIONS AND DEPARTMENTS

ELEMENTARY | SECONDARY | ADULT | SPECIAL -- -- -- -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -+ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Cradle Roll | (A) | Adult | Missionary (1 Minute-3 | Intermediate | Bible |
years) | Department | Class |
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- | (13-16 years) | Department | Temperance Beginners' | -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -| (21 years +) |
Department | Senior | -- -- -- -- -- -- -- |
(4-5 years) | Department | Home | Purity -- -- -- -- -- -- -- | (17-20 years) | Department |
Primary |===============| Visitation |
Department | (B) | Department | Training (6-8 years) | Teen Age or | |
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- | High School | |
Junior | Department | | Parents Department |===============| |
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- | Girls' | |
| Department | | Parents and
| (13-20 years) | | Teachers
| | |
| (C) | |
| Boys' | | Etc.
| Department | |
| (13-20 years) | |

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