Why We Need Sunday School Ministry

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There has been a lot of discussion in my circle of friends recently about the necessity of Sunday School. I’ve been working in children’s ministry for nearly two decades and I never thought I’d see the day when churches would consider doing away with this valuable ministry.
I know the arguments, “We need to cut costs,” and “We don’t have enough volunteers,” but these seem small compared to the growing need for spiritual guidance. Is this answer to remove this valuable spiritual service? I’m not convinced.
Sunday Schools may seem like “old hat” to some churches but according to Barna Research, 95% of churches still offer some type of classroom Bible teaching– and for good reason. Barna says, “In a culture saturated with change, one of the most stable aspects in the religious sphere has been Sunday School – the weekend educational efforts that Protestant churches offer to people outside of worship services.” Why? More than ever before, people need a counterweight to the massive cultural shifts that modern societies are now experiencing. More specifically, children need Sunday School ministry for these five reasons. If you’re building a new ministry or revamping an established one, keep these goals in mind.
Sunday School helps children respect, appreciate and utilize the Bible. Reverence for God’s written words doesn’t come naturally, sadly. A healthy Sunday classroom environment, centered around the Bible, will elevate its importance in a child’s life.
Sunday School teaches children how to navigate the Bible. If a child joins the Scouts, the Scoutmaster doesn’t hand him a 400 page map and say, “Good luck!” Sunday School teachers don’t just teach Bible stories, they show a child how to utilize the concordance and give a basic understanding of the Bible’s books and overall format.
Sunday School gives kids a chance to ask questions. Kids’ church isn’t designed for a detailed Q & A session but Sunday classes can. Sunday School is the perfect format for in-depth discussion, even debate. This format allows teachers to give kids more good food for thought.
Sunday School develops a community of believers. Why do you think schools use the classroom method? Not just to reach more children, faster. Originally, it was because in a classroom setting, kids were more likely to help one another and push each other along in their growth. A community of children, worshipping, learning the Bible and discovering God together creates a bond that single study can’t accomplish. Sunday Schools are the Petri dishes for the future church.
Sunday School plants spiritual seeds. Some of my greatest revelations concerning God’s love and plan for me I received quietly in Sunday School. I’ll never be able to thank the small Baptist church ministry that picked me up on the bus and carried me to Sunday School every week. Even when we moved away from that loving community of believers, I never forgot the songs, the lessons and the love. Sunday Schools are like plant nurseries, they may look unimpressive at first, but under the soil, miracles are happening.
We need Sunday Schools!

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