What to Do With Sunday School?

Most pictures in Google Images on a search for “Sunday School” are of children. Houston, we may have a problem.

I have always gone to Sunday School. So, experience is on my side. I have also used Sunday School as a growth tool as a Pastor of every church I have served. I have championed Sunday School and still do. I lead a Young Adult Class.

However, I have recently begun to wonder if Sunday School as a strategy is the best way to do discipleship. Don’t hear me wrong. I am no abandoning Sunday School. It seems like something is missing though. Would you agree with this comment:

Sunday School is just a repeat of the Sunday morning preaching experience.”

What makes Sunday School different? What is the purpose of a SS? Does the average Sunday School do what it’s supposed to do? If you could change things in your Sunday School class, what would you change?

I ate lunch with a friend yesterday who just bragged on her Life Group in her church. It’s a new church plant so that explains part of it. Most churches that use Life Groups are new churches that don’t have to transition an existing program. When I asked her what the difference was she said, “It’s more about relationships that it is about studying.”

I will be interested in hearing what your church does and your perception of what I’ve dug in to here on Sunday School.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Small Groups

2 Comments on “What to Do With Sunday School?”

  1. Patti McTee Says:

    I don’t agree with the statement that SS is just a repeat of the Sunday morning preaching experience…unless the preacher is using the same text. Then I suppose it could be.

    At my church we do SS and I found a class I enjoy because group participation is strongly encouraged. I don’t think you could have much discipleship without people being able to ask questions and share their experiences. That’s why I could never be a part of a class that is taught by someone that lectures.

    However, I would much rather be a part of a small group Bible study in homes than to sttend the traditional SS. That setting encourages more intimate conversation. People tend to be much more transparent in sharing their struggles and their faith.

    There’s no doubt that the home based small group environment is best for discipleship. I think the biggest struggle would be to transition already existing churches from SS to cell groups. But I also think it’s totally worth the effort. I know of a church in Weatherford that made the transition, and eventually their attendance in small groups became much larger than it had been in SS. One thing I’ve noticed that seems to be very helpful is to have different people host and facilitate. If the same person does both it can be a lot to put on that one person.

    I facilitated a class last fall at someone else’s home and really enjoyed it. We had really good fellowship and learned a lot. God used the very first class to teach me that I needed more margin in my life. There was no free time…just stayed busy all the time. Now I schedule free time into my life and consider it a priority. 🙂 Anyway, it was good…we all learned a lot and were able to reach out to our neighbors by inviting them to attend. We had a few that came that had not been a part of the church. And we ended the 6 week semester by doing a service project together. I would highly recommend this approach if discipleship is your goal.


  2. I think Sunday School on an adult level at least, is both, relationship and studying. For example, we are studying the book of Ephesians right now in our class. We go deep into the scriptures, looking into the original language of the passages. Women who would not feel comfortable speaking out anywhere else, are doing so in class. And they are usually correct in their interpretation, seeing things that someone else might not have. There you can really have iron sharpening iron.


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