Released Time Bible Class!
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There was a time when the "Bible Man" from the Rural Bible Mission visited the public schools, going from room to room during school time with a Bible story for elementary school children.
As you know, that day is past. State legal opinion and "official pressure" has closed the door for RBM Ministries today.
Under Michigan law, school age children are ordinarily required to attend public school, but not when they are involved in certain activities such as allowed by Michigan Compiled Laws 380.156I(3)(d).
This law states that children can be released from school “while in attendance at religious instruction classes for not more than 2 class hours per week, off public school property during public school hours, upon written “request of the parent, guardian or person in loco parentis.”– Michigan Compiled Laws 380.156I(3)(d).
Or, in other words—if Mom or Dad signs the permission slip, the children can go from school during school time to a nearby church or other suitable place for a Bible Class!
And they do come, transported by the RBM teacher or other authorized personnel. Ten, twenty, thirty and sometimes a hundred or more; half of them kids who don't go to any church or Sunday School - yet.
Only we take them once a month so the school isn't bothered too much, so the Bible teacher can cover more territory, conduct more classes, reach more children, and so our materials department can keep up with fresh lessons and visuals.
What the Children Receive
Seven times each school year the Bible is taught by the story-telling method, with the aid of eye-catching visuals.
The Bible Story is the "heart" of the program. The stories are chosen from both the Old and New Testaments, with concern for the needs and understanding of the children. The presentation is true to life, faithful to Scripture and backed by RBM Ministries' commitment to evangelical Christian doctrine. Seasonal lessons are offered in the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter seasons featuring the great patriotic themes of American and the historical events of Christ's birth, death and resurrection.
Each month the children are given a Bible verse to memorize and apply to their lives. Where facilities and time allow, songs and quizzes are part of the program.
The visual aids used by the Bible teachers are designed and constructed in RBM's art department and shop. We employ artists and craftsmen, in addition to selected volunteer help, to produce materials. These visuals are not available anywhere else. They are correlated to the Bible lessons in a vivid and unforgettable way in the skillful hands of the Bible teachers.
An attractive take-home paper climaxes the thrust of each month's lesson, games and pointed Bible message are used to help crystallize biblical truth.
What the Church Gives
The local church's responsibility regarding Released Time Class is to provide the following:
- Space: A properly heated and lighted place in the church building to accommodate the class comfortably.
- Helpers: The RBM representative will be in charge of the program, including teaching and leading the singing. In addition, we may need a piano player and adults to sit in the class to help maintain discipline and assist any children who wish to make a decision for Christ. Where children walk to the class we need adult escorts.
- Follow-up: We encourage the church to follow-up all converts who do not attend some other church or Sunday School, and to contact the families of the children who enroll in the class that do not have a regular church or Sunday School. In addition, RBM Ministries will enroll each child who makes a decision for Christ in its own direct-mail correspondence follow-up program, prepared on two age levels with six lessons and examinations to be worked out and mailed to us.
- Transportation: If the local church can assist with transportation, this will be very helpful. If it is not possible RBM will work out another transportation method with the church.
- Finances: Participating churches can also give monthly financial gifts to help underwrite RBM's Released Time Bible Class ministry.
Contact us for details or to let us know you want to get involved!