Church Meeting in Northern India – Notice how the men and women are separated. From http://www.gsnair.org
A well-known church scoffer comments negatively on the practice of Sunday School Bible study specifically for Women, aka the JOY class. As discussion leader for the JOY (Just Older Youth) Women’s class at Lifeway Baptist Church, I felt the need to reflect on why we study as we do. First, I had to take into account why the scoffer made her negative statements.
Historically, in America’s early church services, some held that women and children be seated together separately from men. The purpose- a more Puritan discipline- was to limit distractions for the men who are by design, responsible for the spiritual leadership of the family. Unfortunately such practices did not positively impact our society and I believe underwrite the persistent pedagogy of American male indifference. I digress. Needless to say, as our country changed so did our churches. Today we find culturally, there are yet places in the world where men are still seated separately from women and children. However, there is no Biblical evidence that this was part of GOD’s plan for us (Romans 2:11, Galatians 3:28). I suppose this is where a scoffer might hang her handbag.
So, why do we have a Women’s class and a Men’s class? It would be easy here to interject all types of politically correct ideology both for and against non-coed Bible study. Only the enemy of our LORD would stand in object criticism of any good Bible study. While one form of Biblical learning does not trump another, we have the Spirit of the LORD as our guide and by Him we are free to study as we choose (2 Corinthians 3). LOVE THAT!
In respect of the JOY class and its focus, I find women very often need to support each other; in ways with which men quite frankly would not be comfortable. The JOY class is where deep, supportive women’s ministry happens every Sunday- connecting us throughout each week. Finally, the Apostle Paul discussed the qualities of a sound church in Titus 2:1-5. In that text Paul encourages older women and men to be living, righteous examples. The JOY class and the King’s Men class hope to nourish such examples. Every participant adds to our success, age not withstanding! Join us and see for yourself. Sunday school at Lifeway Baptist Church every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and ALL ARE WELCOMED.