Originally, Sunday School was just that, in the late 18th century, it was a school held on Sunday for children to learn to read, write, math, and the Bible. Children spent the other six days at work, either at home or in a factory. In modern times, Sunday School became the manner in which both children and adults would learn the Bible in addition to the pulpit ministry. I once attended a pastoral staff meeting in which the subject was raised to eliminate Sunday School, it took too much volunteer labor, too much space in the building, too much money for curriculum and our Christian education should take place in the main worship service, at home and in small groups. The discussion reached a no decision until the church voted to hire a part-time director of children’s ministry or Sunday School. It is being argued that Christian education should be directed at the family as a whole rather than the individual parts. There are those in the church who argue against Sunday School by not showing up, therefore, attendance is dropping.
I am going to state a number of reasons why Sunday School can be an important part of the church’s ministry goals and program.
1. Christian education is important: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Never has this been more true than in our present day and age. Sunday School should be a supplement to the family Bible time and education. Unfortunately, it is more the exception than the rule where there is actually Bible learning going on in the home. Therefore, Sunday School is even more important that children and adults have a proper foundation of knowledge of the Bible and basic theology.
2. Peer pressure works: For children to come together to learn the Bible, provides positive peer pressure, that others of the same age group believe as I do, works to encourage each one to pursue Bible knowledge together.
3. Learning and fellowship work well together: It is true for both adults and children that there is both fellowship and learning going on which creates an environment of each one building up others toward maturity in Christ. We cannot get too much fellowship and mutual edification.
4. What is learned in Sunday School lasts a lifetime: Ask any older Christian about their time in Sunday School and invariably they will have fond memories of the experience and remember it as a time where they learned the basic stories of the Bible, along with songs, memory verses and opportunities for ministry.
We are only spending, at most, 4 hours per week to be together as a church family, let’s make the most of it in the study of the wonderful Word of God.