The Neglect of Sunday school

The Neglect of Sunday school

There has been a trend the last decade among Bible believing churches and good Christian people.  They are leaving Sunday school behind. 

Sunday school has been a long-practiced service and gained great prominence in the 19th and 20th Centuries and can be found even as far back as 1780 in Gloucester, England.[i]  It has even been used in different forms before that. 

It was used to offer extra discipline and teaching to the uneducated young people that were being led to Christ.  Many could not read or write or needed to be taught further instruction in matters that were needed.  This morphed into primarily a teaching ministry on Sunday mornings before the main Sunday worship service that we know today.

It is one of the tools that helped build many of the great Bible believing churches of the 20th century and is still a key to our growth today.  There are several reasons for this and several reasons that we are foolish to neglect it.

I write this because through the last decade there has been a trend among Bible believing churches and good Christian people leaving Sunday school behind.   

I have talked to dear friends of old who no longer go to Sunday school and have given several excuses why.  For instance, I have heard reasons such as: “I already know all the stories of the Word of God,” or “it is the only day my wife and I can sleep in” or “isn’t Sunday a day of rest,” and don’t forget “I thought Sunday school is for children.” The truth is, these are carnal reasons, not spiritual.  The spiritual reasons to go to Sunday school and its potential eternal benefits far outweigh the temporal carnal perks.

Sunday school is a key to growing disciples in Bible believing churches because:

  • Believers need more teaching, training, and grounding in the Word of God than ever before.
  • Believers need a place of fellowship and informal times to talk and ask questions of teachers and mature believers in a setting that is conducive to growing and learning.
  • Our children are indoctrinated through school, television and social media like never before – and we need more time to teach and combat the false teachings of humanistic society.
  • Sunday school is a great place to invite people to meet and form friendships in a smaller, less formal setting
  • It provides a place where prayer requests and praises can be shared to a group size that is appropriate and can care for each other.
  • It gives a classroom setting where structured outlines and note taking can be given and age/life stage subjects can be addressed.

Yet, many “mature” believers neglect Sunday school to their own hurt which in turn hinders growth in their church and church members.   They miss out on an important place of unity and bonding for the Christians. It neglects an opportunity to exemplify our submission and the need of every Christian to learn more about Christ (what a poor example it is when we portray sleep as our priority over fellowship; yet to make money we get up several hours earlier).  Neglecting Sunday school leads to a smaller pool of teachers and leaders to draw from for other classes – how can a pastor ask for someone to lead a class that does not currently come in the first place.

The arguments for a Sunday school hour are many, good and spiritual.  The arguments against attendance are carnal and selfish.  If you are a mature Believer in Christ then you believe nothing is more important than His honor and glory; learning more about Him, and leading others to Him – then why neglect this important ministry of your church.  If your church doesn’t have it, ask why and encourage your pastor to begin one.  If you have one, join a class, teach a class and encourage other believers in this important ministry.


[i] Historical Background: The Sunday school Movement – http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/sunday/hist1.htm

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