3 pieces of advice I’d give my younger self about Sunday School

Movies that employ a time travel motif can be fun and entertaining to watch. Normally, traveling back in time has serious repercussions on future events (in the world of Star Trek, time travel was discouraged because of possible alterations to the time line). Marty McFly knew the dangers of going back in time and interacting with his younger self in the Back To The Future trilogy. But what if you could safely go back in time and give your younger self some advice – what would you say? If I could travel back in time two-and-a-half decades, I’d say this to my younger self about Sunday School:

  1. Sunday School works. Sunday School isn’t easy. It has a lot of moving parts, always needs new volunteer leaders (who must be trained), and buildings need constant maintenance and upgrading. A curriculum plan must be identified and adopted (and implemented), and existing groups must be encouraged to remain open to new people joining their groups. Sunday School works, but you have to do the hard work associated with Sunday School. As the great theologian Rocky Balboa said in the movie, Creed: “One step, one punch, one round at a time.” Sometimes that what you have to do – keep moving forward in spite of the odds and just keep at it.
  2. Start new groups. Too many Sunday Schools are dying because they are trying to reach new people with the same old groups they’ve had for years. It’s very difficult for new people to connect relationally in groups that have been together longer than a couple of years. New groups are the secret for assimilating newer members and guests into the life of the Sunday School.
  3. Always make training a priority. If the job is worth doing, those doing it must be trained. It is really unfair to invite persons into leadership roles, then not train them for success. Training will reduce turnover, and leaders will do an increasingly good job for the Lord. People in every industry imaginable receive ongoing training. Why not do the same for those who lead in the church?!

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