Let the little children come to me.
Do you know the origin of Sunday School?
Earlier local efforts had been launched, but the Sunday School movement as we know it began with British journalist and philanthropist Robert Raikes, who had a passionate concern for poor, illiterate children.
Raikes saw a connection between ignorance, poverty, and vice—conditions he believed could be better prevented than cured. In July 1780, he began recruiting women to teach reading in their homes. His strategy: the best time was Sunday; the best available teachers were lay people; the best textbook was the Bible.
By 1831, 1,250,000 children in Great Britain—approximately 25% of the child population—were being taught in Sunday Schools.
The movement navigated the ocean to America, infiltrating our churches—because one man saw Jesus’ compassion for children and immersed himself in that cause.
Be passionate about something.