The Impact of One Hour of Sunday School

Wednesday 16th July, 2008

Many growing churches have come to realize something that others have missed. These growing churches have realized the impact of an hour of weekly Sunday School for all ages. What made me think about the impact of Sunday School was an article by Julie Roberts entitled Sunday School Still Effective. She quotes Thom Rainer and George Barna and concludes the article with these words:

The challenge is great, but the reward greater. It’s time for churches to stop sitting around wondering how to reach people and get busy doing it. Sunday School is the best place to start.

What difference can the investment of one hour make? Consider the following beginning list:

  • in five years, only 13% of new members who become active in Sunday School will drop out of church while 87% of those who attend worship only will drop out
  • one out of three lost people will accept Jesus in twelve months of Sunday School attendance while only one out of 342 will do so through worship attendance only
  • attenders learn about God and His Word, His will, and His ways
  • attenders develop meaningful relationships (which is significant since 80% of new members will drop out who don't have friends, are not in a small group, and are not involved in serving)
  • leaders are developed through group interaction and opportunities to serve in the class
  • the community and world are impacted through the outreach and ministry of classes while at the same time that service helps to develop better disciples out of Sunday School attenders
  • teachers grow because they pray and study God's Word to present to a group
  • some attenders read their pupil books weekly for class which is the only commentary many will ever read
  • attenders are encouraged to develop a daily practice of spending time with God in prayer and Bible study
  • spiritual disciplines are taught about and encouraged
  • groups encourage and hold attenders accountable to live out the commands of Jesus
  • spiritual, physical, and relational needs are discovered and addressed
  • personal and spiritual goals are shared and encouraged
  • trust is built one encounter and one relationship at a time
  • new people are greeted, affirmed, connected, and contacted
  • prayer requests and praises are shared and private and corporate prayer is lifted up
  • worship and involvement in the life and activities of the church are encouraged

What else would you add to the list? Press the Comments button below and add your thoughts. About which ones listed do members of your class or Sunday School need to be reminded? How could you do so this week? this month? How could you turn this list into an invitation to Sunday School? How could you share this information in your church newsletter or worship service to invite unconnected people to try Sunday School? Invest 60 minutes this week! Pray for God to bless and use the time in your life and the lives of others. Be revolutionary!

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