Issues Impacting Sunday School Work with Adults

Tuesday 8th April, 2008

It is important to observe the landscape from time to time to put things into proper perspective. Sometimes Sunday School leaders deal so much with the problems that they miss the direction that things are heading. As a result they are unable to respond in a timely fashion to subtle changes. That is why I wanted to share these issues.

Let me say upfront, that the issues I am going to share are based upon my personal experiences and observations. They are not based upon research or statistics. I want to invite you to think through the list. Really think through them! Which ones ring true in your ministry? Do you question one or more of them? If so which one(s), and why? How do we need to respond to these issues in order to be as effective as possible in our Sunday School work with adults?

Here are the ten (plus 1) issues:

  1. There is a lack of enough adult volunteer leadership in many areas of the church.
  2. The average age of adults in churches tends to be older than that in their communities.
  3. Even though very few adults have been intentionally discipled, there appears to be an increase in interest in relationship-based discipleship--especially among younger adults.
  4. More adults are adopting and some are having children later in life making the age of parents of minors quite diverse.
  5. Shorter career tenures are resulting in more transfers out of town and placing greater pressures on perpetual leadership development.
  6. Churches planning for the return of young adults and their children appear to be realizing their return and willingness to serve.
  7. Boomers appear to be backing out of regular attendance and church service resulting in builders remaining in service longer until they trust Generation X enough to share leadership with them.
  8. Adults are busier than ever and appear to be having greater and greater difficulty in setting priorities for investment of their time and financial resources.
  9. The number of Sundays the average adult attends worship and/or Sunday School is dropping incrementally; adults are not as faithful in their attendance as in the past.
  10. Very few adults share their faith or talk to people outside of church about God, the Bible, or the church.
  11. BONUS: A higher percentage of adults today are visual, nonlinear learners resulting in needed adjustments in communication, preaching, and teaching.

What would happen if you gathered your adult Sunday School teachers and workers together to discuss these issues? How else could you lead your adult leaders to think through responses to these issues? Press the Comments button below to share your thoughts. Help me deepen the discussion! Pray. Lead. Be revolutionary!

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