Friday Challenge: Sunday School Stories

Today’s challenge is to tell a story from Sunday School: whether it was a class you attended as a child, a class you taught, or a class your child attended. I could go on and on about the teacher who taught a room full of 11-year-old children about the lustful dangers of skirts with slits in them but I’d rather hear what you all experienced instead.

…but first lets sing an action song!

254 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Sunday School Stories”

  1. I was a bus kid who was a wiz at memorizing Bible verses… I also always read ahead for the next Sunday school lesson ( next week passage was printed on the sheets they gave us). This was bad, because I was a bus kid who made the ‘good’ kids look bad.
    I remember a sermon where the pastor screeched about it and told the parents that they had better work harder because such a thing should not happen!

    1. Wow, Robin. It’s like bus kids were limited to how “good” they could be. I went to a church that separated the bus kids and the “church” kids, by having different services for each. The claimed it helped with space issues…but it made the bus kids feel not good enough to associate with church kids.
      That’s so sad. ❗

  2. 1. My childhood memory is of the older lady playing the piano and having her nylons get disconnected from her girtle, then asking another older lady to reconnect them as she played.

    2. Loved flannel graph.

    3. In 4th grade we had this old single woman who wanted to because teacher. We had to do the daily lessons and write the entire verse in the small space. Then she graded them.

    4. In high school our teacher said that John F. Kennedy was being kept alive to be the antichrist.

    5 My wife and I went to my grandparent’s church for Eastr. The class opened with a very flamboyant man playing the organ. My wife leaned over and said, “when is her going to come out of the closet?”.

  3. Sorry I’m late to the party. My son has a three day pass from Ft. Benning, and he trumped you guys today.

    Anyway, my worst faux pas as a teacher was when I was teaching from Genesis 6. I mentioned angels, and was making a point that they most scholars believe they don’t procreate. I meant to say that once God created them, He stopped. What I said, though, was “you have to remember that angels don’t have offspring. They were fixed.” I meant that there was a fixed number. I realized what I had said, and hoped no one noticed. Then I made eye contact with my wife. It went downhill from there. About half the class lost it while the rest tried to figure out what they had missed.

  4. Another memory; I was little, don’t think I was even in school yet.

    For some reason, my mom made me wear pants to church one Sunday. It went over like a lead balloon. I was forced to sit, alone, in the ss classroom while all the other kids had snack. I don’t recall what, exactly, was said to me, but I sat there looking down at those ugly, 70’s plead brown pants and cried my eyes out. 😥

    1. An adult who makes a little child sit alone and miss snack because the child was “dressed wrong” is seriously messed up. 🙁

      1. It was effed up enough that it is one of my earliest memories, from an age when we usually don’t have memories from.

  5. As a kid in the early 70’s our fundy church used alliteration in naming the college and career class the Kollege and Kareer Klass. For years there would be announcements from the pulpit and in the bulletin like “the KKK will have an ice scream social Sunday night following the service” or ” the KKK will go bowling Friday night. Meet in the fellowship hall at 6:30. “. Can’t. Make. This. Stuff. Up.

    1. Why not use alliteration and make it the College and Career Class, or CCC? Or was it that they would rather share initials with the Ku Klux Klan than the Civilian Conservation Corps?

      1. You have accurately identified the $64,000 question. Your thought process was evidently not shared by the entire leadership – or at least one questioning individual – of that church.

    1. Did you ever sing out of the assorted hymnals that emphasize this topic? I collect hymnals from garage sales. One that was produced for homeschoolers was just a cut’n’paste of 19th-century hymnals, including hymns about sending missionaries to the poor ignorant brown folks in benighted corners of the Earth where currently there are bishops writing letters of correction and admonishment to us benighted Westerners. The big shiny blue one from the people who publish Sword of the Lord includes a modern hymn about a dying “Gypsy” (sic!!!!) boy who makes the missionaries happy by saying the prayer with his last breath (but dies anyway).

      1. Tell it again, tell it again,
        Salvation’s story repeat o’er and o’er
        Till none can say of the children of men,
        Nobody ever has told me before.

      2. True, the gypsy boy was sic (sic???) The hymn dates back to the mid 1800’s. According to one website: Tell It Again is based on a true incident. Years ago, a missionary visited a dying boy in a tent in a gypsy encampment, in England. Bending over him, he recited the words of John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The dying boy listened, and faintly whispered, “Nobody ever told me.”

      3. Ah yes, the Gypsy child who takes three hours to die and, in that time period, gasps his last breath and last words and last sighs approximately seven hundred times.

        For some reason, it was oddly popular with the children of my church’s Sunday School a few years back… we recently got new books and my family was delighted to see there was NO MORE DYING GYPSY BOY!

