All-Age Bible School
Most evangelical churches have a Sunday School, but many churches find it difficult to keep their children in the Sunday School once they reach the mid-teens. Many churches also find it increasingly difficult to hold a separate mid-week Bible study as well as a prayer meeting. The answer to both of these problems may be found, at least partly, in an All-Age Bible School. This is normally held either before or after the morning service. The problem with a traditional Sunday School that does not have classes for adults is that there is a “cut-off point” after which the teenagers leave. Not only do they leave then but also they have been looking forward to that time, a time when they will become like the adults and no longer attend Sunday School which is regarded a “kids thing”.
All-Age Bible School can help to alleviate those problems. In the first place, there is no longer an age at which the teenagers are expected, and expecting, to leave. Moreover it is no longer an adult thing not to attend Sunday School. There is always a class above the one they are in to move up to. The adult classes may be used not only for Bible study but also for such things as marriage preparation classes, baptismal preparation classes, church membership classes and other special groups. For over 25 years we had an All-Age Bible School at West Street Baptist Church in Dunstable, and it was an unmitigated blessing. Occasionally I would take all the adults in one class for a special series, such as a survey of church history. We met at 10.0 am for the AABS and at 11:15 am for the Morning Service. During the latter a “Children’s Church” was held in two departments for the two to five age range, and a Creche for those under two, while those aged six and over stayed in the main service and were encouraged to take notes along the lines suggested by Edith Schaeffer in her book, “Hidden Art”.