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Sunset for Sunday School?

Is it good-bye and good riddance for a venerable institution?

“Has the sun set on Sunday school?” So asks Melissa Pandika in a March 22, 2015 article in USAToday.

Citing statistics that show the bottom falling out of Sunday school attendance, Ms. Pandika explains why she thinks this is happening. Kids are too busy on Sundays with sports and other concerns. Parents are wary of poorly-trained and improperly-vetted teachers. Sunday school is regarded as boring and irrelevant. All the usual suspects.

Sunday school may once have had an important contribution to make to the Christian education of children and adults. But the evidence continues to mount showing that Christian influence in society and culture is everywhere in decline.

Sunday school contributed nothing, it seems, to overturning that trend, so why should it bother believers if an ineffectual institution goes the way of all ineffectual institutions?

Sunday school and programs like it are a poor substitute for the work of disciple-making entrusted to shepherds and parents. With Sunday school effectively set aside by those who are its intended audience, church leaders should either work to revive this once-fruitful ministry, or give up beating this dead horse and look for other, more Biblical means of powering the disciple-making mission of the Church.

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