While the Sunday morning worship service is certainly the central part of the morning, the classes held before (or after depending on the schedule) can be immensely valuable to those who participate in them. Recently a parishioner told me that he gets more out of Sunday school than he does out of preaching! Thankfully, I am his Sunday school class teacher. So a church would be well served to carefully put together a well chosen array of classes and to staff them with volunteers/ministers who are not only interested but passionate about the program! (Article copyright ABCFastDirectory.com)
- First, let the minister lead by example. In most cases, the minister has formal biblical/theological education and is well suited to teach most classes in a church setting. Let them put their training and oratory skills to further use by teaching a class that is either addressing a doctrinal issue or a biblical passage. He can even live on the edge by inviting questions and feedback from the class which is something the lectern can provide that the pulpit cannot! This gives the minister yet another opportunity to connect with the people of the congregation.
- An “Inquirers’ Class” is a great way for visitors to get to know one another, and importantly, other members who may be teaching. Churches have history, for some that history may stretch several decades or if your church is like mine over 200 years. Here they can find out how the church came to be, where it is going, what it believes and teaches and what it is doing. A “graduation” for this class may be in their joining the church or simply continuing to worship with you.
- An adult Bible class is a must in every church. There are a host of great Sunday school curricula to be found on the web, or contact your denominations’ main office and they can direct you to their Christian Education director who can point you in the right direction. These classes usually become second families to those who jump in with both feet usually resulting in fellowship outside the church and great times of learning and sharing within it.
- Another must-have class is a children’s Bible class. Likewise, the minister or the denomination offices are the first places to go in search of good literature that is in step with your church’s system of beliefs and doctrines. It is important to maintain continuity of teaching throughout the congregation. Some curriculum cover the same topics as adults but at different levels so that parents and children know what the other learned and discussion can take place.
Other class options to offer:
- Parenting -Learning to raise your children the way God intended.
- Financial principles – Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett both come from a biblically oriented way of handling finances and have user friendly materials.
- Learn to share your faith -people are hesitant to talk to others about the good news of Jesus Christ because they have not been trained how.
- Where do I fit in? This class uses spiritual gift inventories tests to determine how God has gifted you for service in his church. Then find where that gift can be best used and plug in!
- Catechism class – This class helps adults and children articulate the truths of the faith with clarity
As you can see there are several ways to make Sunday school classes enjoyable for everyone while providing meaningful opportunities to learn, grow and be part of the church!