This is the reason many Sunday Schools are not growing

Mondays on the blog are used for sharing a quote from a book on Sunday School, groups, and general leadership principles. Today’s book except comes from a book title Sunday School That Really Excels. The author of this particular quote really hits the proverbial nail on the head when he declares why many Sunday Schools are not growing. A church that uses an off-campus, home group system will also stall out for the same reason. Everyone pay attention – this is important stuff!

In all my work with other churches and talking with scores of church leaders, not fully understanding the purpose of one’s Sunday School ministry is one of the main reasons most of our Sunday Schools aren’t growing as they should. Indeed, I will go further to say that I believe lacking purpose in Sunday Schools is why so many church leaders have looked elsewhere for a strategy for discipleship and church growth, leading many to pronounce Sunday School as a thing of the past. For years I have asked church leaders, conference attendees, and even those with staff members charged with Bible study and discipleship, “What is the purpose of Sunday School?,” and I am not exaggerating when I say that most have not had a clear understanding. Often, the understanding of what they are trying to accomplish with their Sunday School ministry is misguided and muddy. (pp.63-64)

This quote begs the question, “So what is the purpose of Sunday School?” Once you can answer that question succinctly and efficiently, you can guide the Sunday School to accomplish its purpose. Without it, you’ll experience ministry drift.

Do you know the purpose of your Sunday School? If you are unclear, share this post with your pastor and/or other staff leader, or the church’s Sunday School Director.

Here are a few ways that a church might go about declaring the purpose of it’s Sunday School. In my experience, short is sweet. You should be able to remember and recite the purpose with ease:

  1. The purpose of Sunday School is to reach people, teach people, and minister to people.
  2. The purpose of Sunday School is to reach, teach, win and develop persons in the Christian faith.
  3. The purpose of Sunday School is to learn and apply God’s Word, invite others to become Christ-followers, form authentic relationships, and engage in service to others.
  4. The purpose of Sunday School is to make disciples.


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