5 Reasons Why Every Church Should Have Sunday School

A few years ago, there was a movement to get rid of Sunday School.  Many churches were getting tired of having the program.  They couldn’t find volunteers.  Their members just weren’t coming early.  So, they stopped worrying about it.  They saw it as tonsils or an appendix:  something that wasn’t really needed anyway.

Were they right?  Is Sunday School expendable?  Do we really need it?

Here are 5 advantages of Sunday School.

  1. Age Appropriate Interactions:   When Sunday School is done correctly, everyone in the church has opportunity to interact with other people of similar ages in small group settings.  This applies to the youngest children and the oldest adults.  Everyone benefits.

  2. Organized Method of Bible Study:  This may not work so well for those churches that try to have Sunday School without a pre-planned curriculum.  On the other hand, a pre-planned curriculum ensures that everyone who attends Sunday School is learning the Bible, the whole Bible.  Again, this applies to the smallest children, and it also applies to the oldest adults.

  3. Age Appropriate Lessons:  No, this is not the same as number one. The concept in number one was that you get to interact with people who are the same age.  Sunday School also helps churches provide lessons and activities that are geared to the age of the attendee.  There are concepts in the main service that 6-year-old children cannot understand, but in Sunday School those concepts are explained on a level they can understand. The activities that are used to reinforce the lessons are also based on the age of the students.

  4. Worship Service Starts On-Time:  Does your church have a problem with people showing up late for the main worship service?  As bad as this may sound, Sunday School helps to eliminate that problem.  With a strong Sunday School program, most attendees are arriving in time for Sunday School.  This means by the time the regular worship service begins, everyone is already at church and ready for more.

  5. It provides a foundation:  Having worked as a children’s pastor, I see this as the most important advantage of Sunday School.  As a children’s pastor, my job was the same as the job of the senior pastor.  The only difference was the age of our audiences. Everyone knows that a pastor is supposed to take something from the Bible and expand on it to make it relevant for daily life.  A children’s pastor should be doing the same thing.

    I was a children’s pastor at one church that had not had Sunday School in years.  The children in my congregation had never been to Sunday School.  This made my job almost impossible.  As an example, I might want to use the story of Jonah and Ninevah to go deeper.  I might want to talk about why the Ninivites were so mean.  Maybe they had very deep problems in their lives and no one had ever introduced them to the problem solver. I wanted to just jump in and say, “Everyone knows the story of Jonah, now let’s think about the people of Ninevah.”  I couldn’t do this.  The problem was that almost no one knew the story of Jonah.  I had to tell the story before I could go deeper into the concept.  The kids service has a limited time frame.  You only have until the parents start walking in to pick up the kids.

    When a children’s pastor has to start from the beginning and tell every story in its entirety, there is never any time to move into deeper concepts that surround the story.  The majority of my time was spent telling the stories that these kids should have already learned in Sunday School.

 

Sunday School provides a valuable foundation for our kids.  The exciting stories that are taught in Sunday School, using age-appropriate activities will provide the basis for everything a child needs for life.  A popular book says that we learn everything we need to know in Kindergarten, but I disagree.

All I really needed to know, I learned in Sunday School.

What are your thoughts?  Does your church have Sunday School?  What do you think about it?

 5 Reasons Why Every Church Should Have Sunday School

Michelle Rogers

Michelle holds a graduate degree in Curriculum and Technology as well as an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. Having been in the Assembly of God affiliation of churches for her entire life, she easily incorporates the knowledge of how kids learn into the way churches should be showing the gospel to kids. Her work experience includes elementary school teacher, preschool teacher, day care director, children's pastor, Missionettes coordinator, Sunday School teacher, and online college instructor. On the side, she blogs, reads and creates new web applications with PHP, mySQL, JavaScript and more.
 5 Reasons Why Every Church Should Have Sunday School
 5 Reasons Why Every Church Should Have Sunday School

10 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Every Church Should Have Sunday School

  1. Our Sunday school is only for children. Yes, children of all ages but we don’t have anything for the adults. I have talked about having a “men’s bible study night” but it was shot down.

    Sunday school is very important. Kids get bored just sitting during a Sunday service. They get bored because they really have no idea what is going on. Taking the kids out and separating them by age in Sunday school is a great way to teach them.

    I agree that the bible stories aren’t taught in church, they need to be taught at Sunday school.

  2. I completely agree. I think it is vital for children to learn what they can about the Bible from a young age. It helps them to apply what they learn to their experiences in the world, and teaches them what is right and wrong.

    The children are almost the most important. Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

    So we see even from Jesus’ perspective that it is so important to teach the “little children.“

  3. Our church tried to get rid of Sunday school but many of the parents fought to keep it. Sunday school is where kids learn about God. Young kids won’t learn from just attending church. They need hands-on lessons and they need someone to make it fun. Our kids love coming to Sunday school. We have a couple of kids that come even though their parents don’t come to the church anymore.

    • Well I think it also goes back to the stories. Even if they sit in the “big church” and listen to the pastor, the pastor doesn’t tell the bible stories. The pastor assumes everyone already knows the bible stories and builds a sermon on something deeper within that story. Sunday School is where we all learned those stories. In many churches, that isn’t the case anymore. There is no longer anywhere to learn the bible stories.

  4. Oh my goodness. I cannot even think about a church that has no Sunday School. It was a big part of my life as a child and continues to be a big part of my life today. The foundation and the Bible stories have to be there and be taught in a way that children understand them. I do hope this trend has reversed itself.

  5. I have attended a number of churches over the years and I have to agree with you that Sunday school is very important. The churches I have attended that didn’t have Sunday school seemed less vibrant somehow. I would also like to point out that Sunday school doesn’t have to be on Sunday during services. I have attended churches where the education program was so large they held classes between church services so that the adults could attend a class of their choice as well.

    As a volunteer I know it can be hard to find people willing to teach, but there are some great programs available that already have the lesson planned and teachers don’t have to do much more than read from the manual. I am not sure if there is a solution that will work for every church, but as long as it is a priority there will be a way.

    • I agree with you. My current church uses a predesigned curriculum. I could walk in with my book each Sunday without ever having looked at it ahead of time. I don’t agree with a lot of the activities because they don’t teach the objective. They seem to be just filler activities. But, they do have one thing in common. They do relate a Bible story in a systematic manner every week. So, as you said, you don’t have to have someone who puts forth a lot of effort just to volunteer to teach a class.

    • I like the idea of having Sunday school on a weeknight. I really miss a Wednesday night supper. My old church had a supper and a program and it was how we got to know the other members. That would work well with the study groups.

      A lot of churches have moved to having small groups, which is another idea I like. Of course, neither of these address the issue of helping the worship service start on time. Though I think that can be addressed in other ways, depending on the church.

  6. I think the number one reason to keep Sunday school is teaching Bible basics. The main service is for preaching, whereas Sunday school is for learning fundamentals. It is shocking how little most people know about their own faith. The Bible says over and over again that if you don’t have strong grasp of the foundations of your faith, you will be easily led astray. I think we are seeing this play out in how many young people leave the faith when they leave home. I am a strong proponent, though, of not watering down Bible lessons for children. I believe it is not enough to teach them simplified Bible stories. I think they can understand begin to understand some deeper spiritual concepts than a lot of Sunday school programs teach.

    • I fully agree with you. I think it is a tremendous waste when churches try to teach watered down concepts to kids. Kids can understand more than anyone gives them credit. In some instances, they may need to hear it explained a little differently, but they can understand it. I think in many instances, they even “get” more than we do as adults.

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