Children are a gift from God for parents and others to enjoy and to train for life. What a pleasure they are, in spite of childhood illnesses, temper tantrums, all those diapers and, at times, lost sleep. They are worth it. but training for life? That is another issue altogether! Ancient wisdom has it, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Many thoughtful parents feel they need help in this venture.
Yes, parents are chiefly responsible for bringing up the children they have brought into the world, but they usually welcome help that can come from a good extended family (grandparents, uncles and aunts), friends and good schools. Often, however, parents feel keenly the need of help in the moral education and training of their children. Especially in their early teens they seem to be influenced more by their friends than by their family. Thus parents often feel they lack the resources to provide what they would like to see their children get as a good value system. For that they often seek the help of a good church that has a responsible moral education program of teaching. The Woodland Hills church of Christ has such a program,
and it is open to all. Our own children go through the program because we feel it helps to shape them into wholesome, responsible adults, prepared for a meaningful life—this in addition to what we give them in our homes. What good is it if our children attend good schools, become financially successful and then end up living selfishly or even in white-collar prisons for crimes arising from greed?
Teaching the Bible
At the Woodland Hills church of Christ we teach children—and adults—of all ages. We do not teach human creeds or denominational peculiarities. We teach the basic messages of the Bible. We hold that children need to be taught early in life to be obedient to their parents and to respect authority and other people’s property, to be honest and trustworthy. Someone has said, “A child brought up in Sunday School is rarely brought up in court.” There is a lot of truth to that. So, here is how we go about teaching children in our program.
On the basis of the evidence we hold that the Bible is from God and is the most reliable source of information about who God is and how humans can relate to him in a meaningful way. In spite of what some modern atheists contend, the influence of the Bible, rightly taught, has elevated the position of women, inspired anti-slavery movements, caused the building of charity hospitals, urged the operation of orphanages and caused individuals to develop high moral standards of unselfish service and godlikeness. Since the Woodland Hills church of Christ believes strongly that God loves all children we take seriously the opportunity to teach the Bible to “the little people.” The Bible we teach to others warns us that teachers will receive “heavier judgment,” so we strive to be accurate and fair in what we teach.
What Happens in Bible Classes
Our Cradle Roll/Toddler class teaches the Bible through songs and age-appropriate activities. Our classes for 2-year-old through 6th Grade are designed so that the children are taught sequentially through the Bible over two years. The children are taught the same lesson on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, so they experience the same lesson with a different teacher and different reinforcement activities. One advantage to this program is that children who are absent on either Sunday or Wednesday will still have an opportunity to hear the lesson at least once.
All students two years old and up memorize Bible verses that will be useful to them. Children enjoy memory work and do it well. The two-year-old through kindergarten classes focus on the same verse for three to four weeks. The 1st through 6th grade classes learn a new verse each week. A list of memory verses and upcoming lessons is mailed to each family every quarter. The reinforcement activities are varied to appeal to various learning styles and to encourage children to have fun while learning in Bible class. Our priorities in Bible class are to teach truth and to ensure your child's safety. If your child is in our Bible school program from 2-years-old through 6th Grade, he or she will have studied through the Bible five times!
Our youth group classes are for 7th through 12th Graders. Teenage classes, devotionals and other activities are held in the youth building, located in the southwestern corner of our parking lot.