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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?