26 June 2015
The stories they didnt teach at Sunday School
Paul Coulter - Lecturer in practical theology and missiology in Belfast Bible College.
"This might sound odd, but I'd have to say the overarching story of the Bible. My Sunday School teachers loved God's word and they taught me many important things, but I never saw how it all fits together as one story – from creation to new creation. Now that I have some grasp of that, I have greater confidence in God's eternal purposes and deeper appreciation for Jesus as the centre. I want to teach others – including my children – how to live confidently and faithfully in our place in God's story."
The Rt Rev Ken Clarke - Mission director of SAMS UK and Ireland
"I guess that it has to be the story of Ananias. He was a link in a very important chain. He was a humble, faithful, courageous servant-hearted disciple. He was probably the first Christ-follower to pray with Saint Paul. Recently someone said to me: "It takes more grace than tongue can tell to play the second fiddle well." The story of the growth of the Church is the story of many second "faithful fiddles" like Ananias. In a celebrity, big name culture, please note! God uses all of us, not just the big names."
Neil Dawson - Pastor and elder, Grace Community Church
"I don't remember ever hearing the story of Simeon and Anna growing up. I seem to have missed them out in Christmas presentations, but I think they are amazing. The Holy Spirit was on Simeon and he interacted with the Holy Spirit – another Bible lesson we weren't taught – and Mary and Joseph were stunned at what he prophesied over Jesus. This was confirmed by Anna, that he would be a light for revelation and redemption for everyone, everywhere! I love this 84-year-old woman who worshipped and prayed night and day."
Caroline Bradley - Care for the Family Northern Ireland
"I recall stories that taught me how to behave and be a "good girl" and that Jesus loved me; catching a message that said: do this and God will be pleased with you. I don't recall hearing the stories containing pain, disappointment, doubts and broken dreams in a way that helped my tender, maturing mind grasp that life is not always about happy endings or perfection, but a message that Jesus loves me unconditionally in the good, bad and ugly of life – bringing hope even in uncertainty and mistakes. Perhaps it's only living life that really teaches you that building on the foundation set in Sunday school."