Sunday School Teachers:
Sunday School was to round up vagabond kids and shuttle them off to a place where they could learn how to read. Most of these children were orphans or street kids, and the other six days of the week, they were shut up in the factories of Industrial-Era England. Raikes hoped that Sunday School would help spare them from a future life of crime and indolence. So, he rented some rooms, hired some teachers, and Sunday School was born. The first Sunday Schools were not received very well. Since many of them were forced to go, the street kids hated having school on their only day off of work. Wild street games were much preferred to stuffy teachers and indecipherable Bibles. The dignified parishioners shared the children’s contempt of Sunday School. But their dislike was different; they detested the thought of grimy, sooty, rascals flooding their churches and denigrating the sacred sanctuary. The weary givers who funded the schools feared that their contributions were descending into an ineffective cause.
But all that changed. In just a decade from its birth, Sunday School exploded into a phenomenon of evangelistic fervor, reaching millions with the gospel. The Sunday School concept spread from the British Isles to the continent of Europe, infecting Christians with a passion, and affecting the unreached with the gospel. Some church historians look back on the Sunday School movement, and claim that “the starting of Sunday schools saved the church from extinction.” To say that Sunday School was “successful” is to understate its impact.
Sunday School today is vastly different from 1780. Everything about it has changed–except for the fact that it takes place on Sunday. The motive has changed. The financial support has changed. The administration has changed. The structure has changed. The style has changed. The goal has changed. The attendance has changed. The audience has changed. But we at Bethel Worship Center believe that Sunday School is still relevant.
Author & church researcher, Thom Rainer has identified seven primary methods and programs that contribute the most to effective assimilation: special events, weekday ministries, recreational activities, youth programs, preschool programs, Sunday School, and children’s programs. Rainer’s research revealed the Sunday School as being the most effective of these methods and programs at closing the back door of the church and assimilating individuals into the life of the congregation. When it comes to reaching people and effectively assimilating them into the life of the church the Sunday School ministry still remains one of the most effective tools some 200 years after its beginnings. “America’s fastest-growing churches demonstrate that Sunday School groups continue to be the premier small-group growth model in the nation”
We at Bethel Worship Center are blessed with some great Sunday School teachers. We invite you to find out for yourself by joining us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. We have classes for all ages!