Idea #4: Bible Sunday School Lessons
The routine of going to Sunday school was a big part of Christian living and church life for decades. However, the Sunday school idea was not originally intended for Christian education. Christian History magazine described its fascinating origins:
“... Sunday schools were originally literally schools: they were places were poor children could learn to read. The Sunday school movement began in Britain in the 1780s. The Industrial Revolution had resulted in many children spending all week long working in factories. Christian philanthropists wanted to free these children from a life of illiteracy. ... Saturday was part of the regular work week. Sunday, therefore, was the only available time for these children to gain some education.”
After Britain and the United States established public education in the 1870s, the Sunday school curriculum became focused on religious education, teaching on basic catechism as well as Christian morality and virtues.
While churches with Sunday schools may have peaked in its popularity in the 1970s, Sunday school programs continue to provide valuable Christian education to help people better understand the Bible.
According to a Barna Group long-term study from 1997 to 2005 (Sunday School is Changing in Under-the-Radar But Significant Ways):
“Church reliance upon Sunday school has remained stable: 19 out of every 20 Protestant churches (95%) offer “a Sunday school in which people receive some form of planned or systematic Bible instruction in a class setting.” Nearly the same proportion of churches - 97% - offered Sunday school eight years ago, when the tracking research began. While churches are often divided along denominational, theological, and methodological lines, the research points out that Sunday school remains one of the most widely embraced ministry programs.”
With today’s digital lifestyles and the next generation’s too, there’s new opportunities to provide quality and meaningful Christian education and Bible learning experiences in new formats for Sunday school. 3 resources considering how Sunday School can continue its work in the Internet age:
- 9Marks Journal’s theme for Jan-Feb 2012, Don’t Be Too Cool for Sunday School, included articles like, “Why You Want Sunday School,” “How Sunday School Can Change Your Church’s Culture,” “How to Reform a Sunday School Program,” “Sunday School for Dummies: How to Use and Develop New Teachers.”
- State Sunday School Directors’ Association (SSSDA) maintains a blog (sundayschoolleader.com) and a website (sundayschooldirector.com) to network and resource churches and leaders in Sunday School and small group ministry. Would you believe there are 400,000+ Southern Baptist Bible study leaders nationwide!
- OnlineSundaySchool.org has a mission to help churches and families “Connect The Next Generation With The Word!” Simply Christian’s® Online Sunday School™ (OSS) provides design, graphics and weekly content and makes the OSS available to their churches and congregations.
Kids Sunday School Place to provides Biblical resources so the Good News of the Bible, leading to Salvation and encouraging spiritual growth, can be shared with children around the world. They create meaningful and fun-filled Sunday school materials, web-based resources,and online curriculum. And, no article about Sunday school lessons would be complete without mentioning the major publishers of Sunday school curriculum:
One of the goals for the .BIBLE Top-Level Domain Registry is to encourage innovation and increasing Bible engagement. Can the foundations of Christian education that took the form of Sunday school for past generations be extended beyond the classroom one day of a week into an everyday digital lifestyle? We believe so! God’s Word accessed in creative ways with a meaningful and memorable .BIBLE domain name could very well be how the life-changing message of the Bible will make a difference for the next generations!
(photo credit: bigbirdz)
This article is part of the blog series, 66 Ideas for .BIBLE Domain Names, with practical ideas for using .BIBLE domain names. Individuals and organizations can now register .BIBLE domain names that are more shareable, memorable, and meaningful at any accredited registrar.