Monday, December 1, 2008

11 Characteristics of Successful Churches - 3. Sunday School is Passe

Sunday School is Passe

Growing up Sunday school meant two things: felt boards and donuts. In high school, Sunday school dropped the felt boards, but retained the donuts, so I was still okay.

Then upon graduation, I was thrust into the world of Adult Sunday School, a place completely void of felt boards, and the donuts were mysteriously replaced with bran muffins and bagels, which are like donuts minus all the "good."

From what I've seen through my whirlwind of churches is that many churches have done away with the idea of formalized adult sunday school programming in favor of some type of small-group model. Children and youth up through high school typically have some contextualized programming while the adults attend the main worship service.

This has the potential to be a good move as small groups tend to encourage more interaction between the people involved. This is especially important as churches grow and it becomes harder for visitors to connect with the members of the church. While small groups can have their share of pitfalls too, I think this will ultimately be where most churches end up in the years ahead.

But small groups would be better if they came with donuts, of course!


Chris Freeland said...

Wow - you're missing out. Our Young Adult Bible Fellowships (SS Classes) pass around a breakfast list and let people sign up for a week to bring breakfast. This past week we had homemade (from scratch) cinnamon rolls. Last week was a breakfast casserole.

It's all about leadership - if you lead your people to be content with donuts, you'll never get to this level of Sunday School.

Wait... the point of this post wasn't breakfast? Oops.

Rusty said...

Our SS class does have donuts, unless somebody forgets to bring them, which pretty much ruins whatever lesson God was wanting to teach us.

We currently have SS, but when our church moves to it's new location, I believe we will no longer have a place to meet and I'm guessing our class will dissolve and everybody will be encouraged to join a small group, as you mentioned. I think most of our class are already in small groups, so I'm guessing the end result will just be dropping our Sunday School class.

Gabe Smith said...

Chris - Send me a copy of your Sunday School breakfast list so I can be there the next time you have homemade cinnamon rolls! I feel called to such a ministry.

Rusty - It sounds like your church is using the change of venue to usher in some big changes overall. I hope it all happens smoothly. Changes can be scary for any church. Keep me updated on how it goes!

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