Don’t get me wrong, I love Sunday School. It’s a lot of fun and a great way for kids to grow in God. What I’m talking about is an understanding that Sunday School is an event. We don’t call our youth ministry, “The Youth Service Department” because youth service is one event and only one tool used to lead young people in their relationship with God. In the same manner, Sunday School should be only one tool we use to lead children closer to Jesus.
I believe we have hurt ourselves as children’s ministers, and more importantly the children by thinking that Sunday School is THE children’s department. We should be willing to do whatever it takes to reach children and realize we can do MORE than just have influence and direction over the lives of our kids for an hour and a half on Sunday morning.
Our kids need to experience the power of God. Our kids need to know what it’s like to get lost in the Spirit. They need more than a Bible story, juice and cookies. They need to experience the Holy Ghost for themselves. That’s why right now in my local church, we really don’t have traditional Sunday School. I believe Sunday School isn’t a place for children to come to, but rather a place to go from. Yes, they are learning Biblical truths and having lots of fun, but our focus isn’t on the Sunday School lesson. I spend the majority of my time with the kids trying to get them to understand they can pray every day and that’s important for them to read the Bible.
One important focus of mine and the children’s staff that works with me is the involvement of children in church services. You see, children need more than we can give in our short time together on Sunday morning, so our focus is equipping and preparing kids for regular worship services. We have raised the bar of expectation in our church. I expect kids to pay attention and be involved in services. We created forms for the kids to fill out during services to help them stay focused during services.
The biggest thing that has made a difference for me is the focus of the altar. I push our kids to get in the altar every service. I tell them to be the ones who go down front and worship every service. You know what? It works! Just this month, there have been 3 children filled with the Holy Ghost and four baptized in Jesus’ name during our normal adult services. And by the way, the month is only half way over!
For far too long, we have allowed children to sit back in church and miss out on what God is doing in services. Kids are waiting to be challenged. We have to stop waiting until they are 13 to get them on fire for God. We must realize if we can help them experience the power of God at a young age, they just might not have to go through all kinds of mess this world has to offer when they are teenagers.
So, let’s forget about Sunday School and realize we have to do whatever it takes to reach our kids. We need revival in our children’s departments. Maybe in your church, Sunday School should be cancelled for a month or two and you should have children’s church instead. We’ve done that. We’ve done just about anything and everything to shake ourselves and the kids out of our spiritual ruts. We have to realize that kids are basically really short adults, and if we need a variety of things to reach adults such as worship music, midweek teaching, revival services, etc. then we have to be willing and ready to do more than the normal Sunday School lesson.
So, are you ready to forget about Sunday School?
Questions, Concerns or Comments?