Question. Can you justify the continued existence of the Sunday school?
Answer. Very definitely. Since the Schempp-Murray decision of the Supreme Court (which declared that required Bible reading and prayer in public schools were unconstitutional) we have lost any significant basis for values in our society. The Sunday school is desperately needed to teach moral values today. Lots of non-Christians are just as concerned about what has happened as Christians are. Also, the Sunday school has become the primary Christian-education instrument of the church. Parents have turned the responsibility of educating their children over to the church, and few Christian homes today have Bible reading and prayer. If you lose the Sunday school you have very little left.
Q. Aren’t Christians taking care of that by operating day schools?
A. The number of Christian day schools is insignificant compared to the total number of schools, and they train only Christian children. Sunday schools reach children who may not come from Christian homes.
Q. Aren’t Sunday-school enrollments down?
A. They’re down in the mainline denominations. But evangelical churches in those denominations haven’t had a significant decrease. And many smaller denominational and independent church schools are growing. On the other hand, in Canada, if the present decline in Sunday-school attendance in the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church continues, Sunday school will go out of existence by the 1980s.
Q. What are the trends in making Sunday-school materials more creative?
A. We feel responsible to teach the Bible according to contemporary educational methods. A few years ago we realized that many children in pre-school Sunday-school classes had been affected by “Sesame ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more