We are thinking of eliminating our Sunday school and just having morning worship. Your thoughts?
In my opinion, this would be a terrible mistake. After 30-plus years of church growth research, I am convinced that Sunday school is one of the best tools for church growth a church can be involved in. Let me explain why.
First, it provides a tool to reach children in your community whose parents do not attend church. By utilizing a bus, van or car ministry, you can pick up children weekly and teach them about the saving power of the Gospel. Drop Sunday school and you lose this unique opportunity.
Second, it gives you a reason to knock on the door every Saturday of the children you pick up on Sunday morning. By utilizing a concept called “Parent Reach,” churches win entire families to God every year. Every week at Saturday visitation rally, your bus workers should hear: “When you knock on the door, if you see little Tommy, great. Give him a piece of bubble gum and encourage him to be ready Sunday morning. But the main purpose of your visit is to talk to one or both of Tommy’s parents. Get to know them. Find out their hobbies and interests. Develop a relationship. Once you win their friendship, you can begin to reach for their soul.” Parent Reach works!
Thirdly, it provides a way to see those bus/van kids receive the Holy Ghost. Every church should have an evangelistic children’s church at least once a month. The purpose of this service is to give an altar call at the end and pray with children to receive the Spirit. Many churches have a monthly “Holy Ghost Sunday” in which all the children’s classes have a rally, and they see children saved every month.
Fourth, it provides opportunities for special Sunday programs that bring out large numbers of visitors: Easter dramas, Pentecost Sunday services, Sunday school picnics, Vacation Bible School, Friend Sunday, block parties, Fall Thrust, Christmas pageants, and more. Lose the Sunday school, and you lose a key method of high-attendance Sundays.
Finally, every Sunday school should have an annual Children’s Crusade with a good children’s evangelist. The entire church is blessed by these talented individuals and many children are saved who only attend church on Sunday mornings.
The largest Protestant denomination in the world points to their Sunday school program as the key reason for their past and continued growth. Why would we Apostolics want to abandon such a productive method of evangelism?