Why Have Sunday School?

Wednesday 19th September, 2007

A frequent web search phrase that discovers this blog is "why Sunday School" or "why have Sunday School." Those are good questions. There are lots of good reasons. But I think it may be helpful to acknowledge reasons some individuals and some churches dislike and/or are against Sunday School:

  • There are some who dislike Sunday School because they have had bad experiences.
  • There are some who dislike Sunday School because it "separates the family."
  • There are some who dislike Sunday School because it is inconvenient (time, place, or both).
  • There are some who dislike Sunday School because classes are too large.
  • There are some who dislike Sunday School because expectations and results are low.

Each of these reasons has some validity. Revolutionary Sunday School works to address these so the experience can be exciting and life-changing. For me, many of the reasons to have Sunday School are many of the reasons why "I love Sunday School." Consider some of the reasons I love Sunday School:

  • because I only have to make one trip to church for worship and Bible study.
  • because I learn more when I study God's Word together with others.
  • because the age group understands what I am going through and encourages me.
  • because I have learned so much about the Bible and how to live for God in our world.
  • because the group ministers to my needs and those of my family during times of crisis.
  • because it allows me to minister to members and prospects in their times of need.
  • because we have fun in class, at fellowship times, and in projects.
  • because I have learned much about teaching and leadership from watching leaders in classes and from serving as a leader and teacher.
  • because I have met so many new people.
  • because some of my best friends in the world are in Sunday School with me.

If I took another hour, I could list another 50 reasons. Sunday School helps disciple members. It is usually more personal than worship. People are able to ask questions. Sunday School is evangelistic. According to Andy Anderson's research in the '80s and '90s, Sunday School is more than 100 times more likely to lead a lost person to accept Jesus in 12 months than worship alone. Sunday School is helpful in assimilating new members. Thom Rainer's research has shown that 87% of new members who are active in Sunday School will still be in church five years later while only 13% of those who are only active in worship will still be in church. My personal doctoral research showed that those who frequently attended (3-4 times each month) usually had 6 or more friends they could call on in time of need in the class while dropouts usually had 2 or fewer friends.

In some way, this entire blog is a testimony to why I believe in and love Sunday School and what I believe are reasons to have Sunday School. Some find one problem or fault with Sunday School and want to ditch it. This blog is about the potential for Sunday School. When there are problems, fix them! Bad teacher? Don't enlist them in the first place, but replace them if needed. Classes too large? Begin starting new ones. Out of space? Use it twice or three times or on another day. For every problem, there is a solution if we seek God's leadership. Let's make Sunday School great. Be revolutionary!

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