Times and methods change. Some churches don’t have traditional Sunday school anymore. Some new church plants have never started Sunday schools at all, and they don’t ever intend to. We’re not really concerned about this phenomenon, for we’re not hung up on the time, place, and format of youth Sunday school. We don’t care what you call it. We don’t care when you have it. We don’t care where you have it. We do care, however, that you have it and that you do it well!
1. Sunday school is a consistent, systematic, comprehensive approach to Bible study for students. With the emergence of worship-centered midweek meetings with music and devotional or sermon by the youth leader, many youth ministries don’t have a holistic approach to Bible study like Sunday school.
2. Sunday school creates continuity at church between childhood and adulthood. Sunday school is the most continuous church activity for most people. Youth activities like youth group meetings, retreats, lock-ins, concerts, camps, and mission trips are fairly unique to the six or seven years teens stay in the youth group. But Sunday school creates continuity between the various age segregated ministries.
3. Sunday school provides the opportunity to develop a relationship with a significant Christian adult other than parents (or youth pastors). Most churches don’t have the luxury of a professional youth minister. Whatever youth ministry gets accomplished is done by quality, committed lay leaders who spend significant time with teens, sharing faith and life together. In most instances, this is usually a Sunday school teacher.
Questions for your ministry:
- Does your church have a type of regular Bible study time that fits the beneficial characteristics of Sunday school?
- Consistent – occurs every week
- Systematic – challenges teens to discover for themselves the intersection of life and the Word
- Comprehensive – looking at the whole, not simply our favorite parts, of the Bible;
- Creates continuity at church between childhood and adulthood
- Provides the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with adults other than their parents
- What would it take to implement this type of Bible study time in your context?
- What could be done to get your students connected to this type of Bible study? What could be done to improve what you already have going?
- Tell us what you think about Sunday school on the BarefootOnline Blog [link to: blog post]
Blessings to you,
The Barefoot Team
Suggested resource from your BarefootOnline.com subscription
Join the Story is a small group series that takes students through the entire Bible, from beginning to end.