  6. When I was ten years old, my parents where looking for a new church in a new city (in the Bible Belt). This other Sunday School student seemed a tad overdressed, suspenders, slacks, a dress shirt I would expect to see on a stockbroker. Little Debbie snack cakes and Pepsi was served. We were too young for coffee, but is Pepsi appropriate in the morning? (Don’t answer in the affirmative, or I’ll call you a Philistine.)

    Anyway, the above mentioned member of the class said “Yeah, the world is getting worse, on [i]20/20[/i] last night, these guys in the Army said that, so they would not have to bother with dogtags getting all mixed up, they would take the Mark of the [i]Beast[/i].”

    I Remember feeling a little frightful about the prospect of “The Mark of the Beast”, but really he was probably withholding some details , like Barbara Walters, or whomever was doing some sensationalist fluff piece on technology that hasn’t quite arrived and the problem of a not yet public willing to be tracked like cattle. He said that with the seriousness of the possibility that the Department of Defense was beta testing “The Mark of the Beast”.

    This was around 1988. Many Fundie types were chattering about the technological possibilities of such a thing. I think this was in a Southern Baptist Church.

  7. Three things stick out in my memory of Sunday School as a child.

    1. The teacher’s son was going on about someone in the room winning some prize, “You’re a lucky duck!” Then went on to continue adding every word he could think of that rhymed with luck in the middle. “You lucky truck duck, etc”. This continued until it’s obvious and unfortunate conclusion of, “You lucky f@#k duck!” at which point he was promptly removed from the class and returned to the room a short while later with a red face and teary eyes from having been spanked in the bathroom.

    2. A nice, easy-going male SS teacher that was going to have everyone over for a sleepover with pizza and watching Doctor Who. He was kinda awkward and not one of the church’s stars, but seemed to care about us.

    3. Craig. He was the kid had a few things wrong with him and everyone picked on or made fun of. Speech impediment, a couple of his fingers were fused together and a couple other things. I liked him though and was his only friend even though the other kids gave me crap about it. His mother was a single mom and thanked me for being his friend and looked like she was going to cry when I asked if he could come over to my house to play after church one day. I didn’t understand what the big deal was at the time. They moved away after about a year and I never saw or heard from him again as is the case with most little kids. I still think about him from time to time and am glad I met him.

  8. In my teenage years we had the privilege to sit under the SS teachings of a former Marine. The mix of Marine + Fundy Baptist was not a good thing.
    The boys got called fags on a weekly basis.
    The girls were rarely allowed to speak.
    When I moved out (aka ran away at 18) they shut down the entire teen department because no one told on me. No SS, no activities, no camp. I always felt bad for causing that, until I realized it was probably a blessing in disguise for them.

    1. does “SS” stand for Sunday School, or does something else spring to mind? 😯

  9. I enjoyed Sunday School. It prepared the ground for the sowing of the seed of the Gospel, which I accepted at the age of 13. But then again, I didn’t grow up in the Parallel Universe of Fundamentism….

  10. 1) singing songs with the signs. I usually got to hold the signs since I was the PK, unless some little kid was into it. They were usually really old too and I accidentally broke ‘Somewhere in Outer Space’ once
    2)The year the church board decided puppets were not appropriate for children. We had to get rid of the Sunday school mascot. Poor Theopolis :'(
    3) We used to do lots of skits in middle school. I ended up being one of the little children in ‘Jesus and the Children’ so I tackled the ‘disciple’ so I could get to ‘Jesus’. Not my brightest idea
    4) being so tired as a little kid one sunday morning I went to sleep in some shelving and waking up to be in the middle school sunday school class (with all the adults frantically looking for me elsewhere)
    5) Being told I had to only answer every 4th question because I was too good at Sunday school (also being told that I had to stop beating people at games, especially the boys… because beating boys at tug a war is unlady like… As an overly competitive middle schooler this did not set well with me)

  11. I once cut my hair into a mohawk for a prom costume (I found an ice blue tuxedo to match).

    Going to church was interesting. Right before the main service started I was invited by the youth pastor to attend the teen class. I was 21 at the time, but I thought he was just trying to pad out his attendance numbers so I said ok.

    But then once we got into the class he proceeded to ambush me and straight up call me out for my satanic haircut. (It wasn’t even spiked up)

    Lots of jabber about the appearance of evil and causing the older members of the congregation to sin by being a stumbling block to their faith.

    Lots of anti rock and roll rhetoric including the old urban legend chestnut about Alice Cooper throwing a sack full of puppies into a concert crowd.

    My argument was it’s a stupid haircut and it will grow back. I was a really geeky kid, who stayed out of trouble and didn’t do drugs/steal cars/get girls pregnant/loan shark/whathaveyou.

