One year, while teaching a Sunday School class of fourth through sixth graders, I had the daughter of our younger pastor in my class. She was well-behaved and intelligent but she kept complaining that Sunday School was ‘too much like school.’
This fourth grade girl attended a local Christian school and seemed to know a great deal about God’s word for someone her age. She also read a lot of books. At the Christian school she attended, the young girl may have had school work and class sessions that were a lot like Sunday School. It was obvious that she became bored or frustrated with our class at times because she seemed to know most of the answers to the lessons. She continually expressed her desire for more fun activities and games. Unfortunately our short class period did not allow much time for fun activities and games because the curriculum lesson plan nearly filled the 45 minutes of class time.
I did consider her request but we already had activities and games in the lesson materials. I could not add more fun activities without compromising the Bible lesson and hindering the other students. I did include many of the fun activities and games that came with the curriculum.
As Sunday School teachers we have a responsibility before God to try our best to teach all of our students about God and His word. I believe learning about God and the Bible should be fun as well as educational. It should be exciting, not boring. However, the main reason for having Sunday School is to teach the students about God and the Bible.
We cannot spend the largest portion of our class time doing fun activities and games. Entertainment should never be allowed to become more important than learning about God and His word. We need to guard our hearts and be mindful not to fall into this trap and rob our students of the spiritual bread they need. Our adversary, Satan, and his allies would love it if we got distracted and failed to teach our students about God.
As teachers we also need to make sure our class time is used appropriately. We need to encourage our students to focus on learning Biblical principles that point them to Jesus Christ, our Lord. Our lessons and the related activities should be structured to attain that goal. The biggest portion of our Sunday School time should also be focused on that goal.
If you are a Christian teacher and you have a student who repeatedly complains that Sunday School is ‘too much like school,’ remind them that Sunday School is school and it’s about learning the things of God. If the problem persists and you’ve done what you can do about it, you may need to speak to your church leadership about the problem. Perhaps they can make suggestions to help alleviate the situation. However, it may be that the church leader needs to speak with the child’s parents. But be of good cheer because God delivers us from all of our troubles.