Children’s Bible School and Cells


by Mario Vega

There were practical reasons that initially led us to shift the Bible School teaching for children to the houses. But as we started to design the first training course for leaders of children’s cells, new elements arose.

One was the reflection on how the New Testament church instructed children into Christianity. It was obvious that what today is called “Bible School” (or Sunday School) is a relatively modern term. It was born with Robert Rikes in 1780. Rikes’ idea was not exactly what we now know as Bible School. Rikes’ School included literacy, math and Bible classes. It would not be until 1889 when the Bible School would specialize in teaching the Scriptures.

But how did the New Testament church teach the faith to children? We know that the church was born following the Jewish traditions and within this tradition the two great pillars of education were memorization and oral tradition. Both elements were present at home.

So we decided to have memorization and oral tradition as pillars of the education in children’s cells. That is, we decided to give true value to the memorization of the Scriptures and the oral transmission of the teachings, rather than focusing on expensive methodologies or on making handcrafts.

With these two elements as main axles, we began to design the training course for leaders of children’s cells. It was an effort to return to the New Testament’s church model.

Comments? Ideas?


Translation into Spanish:

Escuela bblica y células.

Lo que inicialmente nos llevó a trasladar la enseñanza de Escuela Bblica para niños a las casas fueron razones de ndole práctica. Pero, al comenzar a diseñar el primer curso de formación de lderes para células infantiles hubo nuevos elementos que se fueron sumando.

Uno de ellos fue el reflexionar sobre cómo la iglesia del Nuevo Testamento haca para formar en el cristianismo a los niños. Era obvio que lo que hoy se llama ‘Escuela Bblica’ es un término relativamente moderno. Nació con Robert Rikes en 1780. La idea de Rikes no era exactamente lo que hoy conocemos como Escuela Bblica. La escuela de Rikes inclua clases de alfabetización, matemáticas y Biblia. No sera sino hasta 1889 cuando la Escuela Bblica se especializara en las enseñanzas de las Escrituras.

Pero, ¿cómo haca la iglesia del Nuevo Testamento para enseñar la fe a los niños? Sabemos que la iglesia nació siguiendo las tradiciones judas y dentro de esa tradición los dos grandes pilares de instrucción eran la memorización y la tradición oral. Ambos elementos tenan lugar en el hogar.

Decidimos entonces hacer de la memorización y de la tradición oral los pilares de la enseñanza en las células infantiles. Es decir, darle valor a la memorización de las Escrituras y a la transmisión oral de las enseñanzas antes que enfocarnos en manualidades o metodologas caras.

Con estos dos elementos como ejes principales comenzamos a diseñar el curso de formación de los lderes para células infantiles. Era un esfuerzo por volver al modelo de la iglesia del Nuevo Testamento.

¿Comentarios? ¿Ideas?

2 thoughts on “Children’s Bible School and Cells

  • hello,

    thank you for that article. Would it be possible for me to get a hold of something that explains your training for children / leaders? I really enjoyed your approach to help children to become authentic believers.

  • Everytime Pastor Mario passes on another segment of his experience I feel a lift in my heart! Modern approaches are not always “best”, as “good” as they may seem. Expanding the thoughts concerning training children in the method Mario gives here causes my mind to project that there would have to be leaders who also were skilled in the same memorization of Scripture and transfer of truth!! This truly excites me to think of a Biblically strong and sound congregation. Thanks again Pastor Mario, see you in Myrtle Beach!

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