The goal of Sunday school is to accomplish one of the greatest needs in the 21st century– to provide Biblical education to individuals in a particular life stage.
Sunday school, like many things in the church, is a tool, not a goal. It is a tool that God has used in amazing ways. It is a tool to systematically, comprehensively, and appropriately teach the Bible to a particular life stage. Sunday school exists to transform lives through effectively teaching God’s Word.
Sunday school lessons usually provide a format for discussion and interaction, while following a set curriculum that covers the Bible and applies it to a particular life stage, then cycles around every few years.
If the only teaching your congregation receives in the course of the week is a forty-five minute sermon, they’re not learning as much as they could. There is so much more that you could be teaching them, and Sunday school provides that opportunity.
Sunday school should focus on providing age-appropriate instruction. It is a venue to teach biblical world views in everything from dating to evangelism, from knowing God’s will to interacting with parents and coworkers, all while allowing time for questions and answers. It should provide Biblical education to a particular group of people at a particular life stage.
One Bible college professor was asked by a college student what someone should do in order to become a theologian. He replied, “That’s easy. Teach a third-grade Sunday school class.” Sunday school makes it possible to get age-appropriate biblical teaching into the life of the church.
Sunday school is a valuable tool for discipling believers. It complements and supplements the sermon, gives age-appropriate knowledge needed for godly living. Accountability, fellowship, community, and mission—these things are all very important, but what gives them their power is the Word of God. Sunday school provides the biblical education necessary for discipleship.