Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Rethinking Sunday School: Part II

    Several weeks ago, we had a discussion on Sunday School. It seems like this is an area of ministry that many are “Rethinking.”

    This summer, at the church I serve, we have started a new Sunday School tradition (hopefully). We’ve asked our graduating seniors to each spend (over a period of several months) ten-fifteen minutes sharing their faith story. After they share their story we break into groups, discuss what we have heard, and then return and have a follow-up question and answer period.

    Last Sunday was our first Sunday. So far, this seems to work well. Our graduating seniors have the opportunity to both reflect on their faith and think about ways to articulate their experiences. At the same time, our other youth (particularly the younger youth) really enjoy hearing their peers talk about the ups and downs of their faith journeys. This format is easy to arrange, not too stressful, and fun.



    Brance said...

    "This format is easy to arrange, not too stressful, and fun."

    Is that our goal as youth pastors?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against believers sharing what Jesus has done in their lives, but several of the things you said caused me concern.

    You're asking all the seniors to share? Are all of them saved? Are all of them mature?

    You're asking them to share their "faith story"? What is that? Is that the same thing as sharing how Jesus has justified, and is in the process of sanctifying, them? If so, ok, but the language could be clearer.

    And lastly, while older, more mature, believers sharing how God has working in and through them with younger believers can be a good thing, it's not what we are called to do as pastors/teachers. We are to instruct them in the Word. If you're not doing that, you're not being a pastor.

    Darren said...

    I'd love some more ideas on rethinking Sunday School. The blank stares I get every Sunday morning aren't going away anytime soon. It's become such a routine event that students - and teachers - go through the motions. I've considered a change of scenery, but that just seems like a cheap gimmick. So keep discussing!

    Response to Brance: My approach to being a pastor is being a leader of disciples seeking to build God's kingdom, where peace, justice and healing prevail. Sometimes that means I teach them about the Bible. Probably more often it means building community, trusting relationships and sharing our common struggles in faith. So needless to say, I quite like Jacob's approach!

    Robert said...

    While I agree with Brance, I more agree with the things you have said in this post. I am a graduating senior at my church, and I teach the high school sunday school class. As a youth member, and as someone called into the ministry, I feel that a "pastoral" approach to situations like these is not always neccessary. People, youth in particular, need a more personal way of relating to things. We need to be discipled, pastored, and just as often, we need to have personal references to remind us of the life we ae trying to live.

    God Bless.