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Teaching foundational doctrines in Sunday School

I took my daughter into the basketball gym today and thought we would have some good time to just play around, which she did.  I realized though that she was getting frustrated in being able to simply dribble the ball.  I was shooting the ball with ease and even dribbling, but I had to stop and try to teach her one of the primary means of playing basketball.  I also had to remind myself of how she was not used to dribbling and how it was truly a baby step for her to bounce the ball in a constant rhythm.  Let me just say I am not one of those crazy dads that was there forcing my child to play.  I could tell though that she wanted to learn and I had to remind myself of how to dribble first as well.

We are very quick, especially if we have been teaching Sunday School for many years to skip over these truths that seem to be so second in nature, and we move to the secondary or even the tertiary doctrines in nature.  Considering the rate of biblical illiteracy in the church today as well as where we are finding most people in our Sunday School classes, it is wise to always emphasize greatly the foundational truths.  Just as there will be a time for me to teach my daughter to shoot, I realized that she wasn't there yet, she truly had to learn just how to dribble.

A great example of this can be with someone in your Sunday School class that may have lost a loved one.  Our discussions of tertiary (preferences) matters in the Bible are really not going to mean much to them at that point, like the choice of one version of the Bible over another.  The truth that they need to be reminded of is the presence of God and His promises that come from His Word that stand to consistent and a part of the foundation of our faith.  As with many that are in our groups that meet, their focuses are not really worried about the disagreements of whether Jesus had blue eyes or brown eyes.  They want to know how in the midst of being busy, they can take a simple foundational truth and make it applicable to their circumstance right then.  They want to learn how to dribble.

Let me share with you a few things that can help to keep foundational truth a part of your Sunday School teaching.

1. Keep the Bible as primary.  This sounds so much of what we said last week, but the more that we can keep the focus of the primary truths of the Bible being primarily understood, you will grow your group.

2. Keep the teaching focused on fundamentals.  No this isn't a point out of a "how to coach basketball." instead its a simple truth of teaching the truths of who God is, who Jesus is, what they have done, and what they have promised to do.  May we become experts in the fundamentals instead of novices in the general.

3. Move to the secondary as time grows.  Paul saw there was a time when he could only share the milk of the Gospel.  There came a time though where he encouraged the people to begin to eat meat.  He started at the foundational and then it moved to the secondary understandings.

4. Connect everyone to the fundamentals.  The more that you can as a group emphasize the fundamentals and show how each person is to connect to these simple truths from God's Word, then the group will continue to remain open and ready for guests to join at any time.

5. Use your other times for deeper discussions.  This simply means that Sunday mornings are not the only time that we have to speak about the Bible.  If our walk with Christ is a part of what we do daily, we will need to see that we can't limit our Bible study to only Sunday mornings.  This also means though that there needs to be times when we can involve ourselves in the deeper discussions of our faith that mold and shape our worldview to align more effectively with the Bible.

These are just a few simple things to keep in mind in putting the first things first in Sunday School by teaching foundational truths.

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