Sunday school has made an amazing comeback. After dropping over 24% in 1980 to around 40 million enrollment for U.S. evangelical churches, it has since made a resurgence to over 70 million today (Barna Research). Pastors have rediscovered the tremendous value that this Sunday morning program brings to both discipleship and evangelism. If you want a growing church, I would urge you to strongly support your Sunday school with the needed resources to keep it vibrant and growing. How does Sunday school benefit the local church?
It provides a great time for evangelistic outreach to family, friends and co-workers. A church should plan at least four major attendance pushes on Easter (Passion Drama), Pentecost Sunday (Holy Ghost Sunday), Fall Thrust (Friend Day), and Christmas (Children’s Pageant). Other special attendance thrusts can happen on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other holidays and special days.
It is a great assimilation time for new converts. I strongly urge churches to hold their new converts course as a Sunday school class. The 10-15 lessons on the basics of successful Christian life are taught in a series, and a convert can join the class at any time, stay for the series and then graduate to the adult class upon completion. Successful completion of this class should be required for church membership.
It provides excellent opportunities for Christian ministry and service. Ministry involvement is essential for spiritual health. Sunday schools require teachers, class assistants, worship leaders, bus captains and workers, SS office staff, and special groups (puppet, drama, gospel magic, etc.).
It provides age-specific Bible instruction. A child of five learns quite differently from a teenager. Without the Sunday school, young children, junior-age youth, teens, young adults, and more will not receive the individualized teaching that addresses the specific needs of that age group.
It provides a time for young children to pray and receive the Holy Ghost. Bus and van ministry brings children to your church whose parents do not attend. By having a monthly children’s church or monthly Holy Ghost Sunday, children regularly receive the Spirit during the Sunday school hour. Permission is obtained, and parents are encouraged to attend the child’s baptism. This often becomes an open door to a home Bible study.
For information on how to make your Sunday school growing and evangelistic, email me for more information.