Robert Raikes

Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday school in 1780, was moved by what he saw – young boys with no future going to prison – and he responded. These boys where uneducated and worked in the factories and mills 6 days a week. His response was to educate and instil godly principles in them each Sunday by learning to read the bible.

The character of many of the youngsters was transformed by their Sunday school attendance. Their swearing, rudeness, and unruliness on Sunday were replaced by a sense of duty and a desire to improve their minds. The crime rate dropped sharply in Raikes’ city and county after the establishment of the schools. In 1792, not one criminal defendant appeared before the judge; ten years earlier there would have been anywhere between ten and one hundred cases. By 1831, Sunday School in Great Britain was ministering weekly to 1,250,000 children, approximately 25 percent of the population. A movement had started as one man responded to a need.

What problems do you see today? What moves you? Is it young Kenyan girls who are abused each day on their way home from school? Is it the Gypsy children of Europe, outcasts because of the culture they are born into, unable to access education available to other children? Is it the offspring of wealthy families who have every material want, but are amongst the worlds poorest spiritually? Is it the youngster who sits through irrelevant church services week after week, dreaming of the day when he can choose not to come and be ‘free’ of ‘religion’? Is it the boy, told he is a ‘waste of space’, who becomes tomorrows adolescent with a needle in his arm, just hoping to end it all?

Respond to the need before you. Take small steps forward and allow God to increase the little we can offer to make a huge difference in many lives! 

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