Sunday school has not outlived its usefulness, because at its "core" it is all about building relationships; relationships between children and Jesus and relationships between children and children. We help children build their relationships with Jesus when we focus on helping them learn God's Word is for them and help them learn how to go to God's Word to find the answers they need for their own lives. But along with doing this, we also need to be focused on helping children build relationships with other children.
Yes, we need to be committed to teaching children how to read and understand God's Word so they will know how to make wise decisions throughout their lives, but we also need to teach them how to make good friends, and provide them a place to do so. If children make friends of other children who love God, as they grow up they will be able to encourage each other to make those wise decisions! Consider what God's Word has to say about this . . .
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
- Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
- Hebrews 10:24, 25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
It may be easy to jump on board the latest "fad" in Children's Ministry, but this is not the answer. We have to help children build real relationships with God and other children who love Him because, if we do this our Sunday school will be a place where children want to be and will still be a "useful" and valuable place for them to be.
What do you do to help children build relationships with other children who love God?