    Several of the kids in the class backed me up for it, which was cool. And because of the lively discussion the class actually ran longer than the full church service going on in the main hall.

  12. I’m guessing we were about 8 or 9 years old and our Sunday school teacher was a dear older man named Mr. Linzy.

    We acted like imbeciles in Mr. Linzy’s class, and he would keep his calm and just keep teaching the lesson and act like our poor behavior wasn’t affecting him in the least.

    Well, one day Mr. Linzy finally snapped. He slammed the podium and yelled, “you boys are acting niggardly!!!”. Our reaction? We all went into hysterics, because we had never heard the word and thought that Mr. Linzy was dropping a racial number on us. I remember using that word later in the day and my mother giving me the, “where on earth did you hear that word?”. 😀

  13. I was nearly ruined spiritually by SS.

    It was at the SBC church I grew up attending. They actually ran buses at the time. The SS teacher taught on Hell and then asked the all important question, You don’t want to go to Hell do you? If you don’t want to go to Hell, say this prayer, just repeat after me… Well, of course I prayed the prayer but didn’t have a clue about salvation. Next thing I remember was the pastor leading a sinner’s prayer and it was different than the one I was told to pray so I thought to myself, I better pray it again in case I didn’t pray it right the first time. This continued for a long time. I think I prayed the sinner’s prayer a 1000+ times before I finally understood the Gospel and ceased from my works (prayers) and rested in Christ and His finished work alone. It was that or the “If I’m not saved, save me now” prayers to infinity. To think of all the wasted years and overwhelming doubts and fears that resulted is so sad. It’s even sadder to think of all those who will never come to a knowledge of the truth because they were given a false sense of security. Oh, you prayed the prayer, you’re good. It makes me sick to see them parade children in front of churches that supposedly got saved and when asked how they got saved they reply “I asked Jesus into my heart” Oh, He got into your heart because you asked Him to or He got there by faith, not faith in the prayer or whatever they asked you to do. 123, ABC repeat after me, now you’re saved (really damned) you see.

    These people are wicked. They are no different than Mormons or JW’s when it comes to teaching works for salvation. You will here some of them teach it fairly well and then bam the old bait and switch. Insert a work and make them two-fold more the child of Hell. “Missed it by that much” A “Get Smart” reference for our younger readers. There, now I feel better.

  14. I grew up in a dying church that asked a local child evangelist to come to jump-start our little Sunday School. Using the Wordless Book, she came to what is now the “dark” page, and talked about how our hearts are black with sin. She then turned to the white heart, and said that was what we would have if we trusted Jesus as our Savior. This, to a group that was at least 60% African-American, in 1970. Many of the kids never came back (I almost didn’t, and I’m white). The same evangelist scolded me later in a meeting for not raising my hand when she gave the invitation to receive Christ. I wasn’t ready yet, and I didn’t like being coerced. A couple years later I did come to faith, with a true conviction that children’s feelings need to be respected when we share the Truth of Christ with them.

  15. my most memorable Sunday School experience involves me as an 8 year old listening to a dear old lady (I’ll call her Mrs. W) describe how she had spent Saturday, the day before, going on a hayride with her little grandson. I piped up and said, “You’re so heavy you’d break the wagon!”
    Mrs. W. started crying (really, if you’re that sensitive, you shouldn’t be working with children. And I hadn’t meant it as a jab about how fat she was; it’s just that I was picturing an adult on a tiny little wagon made for kids). Then the entire class was herded off into another room to hear a single lady missionary talk about Africa.
    I cried through the entire thing. When I got back into the Sunday School room, me and Mrs. W. were both crying, and I was confronted by the 3 other Sunday School teachers about what I had “done.”
    I ended up pretending I was “sick” every time Awana time or Sunday school time rolled around, because I didn’t want to see her. My childish conscience was MORTIFIED at my own crime. I prayed every night for God to forgive me. When I finally broke down and admitted to my mother why I was playing “sick” all the time, she burst out laughing.
    I have never been so confused in all my life as I was at that moment.

  16. When I was about 5yrs old our elderly S.S. teacher gave a lesson on what was sin and what wasn’t. She had made two heart shaped booklets from construction paper, one was black and the other was white. Inside the black heart she had pasted magazine pics of booze and cigarettes and playing cards, inside the white heart was a picture of a family having a picnic and a picture of a church. I know that all may seem comical to some but it made the intended impression on me for which I’m grateful.

  17. I vividly remember exclaiming “Oh my goodness!” in response to something a friend said to me before Sunday School. My teacher grabbed me and spun me around , got in my face and said, “Amy! There is NO. GOOD. in us!”

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