I have often been bothered by Sunday School. In my experience growing up, there were many different churches that I was a part of, both big and small, where the Sunday School program was simply a mini church service before the real church service. Frankly, I never understood the purpose of it. I did not appreciate getting up extra early to attend a lower quality and less organized mini church service where we sing, take an offering, go over announcements, and listen to a message, before the “real” main service where we did the same thing again. In fact, as I try to remember the lessons that I learned in Sunday School growing up, I realized that a lot of time was wasted.
In my opinion, Sunday School should exist for one main reason: DISCIPLESHIP
Sunday School should be a time and a place to LEARN about Gods word. Not necessarily to be preached to, the pastor is already going to take care of that, but it is an opportunity to teach our Biblically illiterate world about the Bible. Hence the name: Sunday School.
At Suncoast Youth Group we take this seriously, in fact, we are methodically walking through every book of the Bible memorizing a concise summary about each book. Each Sunday morning we fellowship for a bit, and then we go through the books of the Bible. Many have asked about our list of books and the summaries we have chosen. I have basically read John Phillips commentary and chosen something very similar to his summary. I would never claim that these are comprehensive summaries, but they are definitely more thorough than most people in our church would know. Most of our teenagers are learning more about Gods word each Sunday than I knew even after four years of Bible College, and we do it in a relevant, fun, and exciting method of learning. I am so proud of our teenagers, and I am thankful that they are so diligently learning about God’s word!
Genesis: Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
Exodus: Getting God’s people out of Egypt
Leviticus: Getting Egypt out of God’s people
Numbers: Census, Complaining, Change
Deuteronomy: Moses Preaches: Backwards look, Inwards look, Forward look, Upward look
Joshua: Authority Change, Battle, Conquer, Divide
Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer / a Romance between Ruth and Boaz
1st & 2nd Samuel: Eli, Samuel, GIVE US A KING, Saul, David
1st & 2nd Kings: One nation divided into Israel (North) / Judah (South)
1st & 2nd Chronicles: A Parallel to I and II Kings but from Gods perspective
Ezra: The Second Exodus
Nehemiah: Gods people build a wall
Esther: Esther, Mordecai, Haman, Gallows
Job: He Had it all, Lost it all, Gave God the Glory, Got it all back
Psalms: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
Proverbs: Practical Wisdom for all ages, comparing the wise and the foolish
Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities: All is vanity / He had it all, and it was not worth it.
The greatest thing about this study, is that the teenagers did not just memorize a list of information, but they use the list of information to explain the story of the entire book in their own words. I tell our teenagers that they know more about the Bible than their parents do. Is that the case in your home? Get studying Gods word! Sunday School teachers? Let’s not waste time!