If you think this is Sunday School, think again!
The words “Sunday School” cause people to react in different ways. Some people have fond memories of their experiences in Sunday School. They remember a favorite classroom, good friends, a beloved teacher, or asking Jesus to come into their life as Lord and Savior. Other people may have different impressions about Sunday School. They associate it with boring lessons, or something that “their parents’ church” does. In some places, Sunday School has gotten a bad reputation, and that’s too bad. Sunday School is a significant ministry that teaches God’s Word, assimilates people into the church, shares the gospel, provides foundational discipleship, and mobilizes people for ministry. And the research proves it! Have you given up on Sunday School? Don’t. Keep reading and learn what’s happening in vibrant churches.
David Francis, Director of Sunday School at Lifeway Christian Resources, conducted a survey of the 400 vibrant churches that were surveyed for the book, Simple Church by Eric Geiger and Thom S. Rainer. He was able to gather data on 94% of the vibrant churches (a vibrant church was identified as one that had experienced at least 5% growth for 3 consecutive years). He discovered that 87.5% of those vibrant churches conducted Sunday School adjacent to the worship service on the Sunday morning schedule. Simple and complex churches utilize Sunday School as a strategy, but how they utilize Sunday School differs greatly. Simple churches are using Sunday School strategically, but complex churches are simply putting on a program. David Francis and Eric Geiger identified several characteristics of simple churches that utilize Sunday School strategically. Click here to go to the article.
Ken Braddy is manager of Lifeway’s ongoing Bible studies. He leads a weekly Bible study group at his church, and blogs daily about Sunday School at kenbraddy.com.